Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review: Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United

You know, nobody asked for this. Even Marvel knew that; they released this thing with almost no fanfare. This is far from the crossover that everyone asked for. People were demanding that this thing stop existing.

What am I supposed to say about this? This thing... what even is it? It's too long to be a TV episode, it's too short to be a movie, it's a supposed tie-in to something it has almost nothing in common with, and if anyone tells me I'm dangling my participle, I will make them eat my English degree.

Honestly, this thing is a vast improvement over the original. Though that's not saying much. The animation looks much better right off the bat. While the mouth movements are awkward to look at in CGI, the 3D models move much better and have improved textures. It's not Pixar, but it's better than a PS2 cutscene. I think we're firmly in PS3 territory. Budget PS3 territory, but still.

If I told you that these were cutscenes from Ultimate Alliance 2, you'd believe me.
If I had to give a compliment to this thing, it would be for the plot. This movie actually has a plot. The last movie was just a series of events, but this one feels like it has a goal: beat the Red Skull. The actuall plotting is very tight, too. But here's where it falls apart. Padding. This thing is padded to heck. There's pointless fight scenes, dialogue that goes nowhere, and the whole thing is so leisurely that there's no sense of urgency.

But the Red Skull's plan is a solid one that would be right at home in an above-average episode of Avengers Assemble. Having said that, allow me to nitpick one single part of the master plan. Namely, how is the HYDRA hulks having Cap’s skill an advantage? Cap is a nimble fighter, these guys are, well, the Hulk.

There's a comedian, I don't remember which one, who has a bit where he talks about basketball. He addresses a complaint that he had heard regarding race in basketball. Paraphrasing, "How come anything a white player does is called 'intelligent,' but anything a black player does is 'athletic'?" The comedian answered, "Because you can't use intelligence to jump across half the court over people's heads."

The same principle applies here. Captain America has a fighting style predicated on jumping, dodging, and landing quick blows. The Hulk can't fight like that. For obvious reasons.

And really, that's the main problem with this movie. The details. At the core, there's something here. But the details drag it down. The badly paced scenes. The limited resources for the animation. The padding. This movie suffered the death of a thousand cuts after being crucified before release.

I really don't want to say anything else about this movie; it would just seem cruel, like beating a dead horse to add insult to injury. All in all, this was a tedious drag. Bad? Yes. Could it have been something good? Yes, but it would have taken more work than Marvel would have been willing to put into it. They've chalked this up as a loss and moved on. And so will I. With any luck, Marvel's next direct-to-DVD features will be as well-crafted as DC's straight-to-DVD features.

...I can dream.

Thank you all for sticking with me through 75,000 views. Hopefully, I can find something suitably terrible to rip to shreds before the NewtCave reaches 100,000 views.

See you then!

1 comment:

  1. Not gonna lie, when I saw the trailer I thought it was for a video game