By Jared Conti in Arts & Entertainment
May 3, 2012
Avengers Assemble! Or some assembly required?
It is with great trepidation that I go to see the first superhero team movie this side of Mystery Men. Ben Stiller and crew really knew how to turn the genre on its ear, making heroes irreverent and funny at the same time. The problem with the movies is that we tend to take something completely off the wall (see my previous Oracular Beard columns) and try to make it serious. It’s comic books, man. It’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek.
But will I be smiling Friday night, at the premiere of The Avengers, making a beeline for the potty and then out the door and back in line so I can see it again? Golly, do I hope so. Incarnations of the team have been around for nearly fifty years, not to mention another twenty since the first appearance of Captain America. He himself had a hit movie last summer, but does that mean he can bring all his buddies in for another box office win?
DC Comics roster can’t do it, though it’s been hinted at for years, even Aquaman pajamas showing up in Superman Returns. What they can’t do is make a franchise successful. Sure you’ve got a movie or two, but then you reboot again after ten years.
Marvel, baby. Although you’ve got two reboots for the Hulk, and Iron Man 2 was well below par, the original Iron Man, Captain America and Thor were blockbusters from the start. Maybe the fun comes from the levity of the characters in this world we live in or maybe the cameos by other heroes showing up where they shouldn’t be.
I’ve never followed Marvel, but it’s almost as if it doesn’t matter. If you can make me believe, if just for a second, that Captain America’s costume is on for a reason other than crime fighting…then you’ve got me. If you can make me care about a movie enough to be jumping out of my seat or waiting until the end to see a secret trailer at the end…then you’ve got me. If you can make me spend more money by coming back to see it again…then you’ve got me. And my money.