RELEASE DATE: 23/04/2015
RUN TIME: 2HR 21MIN
|CAST:||ROBERT DOWNEY JR|
|SAMUEL L. JACKSON|
If we can cast our minds back to the mishandling of 'The Hulk's' origin by Ang Lee and then to the first of the Marvel Studio's re-imagining of the 'The Incredible Hulk' with Edward Norton, we can see the direct shift from spectacularly mediocre standalone film to a real idea of what the studio would be bringing - that being movies, driven by the universe they were born from. While 'The Incredible Hulk' was by no means the best of the franchise, it was a solid foundation for the empire to grow. What an empire it is.
With all juggernauts like Marvel, there are always going to be diehard opposers. These adversaries level criticism with an almost alarming level of abandon. Some of their points are things that can be worked on, such as the often clunky and expositional dialogue, but in the most part is flagrantly malicious. But to counter this is the unabashed enthusiasm of their fans. I find it hard not to get extremely excited when I hear the title of a new movie announced, let alone seeing the Easter Egg final scenes that the franchise is famous for (then quickly Googling what that scene actually means - I fall into the more casual part of the fandom).
Why can't people just enjoy the films for what they are? Who doesn't love a fun adventure that is often so tongue-in-cheek it borders on parody? This self-referential nature is what fans - both diehard of the comic realm or otherwise - find an intoxicating ingredient. What Marvel has successfully done is created a slue of complimentary movies that, while working as brilliant standalone films, amount to more than the sum of their parts. I can't think of any other studios or franchises that have achieved such global prominence, with such different characters and plots but all working towards the same universal goal. It could be thought that James Bond might come close, but Marvel have had the advantage of being able to produce their cannon in a short space of time, not needing to heavily recast. That in itself is a feat worthy of superhero status!
What is so engrossing is this universal span. Nowhere is this more prominent than in the jewels in the Marvel crown: 'The Avengers' films. Taking the standalone reputations of The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America, mixing them together through the mysterious S.H.I.E.L.D. and putting them in the same effort to save the world and you have an explosive box office hit. Casting some of this generation's hottest stars, utilising the best graphics and taking advantage of an already epic plot, it's no wonder these films are defining a generation.
Legitimising the sentiment towards these characters and this universe has been one of the most successful parts of the whole Marvel enterprise. No longer are people considered nerds for liking these characters, no longer are they a niche to be ridiculed. They have become so mainstream that nerd has become cool. With 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' soon to hit our screens, it will be the revenge of the nerds as they take their rightful place as pop culture gods.