Hey remember the early 2012, where the roars of nerds could shatter glasses? Those were the days when the comic movies were expanding, exploding and evolving into something that isn’t just for a certain demographic. We witnessed them as it reached mass appeal and without being completely aware of it, we were in the midst of a movie-genre renaissance. Then the Avengers arrived, for the first time daring to combine characters from separate movies all to form the ultimate team up experience! And it did not disappoint!
Fast forward to Avengers: Age of Ultron, the sequel did not fare as well critically with most of the synopsis being: A lesser of it’s predecessor, heck lesser than some of the solo films. But how? It followed the formula nearly to the T and then made it bigger. It included the dynamic angst between the team, their bond, the nice punch lines and of course the massive big battle at the end. It fulfilled the same quota and poured more into it to guarantee a bigger hit. So what is the reason? Lack of Loki? Repeated beats? I’d say it was novelty.
Once we tasted the gods of Marvel warring against aliens, we’ve about seen enough of it. In fact the reason why Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey) are such immovable characters is because of, well character. The first Iron-man gave us time to see Tony grow from self-absorbed arms seller to self-absorbed hero. Loki, we saw him being a trickster that he is but secretly harboring his pain for always feeling like a second thought. The shock of learning his origin and the feelings pent up exploded into an individual going down the wrong path. And by gawd, in Thor 2, we see the Loki emotionally wasted and broken after his mother’s death. This villain has killed hundreds but then we see him reduced to a man whimpering in a corner. Loki was a fan favorite because, until his mother’s death he was filled with layers of hate and love. Character... Its the essential ingredient in film that in most cases are mandatory. The grandiose allure of high budget special effects and the comic nerd’s wet dream was a novelty that is slowly simmering. When you put all your eggs in that basket, you end up afterwards with a video game cut scene without anything else to fall back on.
Enter in a show like Daredevil, composing a set of actors each having their own layers, backstories and insecurities. It took a slew of characters, even villains and made us care about them – how unsettling it is to care for a murderer no matter his background.
Now the common argument is, you cannot compare movies to TV due to time, pacing and budget. In many cases this is true, so lets refer to two similar movies such as Ant-Man and Captain America 2. Even though we spent a lot of time with Steve Rogers(Chris Evans) in the first movie, its not until we see how he interacts with regular people, with people he trusts and also people whom he shares a kinship with that he truly resonates. Steve’s humanity along with a set of other interesting characters were sewed to a somewhat cliche spy plot and yet clearly (in my opinion) formed an more interesting movie. Ant-Man’s humble yet snarky character made him very likable and made us root and care for him. We saw the wrong he has done and even though the reason was not excusable we relate to him.
While Avengers 2’s character development mainly focused on the more human characters (Black widow and Hawkeye) we still felt overwhelmed by the underwhelming excess of action. As we grow as comic fans, I feel we will begin to lean more towards to the smaller guys. Its because of this that Spider-man whom interacts with people daily, is so popular. Stories of Earth facing doom will always have its place, but perhaps the stories of a mere city facing doom will leave imprints on our hearts more so.