08 August 2006

Ink Blots XXIV - Ultimate Avengers 2

As I mentioned last week in my review of Ultimate Avengers: The Movie, I have never been terribly familiar with the Avengers outside of the most well knows like Captain America and the Hulk. Going into this second film, I did not know very much about one of the new spotlighted heroes, the Black Panther. This film nicely follows up part 1, and establishes the aliens as being a real threat (as their showing in part 1 was a tad weak).

The film opens with an action packed sequence of those bastardly aliens from part 1 attacking the African city of Wakanda, home of the Panther. Not only are the aliens back, but so is their Nazi/alien commander that we thought the Cap had taken care of in part 1. A fight between the Panther and aliens ensues resulting in a bloody death for the Black Panther leading to his son donning the Panther mantle. This sequence was not quite as great as the fantastically retro opening of part 1, but it was still impressive. Not only can the panther shoot talons, but if he gets mad enough, his head literally transforms into a panther's. Nice!

Reintroductions follow. Captain America as a man out of time has a deathwish, the Hulk is incarcerated and sedated, Giant Man is trying to push his growth abilities beyond safety levels, and Iron Man's heart is having trouble. In spite of all this, the Avengers are reassembled to assist Wakanda even though outsiders are forbidden and help is unwanted. Meanwhile, Thor must disobey his father Odin by continuing his involvement with earthly matters.

Once again, the assembled team receives quite a thrashing, and a worldwide invasion follows and many human get in the line of fire. The aliens are focusing efforts on Wakanda (turns out the city is sitting on a stockpile of vibranium, the alien power source). The Avengers lick their wounds, Iron Man dons the War Machine armor, and the Black Panther finally teams up with the Avengers. Will it be enough? Will they all survive? See for yourself.

Ultimate Avengers part 2 does a better job balancing character stories with the once again limited time of 73 minutes. I think everyone got some decent scenes. This part gives a bit more focus to Iron man, and a bit less to Black Widow and the Hulk, but everyone else is given about the same screen time as they were last time around (Thor still seems to get much less time than I would expect). Part 2 also probably is more deserving of its PG-13 rating as it seems to have a bit more graphic violence and the stakes seem higher and more threatening. Then again, the action though plentiful, is less engrossing this time around. As a stand alone story, this film is a bit weak, but it certainly makes the first movie better when the 2 are seen back-to-back. I cannot really see someone having vastly different opinions of the two films. If you liked part 1, check this one out. If not, don't bother. And if you haven't seen part 1, see it first, otherwise you are basically only seeing the end of a longer film. As part of a 2 story tale (not as a stand alone), I once again give the Avengers a B. So, when do we get Ultimate Avengers 3?


toast said...

I'm glad this movie was animated intead of live action. The story was too larger-than-life for live action. Can you imagine half naked Wakandians, aliens and Thor's dialogue all in one live action movie? That would be hilarious! But we seem to believe it when it is animated.

I loved it. Here's to more Marvel Animated Features!



Chip Chief said...

you are right about that. laser shooting lion heads ala thundercats and flying fortresses seem awfully believable in animated form.

Chip Chief said...

by awfully, i mean strangely.

toast said...

Right! Thundercats! I knew I'd seen that somewhere before!

jepster2006 said...

Can't wait to see this. I liked the first one. It wasn't bad, neither was it that good. It was ok. Since you said this one's quite better. I'm going at a go at it.

Chip Chief said...

well, i dont know if its way better than the first. i think they are about equal, but this one makes the first one seem to have more of a point because it builds on it.

toast said...

Have you seen iron man yet?

Chip Chief said...

I just saw Iron Man a couple days ago, and should have a review up eventually. I thought it was slightly better than these Avengers films, but I think it is safe to say that if you liked them you would like Iron Man. The main problem again is that the movie feels like the first episode in a series that doesnt exist than it does a stand alone film.