Film Review: Ultimate Avengers (2006)


SYNOPSIS:

To confront an alien menace, General Fury assembles a team of superheroes lead by a recently resuscitated Captain America.

REVIEW:

And so it begins… One of Marvel comic book’s greatest teams comes together in this wickedly heroic animation titled “Ultimate Avengers”. We begin under the assumption that the Marvel universe is already in full swing. Heroes are doing heroic things, battles have been fought, and each has already earned a global reputation for their dynamic abilities.

Though the team wouldn’t be the Avengers without introducing Captain America into the mix. We begin in the 40s during WW II when Captain America aka Steve Rogers is taking on Nazi militants aided by a race of aliens with a full helping of advance weapon technology. Captain America fearlessly grabs onto an alien spaceship as it’s attempting to leave Earth and falls to his death in the middle of the ocean. We don’t need the full story, as the setup is merely to introduce the Captain and how he got to the present.

Flash into present day as Nick Fury with Shield is en route on discovery. They locate the Caption’s body per radar frozen within an iceberg beneath the ocean. Resuced in his icy state, the Captain is brought back to their lab under the care of Dr. Banner (aka The Hulk). Soon after the revived Captain awakes to a new future and has to face the past he left behind.

Fury aided by his cohort assassin Black Widow begins to assemble a team with Captain America assigned the lead. “The Avengers” are formed out of the joining of Iron Man, Black Widow, Giant Man, The Wasp, Thor, and Captain America. The reckless member who is reserved for future stories comes in the form of the unstoppable and uncontrollable “Incredible Hulk”. Though this story reveals that Banner has been searching for a serum to correct his alter ego to bring it more under control. The discovery of the Captain is a step into getting the blood DNA he needs to advance his research.

As per the comic books, the team is assigned a mission to stop an aggressive alien race who plot to destroy the world. Their first mission is the Shield headquarters which have been hacked by the aliens releasing classified files. “The Avengers” are deployed to combat them and protect the Earth itself.

This actually becomes the 2nd act, which saves the 3rd for the heroes battle against their own. Yep, you guessed it, the Hulk is far from cured and becomes a major point of conflict for the team. Fans will undoubtedly recognize the foreshadowing that also becomes a “Thor VS Hulk” conflict in a letter film

The story is adult-driven and appropriate for children who don’t mind the cartoon violence. It’s clear though that the saga of the Avengers is meant for an older crowd by dialog alone which roots itself in drama, past love relationships and the control of the military. It’s a fine piece of work and one that I enjoy every time I watch it.

Maybe I’m easy to please, but “The Avengers” are just an exciting group to watch and follow. The animation is top notch, with plenty of room for growth in future episodes. We don’t get much in the way of origins here which is probably more suited to one-off releases than an ensemble release. The group is far from perfect which also makes it all the more believable. Jealousy, attraction, egos, and urges make for a solid script.

I myself am more partial to villains vs heroes conflicts, so I hope to see alot more in that direction than aliens and monsters. The Marvel universe hosts some great villains that I think would really ramp up the series….hint, hint.

The release is now out of Blu-ray keeping all the details crisp and clean for fans of the hero genre. It may not be “as” fulfilling as the real life versions, but it still is a much like watching a live action comic book unfold.

The Ultimate Avengers is now available as a 3-Disk Bluray set from Lions Gate

Ultimate Avengers (2006)

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