Marvel March marches on with the 5th film in the series, and I’ll say this up front, the first one I would actually consider really good and enjoyable.
What does Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow do that Ultimate Avengers, Iron Man and Doctor Strange didn’t do? Let’s find out!
- Originality – The biggest thing with this film is it is completely original. Yes, Invincible Iron Man and Doctor Strange were original stories, but were tied deeply with the characters’ comic origins and picking and choosing elements to use. Next Avengers has no relationship to the comics. I was actually surprised to find that Marvel has done very little with these characters before or after the film. It allows an element of surprise and danger that you just didn’t get with Marvel’s previous efforts.
- Pacing – I had this complaint with Iron Man and Doctor Strange, but this film starts after the action and the world has been established. It does a great job of getting you into it as quickly as possible and knowing when to slow down and reveal things to the children as well as to the audience. You never feel overwhelmed by action or exposition.
- Legacy – This film focuses on the off-spring of the Avengers, and it does a great job of building the Avengers and their importance to the world without really showing many of them. While a few are still around (and won’t spoil who), it shows you their impact without beating it over your head. I also love their distinction of being creatures of “myth” like “The Warrior” or the “The Giant” or “The Spy” speaking of them in archetypes not specifics.
- Characters – It was fun getting to learn and know these characters. By the end of the film, they do fall into pretty set patterns of their parents, their personal journey is intriguing. Especially when you take into account, many of them are fighting in the shadow of these larger than life beings (see previous point). I think the film does a commending job allowing them to be their parents’ children while also being distinct characters of their own. Flaws and strengths.
- Story – “The sins of the father are laid upon the sons” is a bit of a fitting description for the story. The Next Avengers square off against the greatest threat to the original Avengers, which was a creation of their own device. To be more specific, was the creation of Iron Man, which gives the story a bit of an ironic spin since he is the only one who doesn’t have an off-spring in this film. Thus, when Ultron gets alerted to the presence of the kids, he looks to finish the job he started many years ago. It’s a really fun story that is a lot more light-hearted than the dark background would let you believe.
- Animation – One of my major sticking points with most of Marvel’s output has always been the quality of the animation. I’m happy to report that Next Avengers was a step in the right direction. The action flowed better and felt more fluid. The transitions weren’t stiff and didn’t stay on a scene for a second or two too long. The kids had a certain energy to them. And the weird glow/soft-shadowing stuff is mostly absent here as well!
- The Next Avengers – Finally, when creating new characters you get to go little wild. This movie does a terrific job of imagining the next generation of Avengers, giving them powers and looks similar to the previous generation while also taking into account their own unique difference. This all works out with a well-rounded voice cast that brings a certain life to these characters, and you have a playground that could be interesting in the future.
Review 7 (out of 7) – There’s a lot to love in this film. Check it out!Â