The comic book adaptation onslaught continues this month with the release of Thor - yet another middle-of-the-road entry to the ever growing list.
Sadly, it seems Marvel are just interested in churning out origin stories before the arrival of The Avengers next summer, rather than making an entertaining and thrilling adventure in the same mould of the first two Spiderman or X-Men.
These films are often the tent-poles of a studio’s summer release schedule, but when we list them, are any really worth more than a 6 out of 10? Are any really better than the ones before it? Let’s list them, minus the aforementioned Spidey and X-Men
- (2011) Thor
- (2010) Iron Man 2
- (2009) X-Men Orgins: Wolverine
- (2008) Punisher: War Zone
- (2008) The Incredible Hulk
- (2008) Iron Man
- (2007) Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
- (2007) Spider-Man 3
- (2007) Ghost Rider
- (2006) X3: The Last Stand
- (2005) Fantastic Four
- (2005) Elektra
- (2004) Blade: Trinity
- (2004) The Punisher
- (2003) Hulk
- (2003) Daredevil
- (2002) Blade II
All very average films. So was I surprised when Thor joined that list? Not at all, I expected nothing more than what it was: A noisy, predictable CGI-fest with a script dumbed-down for its young audience.The most surprising aspect was the lack of set-pieces; only two, both of which were not exciting and appeared only to serve the explosions and CGI quota.
And why are all these films full of sub-standard action scenes? With all the money pumped into them, why can’t they thrill us? It’s not from a lack of talent, although the likes of Ang Lee and Kenneth Branagh appear more comfortable with much better material. Thor is no Hamlet and Hulk was certainly no Brokeback Mountain.
I struggle to find you an answer, because there are many excellent comic book movies to counteract my arguments.
I fear for the upcoming Captain America in that it will suffer the same fate of pre-Avengers syndrome. And then we have origin pictures for Hawkeye (see briefly here played by Jeremy Renner) and probably Dr Strange, too, plus reboots of Spiderman and Fantastic Four, and another Iron Man. Will this all mean The Avengers will be a pedestrian, boring lead up to The Avengers 2?