As a kind "Talk Nerdy" viewer suggested last week, the "two nerds on the sides of the set" should quit whining about "The Avengers" before the film has hit theaters. He's not wrong. But as one of the nerds in question, I don't think I'm going to follow that advice.
Like my "Nerdy" colleague Brain Phares, I'm approaching "Avengers" with caution, especially after the latest trailer left me underwhelmed. I'm very excited, but I'm also worried. That's not how I feel about "The Dark Knight Rises," a movie that I only get more jazzed about with each new bit of promo material. In fact, I'm going to call it now: "TDKR" is going to own "Avengers" this summer. Here are five reasons why.
Incepting the Audience
Christopher Nolan made an entire movie in reverse chronological order, and it kicked ass. He's made two "Batman" movies, and they slayed my nerdy soul. He made a movie set in four different dream worlds, and it was one of the best movies of the new millennium. Honestly, how the eff Christopher Nolan plans on topping himself, I have no idea. I'm pumped to find out.
The Hero and Villain Count
Even allowing for the .00000001-percent chance that Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character actually turns out to be Robin, "Dark Knight" will arrive at the multiplex touting a manageable number of heroes and villains. "Avengers," by last count, boasted approximately 37 good guys and 28 bad guys. As fine a storyteller as Joss Whedon is, that's still too much character to squeeze into one comic-book movie. I fear character arcs will be compressed, subplots will be established and quickly abandoned, and the whole thing just won't have room to breathe.
I like the "Transformers" movies. I love almost every Marvel movie. But I have no interest in seeing the former franchise infect the latter cinematic collection. It's premature to draw conclusions from a trailer (goodness knows how that approach burned me when "Terminator Salvation" finally hit theaters), and yet I worry that Marvel folks — with an eye on the megabucks earned by "Transformers" films and consumed with the desire to make "Avengers" crazy-sexy-cool enough to meet fan expectation — will just go too big on this one. What's great about Marvel movies (and, by contrast, what's so lacking in "Transformers" ones) is that you care about the characters. You're invested in them, and so you care what happens to them on the battlefield. Concentrate too much on whiz-bang effects, though, and you'll sacrifice character development. Then who gives a poop how cool Hulk looks sliding down the facade of a skyscraper with Iron Man cradled in his arms?
Batman is My Copilot
Listen — mad respect to Iron Man, a C-list comic-book character who nabbed his own movie in 2008 and proved, at least in the guise of Robert Downey Jr., he's one hell of a superhero. Thor, the Captain, Hulk: I dig 'em all. And outside of the Avengers universe, Spider-Man and his sci-guy alter-ego are close to my heart, in that if a radioactive arachnid happened to bite me, I pray to end up just like the web-slinging wonderboy. That's all beside the point, in the end. At least when I'm keeping score, no one can compare to Bruce Wayne and Batman. He's the best there is, and while it'd take a separate blog post to argue why, anyone who vehemently disagrees should feel free to do so in the comments section (or to harass me on Twitter @ericditzian). So I'll stop here, with my excitement to see "Avengers" still strong and my good-god-man-July-20-can't-come-soon-enough jones for "TDKR" unable to be suppressed.
Which movie are you more excited for? Tell us in the comments section and on Twitter!