Originally Posted by soundofyousick
eh, most of the characters in XMFC were introduced in that film, and you say that having seen the solo films before Avengers, true?
*You* could have enjoyed avengers to the full because you know the characters from the comics anyway, right?
Think of someone who has no clue about the characters, they would have no idea what Cap/Iron-Man/Thor was all about, absolutely no ref to how they got started, which is important(edit) if you want the full on thrill of sharing their adventures.
Without the previous films, the film is character-less, just a big punch up movie.
edit: and we got Magneto, Xavier and Mystique's full on origins, where before they had only been hinted at, there was no meat like that in Avengers, it needed the solo movies to be more than a special effects laden eye candy punch up movie.
This line of thinking has always baffled me. A film's quality is judged entirely on its own merits, not the merits of other films it shares connections with. This is because a narrative needs to function and operate correctly within itself otherwise it fails on the most fundamental of levels, which is telling a story. Even films that are direct sequels to or within the same franchise as each other need to operate independently, such as Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, The Dark Knight trilogy, even the X-Men films.
If the Avengers was character-less and just a special effects laden punch up then it would be a bad film period. Even if all the previous films had been universally adored. While it's true that you can get more
from a film in a series if you're familiar with the other films, they can't influence the specific mechanisms and workings of any individual film's narrative. This cuts both ways in a sense as it explains why people can hate any of the previous Marvel films but enjoy the Avengers, such as Ebert loathing Thor but not the Avengers.
I'd say one of the Avengers' greatest strength, if not the greatest, is Whedon's wonderfully elegant and tightly written script. It uses the characters of other films and utilises them in a way that not only provides a greater experience for those familiar with them but also explains them to newcomers and propels its own internal narrative. On the most basic level, Whedon's film needs characters to work. Therefore he needs to introduce and characterise them, it doesn't matter how many previous appearances Iron Man or Thor have made, Whedon has to build them from scratch into his specific narrative. It seems ridiculous to me that people can say that the solo films 'did the work' of introducing/developing characters so the Avengers 'didn't have to' as that suggests that the Avengers could possibly have worked while completely lacking such fundamental building blocks of stories.
I very much enjoy First Class and I'd also say that the Avengers has just as much as 'meat' in terms of of its characters and storytelling. Maybe even more given the biggest weakness of First Class is the bloated nature of its script compared to the elegance of the Avengers.