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Old 06-30-2012, 01:22 AM   #1
CConn
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Default How The Avengers could've been even better

Before I get into this, I just want to say, this isn't meant to be at all a critique or a complaint against the actual film. I enjoy it tons, and I'd be hard-pressed to disagree with anyone who said it's in the top 3 of the best superhero movies ever. And it definitely isn't my intent for the conversation in this thread to degrade into an "Avengers suck." "No, it doesn't." "Yes, it does." discussion.

Okay, with that out of the way, despite my great enjoyment of Avengers as a film, I couldn't help but immediately take notice of the potential that the film - and it's story - really represented as a sociopolitical narrative and allegory to our own real world Geo-political world. And, I think, with just a few minor changes to the movie, it could've had a much deeper and far reaching meaning and moral that could've rivaled the subtexual depth and quality indicative of many foreign "art" films without subjugating any characterization, action or plot.

Here's how...

  • Many of the characters in the Avengers would be allegorical to real world bodies or principles;
    • Captain America - America
    • Iron Man - Capitalism or Industrialism
    • Thor - Europe
    • Bruce Banner/Hulk - The Underclass
    • Loki - The Antiquated European Aristocracy
    • The Chitauri - Communism
Turning these characters into these allegorical mirrors would be easy - because the foundations are already there, and already slightly apparent. It wouldn't be endless dialogue about Captain America singing the virtues of the American government - they'd all be the same characters, with near-identical dialogue, you would just have that undercurrent of having that second meaning. When Bruce Banner gets angry at being manipulated by SHIELD, it would merely dually represent The Underclass' anger at being controlled by the wealthy or powerful.
  • Involve the general public.
The second thing I would do, is have the film slightly more address what effect the Avengers have on the general public - and what the common man thinks of them. Raise that question that Batman comics/movies (and IM2, actually) often raise; are "supervillains" merely the result of superhero's over-involvement in normal people's affairs.

Then ask some of the questions that Lex Luthor often decries Superman for; does having superpowered people limit the common man's drive for greatness? Does always knowing that they'll be others stronger, and faster, and smarter than you limit your desire to achieve great things?

Also ask what role the Avengers play in world affairs. Are the Avengers just the superhero equivalent of a nuclear bomb? As destructive as they are effective - ultimately the easier, and simpler answer when more complex, yet more peaceful answers could be found by normal humans?

  • Change the ending; make the destruction of New York more traumatic.
While in the comic book world, New York is generally demolished every third Tuesday of the month, in the real world, having a massive alien invasion destroy several city blocks would be a massive event. Akin to, and even more definitive, than 9/11. I would make the ending focus on that much more; I might even take it as far as having the general public not even view the Avengers victory as a victory; instead having them be more fearful and angry at the Avengers than anything. I know, this makes the movie a whole lot less fun and empowering than it is currently, but I also think it would be a much more...rational reaction for the general public to have, and would work much better with the allegorical characters as well. Having the Avengers, America, Capitalism, etc. overthrow Communism, is much too simple - and preachy - to fly with anyone. Instead, by having the Avengers' victory questioned, you raise the question as to which political and social philosophies are really better or wiser. I think that level of ambiguity would make for an overall more compelling film.

Now, I'm sure a lot of your first thoughts will be "I don't want politics added into the Avengers" or "I don't want to be preached political propaganda" - and I agree with you wholeheartedly. It shouldn't be political and it shouldn't be preachy. It shouldn't make any political statements, insinuations, or approvals - it should merely present participants as they are; pose the questions without forcing any answers. As the movie is now, you could argue that the Hulk analogy is very much still viable - does that make you enjoy it any less when Hulk smashes Loki about? Of course not. Because that's not preaching, that's just a fun moment within the story, that works with the plot itself.

Most of the subtext I mention already IS in the movie to some degree, it's just not quite fleshed out as wholly as it could have been. It's just little finishing touches that could've even been achieved through slightly different direction - with the script itself remaining pretty much entirely intact.

Additionally, I'm sure a lot of you would be concerned about anyone having the talent to actually be able to write something this - possibly incendiary - with the deft subtly that would keep it from offending anyone. And I will say - yes, it's rare to find a writer skilled enough to pull off that level of subtext, but it's definitely possible. How many of you realized that Burton's Batman movies were actually critiques of the excess and commercialism of the 1980s? Because they were. Is Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times somehow offensive obtuse because it was a critique of talking pictures? Of course not. Because when it's done in an intelligent, and tempered way, subtext blends into the larger tapestry of a film so wholly, that it is near-unnoticeable to those who aren't actively seeking it out - and more importantly, doesn't force any opinions on anyone, merely espouses simple ideas that anyone could follow to some degree.

So yeah. Those are the couple things that, for me, would've pushed the movie from being incredibly awesome, to quite possibly the greatest movie I've ever seen.

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Old 06-30-2012, 03:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

Cap should have been an intolerant dick to every minority he met.
Thor should have been a hippy.
Natasha should of been a double agent.
Hulk should have been a cannibalistic rapist.

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Old 06-30-2012, 04:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

More scenes with me.

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Old 06-30-2012, 04:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

Hmmmmm...

I honestly think you're on the wrong forum to be 'deep.' Most fans, afaik, are just concerned with capturing the comics and making it cool, they not only don't see the emotional investment, much less the subtext, in these films, but outright deny any such thing is there. I don't know what they think filmmakers talk about in all these meetings, but they really do tend to feel if you're going below the surface, you're just finding things that aren't there.

That said, I think the Chitauri being communism is a stretch. Unless I'm just slow on my conspiracy theory, they're not allied with the antiquated aristocracy, that's for sure, but I see what you're saying with the rest of it, and I honestly thought the allegories were sharp enough. The characters were very primal and resonant without having to line up their conflicts precisely with real world bodies, and if they had, it might have overshadowed the personal themes of the film about teamwork and becoming true heroes.

I would definitely involve the general public to give the film more weight. It would have made the honor of Cap in the end that much stronger, if there had been some public outcry around mid film. That would have required a bit of rewriting, as they weren't in public together until the very end, but anything like that could have been hefty. I don't think any of those question would have fit without making the movie worse. Obviously the Avengers didn't create the threat of Loki (Thor did, but not by being a superhero), and there is no peaceful solution to the Chitauri, neither are they around enough in order to cripple man's achievement.

A new question would have been needed. If the public had realized the Avengers are a time bomb, that could have been interesting. If someone had caught the Thor/IM/Cap fight on camera, then that could have been a subplot.

I would not have changed the ending in the way you suggest. For me, the Avengers being fun empowering was very, very important. It was a culmination of so much, for it to have a downer ending, or leave you ambiguous, after waiting for five years to see it, would have been a bad idea, imho. Change the allegory for the Chitauri to our own hate and fear (ie, have them feed off it or something) whatever you need to do to keep it deep but have the heroes with truly happy endings. Let Avengers 2 have that ambiguity, but imho, Avengers 1 simply couldn't afford to do so with its audience.

For me personally, to make the film better, I wouldn't have made the film so funny. I wouldn't have broken up the seriousness as often, or done it more subtly so it wouldn't have been so noticeable. I would have exchanged a few punchlines for a bit more tragedy, making the empowering ending even stronger.

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Old 06-30-2012, 05:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

No offense, but I think if you tried to do what you propose the movie would have ended up half as successful as it was. Not everything has to be deep and allegorically linked to real world events. Marvels greatest mistake was Ang lees hulk, which was incredibly deep and chock full of psycological subtext. It failed miserably in a blockbusters one true purpose, that is to entertain the general public.

IMO politicizing the movie any more than it already was would be a huge mistake.
Im not saying that you cant have a blockbuster with a labyrinthine plot that entertwines with real world issues with a darker tint, Im simply saying that not every movie has to be like that and, frankly, a great many of them shouldnt. There is a very good reason that most movies that are critical successes flop in the theaters and why a lot of huge moneymakers are panned by critics... Leave it alone. Its fine as is.....

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Old 06-30-2012, 05:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

Very much what CCon already said, Octavias, if you think it wouldn't be as successful like that then take a look at The Ultimates, that book itself had the structure of a blockbuster

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Old 06-30-2012, 09:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

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Originally Posted by Octavias View Post
No offense, but I think if you tried to do what you propose the movie would have ended up half as successful as it was. Not everything has to be deep and allegorically linked to real world events. Marvels greatest mistake was Ang lees hulk, which was incredibly deep and chock full of psycological subtext. It failed miserably in a blockbusters one true purpose, that is to entertain the general public.

IMO politicizing the movie any more than it already was would be a huge mistake.
Im not saying that you cant have a blockbuster with a labyrinthine plot that entertwines with real world issues with a darker tint, Im simply saying that not every movie has to be like that and, frankly, a great many of them shouldnt. There is a very good reason that most movies that are critical successes flop in the theaters and why a lot of huge moneymakers are panned by critics... Leave it alone. Its fine as is.....
The thread's about how to make it better, not more successful.

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Old 06-30-2012, 10:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

^^ He could mean mean succesful as in succesful in achieving it's intended goals, not succesful as in financially succesful.


Quote:
Very much what CCon already said, Octavias, if you think it wouldn't be as successful like that then take a look at The Ultimates, that book itself had the structure of a blockbuster
As much as i loved the Ultimates, i don't think it would go over well with the GA.

Mainly because almost ALL the characters-especially Cap- are a bunch of pricks. While we comic fans may thinks it's cool, i don't think the GA would love seeing a racist cap, a drunk douchebag ( worse than the movie counterpart) Tony,a hippy Thor,a backstabbing whore blackwidow and a cannibal, would-be-rapist hulk etc.

And that's just problems with the characters. You'll need more than a 3 hours movie if you follow the narrative of the first volume of The ultimates. And many of the story elements kinda tied with the douchey characters in that world.

So..in short...Hell no!

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Old 06-30-2012, 10:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

Actually the highlights for me was the story, i don't think the characters would have to be douches, and you can actually follow the main part of the story, not adapt it page per page. They could have in least adapted the chitauri more properly, unless they're reserving that spot for the Skrulls once they can be used.

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Old 06-30-2012, 11:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

I'm not talking about adapting it page by page..

One of the major selling points of Millar's ultimates was the changes he made to the established characters. That's what made all the action scenes so fun...like Cap kicking down banner when he's down, or that infamous one liner about the French..Or how the seemingly pacifist-hippy Thor suddenly opened up a big can of whoopass on The hulk..

Those cool scenes wouldn't work if you replace the characters with the movie version IMO...and vice versa.

That's what i meant when i said that many of what made The Ultimates works is tied to how the characters are in that world.

As far as the Chitauri...they're more or less the same. Just replace that old NAZI guy with LOKI.


PS: And speaking of Millar, should marvel ever got the rights back for FF, they HAVE to adapt the Millar's Ultimate version of FF!


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Old 06-30-2012, 11:33 AM   #11
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

Ultimate Fantastic Four was the ultimate main book that made me less interested imho, probably because i prefered Kirby's original stories and designs, but Mark Millar brought some good ideas, however, making the characters so young and Doom among them shouldn't be used again, not to mention Doom's goat legs.

One thing that i would have changed in Avengers and Captain America would be less ray guns, more real bullets, it makes sence for Loki to use this, but S.H.I.E.L.D. should use bullets, just like in WWII cap, his allies and Red Skull should have used more real weapons

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Old 06-30-2012, 11:44 AM   #12
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

Quote:
Ultimate Fantastic Four was the ultimate main book that made me less interested imho, probably because i prefered Kirby's original stories and designs, but Mark Millar brought some good ideas, however, making the characters so young and Doom among them shouldn't be used again, not to mention Doom's goat legs.
Hmm..i think making them younger would be a good idea IMO. And personally, the way they got their powers, i also preffer the ultimate version. The teleportation experiments instead of the space accidents.

There were also some pretty damn good characterisations in that series, which is kinda rare from Millar. Oh, and that goat legs...it was Warren Ellis fault i believe.

Quote:
One thing that i would have changed in Avengers and Captain America would be less ray guns, more real bullets, it makes sence for Loki to use this, but S.H.I.E.L.D. should use bullets, just like in WWII cap, his allies and Red Skull should have used more real weapons
And i hope that they develop Fury's character as he is in the Ultimate Universe. With the Ultimate Nick Fury, you never really know if he's one of the good guys...or one of the bad guys. It's one of the things i really liked from the ultimate universe...before Loeb came along.

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Old 06-30-2012, 12:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

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^^ He could mean mean succesful as in succesful in achieving it's intended goals, not succesful as in financially succesful.
If the intended goals consider money, then he was talking about the numbers. That's what I get from "a blockbusters one true purpose, that is to entertain the general public."

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Old 06-30-2012, 01:14 PM   #14
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

^^ Again, i don't think he was talking succesful as in monetary perspective, rather, succesful in entertaining the people. he said it right there, dude...'that is to entertain the public'

Of course you can also ask him again * shrugs*

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Old 06-30-2012, 02:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

Adding more layers to a movie that was already going to have to deal with a lot of other stuff to make the plot work would have probably made it more complex than it had to be. While some of his suggestions could work in another movie, the Avengers just didn't/doesn't need any of that stuff.

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Old 06-30-2012, 02:35 PM   #16
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

Ending was kinda weak

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Old 06-30-2012, 02:53 PM   #17
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

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^^ Again, i don't think he was talking succesful as in monetary perspective, rather, succesful in entertaining the people. he said it right there, dude...'that is to entertain the public'

Of course you can also ask him again * shrugs*
Well, it's kind of vague. If the movie's main goal is to entertain people financial success should be a direct consequence.

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Old 06-30-2012, 03:13 PM   #18
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

I really dont think theres much that could have been done. Its near perfect to me. The only thing I can think of is maybe change up Cap's personality. He was too serious and stiff. I preferred him in his solo film. Still I dont think this is something that would have made for a better film

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Old 06-30-2012, 05:42 PM   #19
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

The excuses for the plot being simple as necessary are kind of mind blowing. I mean, did anyone see Xmen First Class? Plenty of characters on screen at once, plenty of good and bad interaction, and actual depth. I was expecting more of that for the Avengers than a popcorn flick. Eh

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Old 06-30-2012, 05:45 PM   #20
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

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The excuses for the plot being simple as necessary are kind of mind blowing. I mean, did anyone see Xmen First Class? Plenty of characters on screen at once, plenty of good and bad interaction, and actual depth. I was expecting more of that for the Avengers than a popcorn flick. Eh
Seems like all you are today is a one-trick pony with your "Avengers was weak and X-Men: FC was great" line.

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Old 06-30-2012, 05:47 PM   #21
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

I apply that logic to the threads that it belongs with. Thanks for your response. Enlightening.

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Old 06-30-2012, 11:59 PM   #22
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

It's amusing to me that there are people here who think they have ideas that could have improved one of the best movies of all time. Really amusing. As in, "laugh till I cry" amusing. Yep, let's go all-out obvious and beat the audience over the head with allegorical characters who depict stereotypical notions about certain countries/ideologies/nationalities. And throw in the outmoded capitalism/communism dichotomy to highlight geopolitical realities from the last century. That's entertainment, right there.

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Old 07-01-2012, 12:09 AM   #23
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

I'm open to the "deep and allegorical" but if there's one thing I wanted to see, it's more personal time with individual heroes. Steve Rogers adjusting to modern day. Thor in Asgard, trying to get back to Earth.

I think what ended up in theatres is fine, but I would've preferred a little more time devoted to them. Especially since Thor really did come out of nowhere.

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Old 07-01-2012, 03:36 AM   #24
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

^^ even more personal time?

The movie already has more than enough personal times with the characters. It's one the movie major strength , according to all the critics.

Anymore than what we've already got, and the Avnegers can be moved from action to drama category.

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Old 07-01-2012, 03:40 AM   #25
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Default Re: How The Avengers could've been even better

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The excuses for the plot being simple as necessary are kind of mind blowing. I mean, did anyone see Xmen First Class? Plenty of characters on screen at once, plenty of good and bad interaction, and actual depth. I was expecting more of that for the Avengers than a popcorn flick. Eh

Did you just saw X-men first class, like, yesterday or something?

And just went: 'Duuuuuude!....it's like....the depeest comicbook movie ever!, like, seriously dude!'



Your reaction to it kinda reminds me of all those people who suddenly thinks that they're an intelectual after watching Donie Darko.

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