By Jack Rico
We can label 2012 as the year of superhero movies. There hasn’t been another year that has given us so many films of heroes based on comic books like this one: ‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’, ‘The Avengers, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises, ‘Dredd’ and ‘Man of Steel’, which changed its released date to June, 2013. But two of them, more than any other, garnered the worldwide attention of movie goers like none other in their genre.
So, we ask the million-dollar question: Which is a better movie, ‘The Avengers’ or ‘The Dark Knight Rises’? Let’s break it down and see what we come up with.
Anticipation: ‘The Avengers’
When Marvel decided that it was going to adapt its superheroes to the big screen, they did it with only one objective in mind: to unite them all in one movie called ‘The Avengers’. Since the beginning, this feature film had the mission of leaving the audience breathless, astounded, stunned, and befuddled by what they saw. It also sought to be a pioneer and innovator within the genre, changing preconceptions, traditions and establishing a new format for new generations. The brilliant idea, which began in 2008 with ‘Iron Man’ to make individual productions of their superheroes to establish and familiarize the audience with them, created an anticipation never seen before. This process lasted for four years until cinematic lovers were overwhelmed with excitement and had to see it right away. On the other hand, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ continues with its dark and sinister format which it established in ‘Batman Begins’ seven years ago, in 2005. There’s nothing new to expect, except that it’s the end of Christopher Nolan’s era. Will Warner Bros. give the green light to make a fourth chapter of Batman or reboot it altogether like Columbia did with Spider-Man? The latest reports from WB is sadly no.
Director: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’
Joss Whedon, who most of his professional life was working in television, did a magnificent job in ‘The Avengers’, but you can’t even place him in the same conversation as Nolan. Nolan revolutionized the way we see superhero movies. His trilogy gave credibility and legitimacy to a champion with a mask and a bat costume. He infused the real Batman essence of the DC Comics better than the familiar blockbuster conventions of Tim Burton with his corny and almost animated version. And I’m not even mentioning his memorable and award winning works such as ‘Memento’, ‘The Prestige’ and ‘Inception’. To reassert his power and legitimacy, WB has him now writing and producing the new Superman film, ‘Man of Steel’, which showed its first footage in Comic Con in San Diego this year and left more than one person talking about wishing he could travel in time to June 2013 to see it now!
Plot: ‘The Avengers’
Both plots have the destruction of a city in the hands of an almost indestructible villain and then the salvation of it by superheroes. Although these stories are rehashed ideas, they are nevertheless interesting because of unique and special elements that each bring. But ‘The Avengers’ calls more the attention of critics and fans because of the unification of 7 superheroes who fight the bad guys and destroy them. What you’ve really done is obtain a bargain by paying 1 ticket for the price of four movies, plus extra bonus features.
Performances: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’
Without a doubt ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ wins this category. Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman have been nominated or have been winners of the Oscar award. In ‘The Avengers’, Robert Downey Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson are the only nominated ones. Besides, acting in dramatic and complex tones, like the script ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ demands, requires stars with the ability of producing deep emotions, not silly jokes.
Action sequences: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and ‘The Avengers’
There’s a tie here. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ infuses new ideas to stupefy the public. For example, the film begins with two planes in one of the craziest action sequences in cinematic history. Consequently, there are other scenes that deal with a futuristic motorcycle, which used wheel tricks that have left many cheering like children. On the other hand, ‘The Avengers’ doesn’t stay behind. The fights among the superhero themselves were enough for the price of admission, but it more than satiates when the final scene staggers the senses. Remember that these scenes were also shown in 3D, which helps for a complete movie experience.
Entertainment Value: ‘The Avengers’
In my opinion, Marvel’s product is the more entertaining film – by a hairline. It offers laughter and drama with a bunch of stars, along with superb action and vibrant special effects, all combined in a three dimensional fast pace presentation. Anyone can see this movie and even describe it as family one, as opposed to ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. This movie is a whole other demon. It is dark, with a plethora of dialogue and exposition and a leisurely pace in act two. It’s an emotional drama that perhaps a younger audience won’t be able to appreciate. Its ending does fulfill and delight, but the masses will choose the IMAX 3D goods better than traditional 2D form.
We can talk about this for hours, but at the end of the day, both movies are excellent and worthy of being watched multiple times. Which one do you prefer? ‘The Avengers or ‘The Dark Knight Rises’? Leave your comments below.