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Ultimate Avengers (DVD)

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Genre: Television / Parental Guidance / DVD released 2007-09-17 at Lions Gate Home Ent. UK Ltd / Features of the DVD: PAL

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      15.02.2013 20:47
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      A fun, feature length animated film from Marvel

      I've been collecting comics for a ridiculously long time now (just over 35 years...ahem, started as a fresh faced 7 year old), and tend to collect a lot of connected things along the way - statues, posters, films etc. Something of a collector,(or hoarder, if you ask my significant other).

      One of the items that came across my radar was this animated movie, 'Ultimate Avengers: The Movie'. It was released as part of the Marvel Animated Features series, a series of films based on diifferent Marvel characters. It was released in 2006, so can be had for quite a reasonable price now.

      The DVD itself is very standard in presentation; nice picture art of the characters, little blurb on the back. Before I get into the story, its very important to mention that these are not the 'normal' Avengers you see in comics and in the recent (awesome!) movie. This is based on the (then) hot series The Ultimates, written by Scottish writer Mark Millar, which depicts an alternate world Avengers, which asks the question 'what if the Avengers operated now, in the real world?'. It is a lot darker, more violent, more cynical than the mainstream title.

      That being said, this film is considerably watered down from the comic book it is based on, but probably a bit more violent than other mainstream superhero animation. It is rated PG, so that gives you an idea, but I would say it is no worse than most video games today.

      THE STORY
      The story itself is a good one, being a direct adaptation of the comic series. It begins with Captain America at the end of World War II, stopping a missile but being knocked unconscious and frozen in ice for 60 years, before being rediscovered by Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. S.H.I.E.L.D scientist Bruce Banner is supposed to be working to try and re-create the super-soldier serum that enhances Captain America, but secretly is using it to see if he can control his other half, The Hulk.

      We learn that the Nazis, in World War II, were actually backed by an alien race, The Chitauri , who have infiltrated Earth but are known to S.H.I.E.L.D . The decision is made to put into action 'Project Avenger' , to form a state sponsored team of superhumans; Fury assembles a team, but one that is perhaps too volatile:- Giant-Man (a scientist with a huge chip on his shoulder, can grow to 60 feet), The Wasp (can shrink, married to Giant-Man), Iron Man (a Tony Stark that is still a heavy drinking playboy), Thor (who may or may not be the real Norse god) and Black Widow, a trained S.H.I.E.L.D black-ops assassin. The team struggle to be a team, until they have to defeat The Chitauri, and a completely out of control Hulk in a big 'widescreen' battle at the end. Banner/ Hulk is captured and imprisoned.

      VERDICT

      Well, its a bit of a funny one this. I did enjoy it, though not as much as the source material on which it is based. The animation is excellent, the voice acting well cast, and the story is good, yet it kind of falls between two stools for me - not mature enough to be an animation aimed at adults, yet too mature for the younger fans out there! It compromised a little too much, and ultimately pleased neither fan base.
      All that being said, its bright, brash, fun and at 72 minutes, breezy enough to fly by.
      What the heck, thumbs up from me!

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