Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow

 Review: Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow
Voice credits for the animated characters.

    Brenna O'Brien as Torunn
    Aidan Drummond as Henry Pym, Jr.
    Noah C. Crawford as James Rogers
    Dempsey M. Pappion as Azari T'Challa
    Adrian Petriw as Francis Barton/Hawkeye II
    Tom Kane as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Ultron
    Shawn MacDonald as Vision
    Ken Kramer as Bruce Banner/Hulk
    Nicole Oliver as Betty Ross
    Fred Tatasciore as Hulk
    Michael Adamthwaite as Thor

In this straight to video Lions Gate animated Marvel film we are again visited by some old nemesis but the twist here is that it is a couple of decades into the future and we are introduced not to the Avengers, but to their children.  It seems many of the avengers had married and produced children.  These children, of Black Panther and his queen Storm,  Black Widow & Captain America, Giant Man & Wasp and the daughter of Thor & Sif are kept in a secret enclave away from Ultron who has eliminated the Avengers and would do the same to the children if he discovered them.  Curiously it is Tony Stark / Iron Man who has been tasked with caring for the children since they were infants.  

Their lives are uneventful until a mysterious android called The Vision appears one day heavily damaged to tell Stark that Ultron is aware of another child, long thought dead, still alive in the city.

Through another bit of mis-adventure, Ultron is also made aware of the other children as well.  

The balance of the movie is Ultron trying to destroy  the children, Stark and even another Avenger who was not killed in the initial attack and the children finally pressed into destroying Ultron even though they were to flee to another hiding place.

I had seen bits and pieces of this movie in the past, but was unclear of the timeline.  Being interested in the comic/animated version of the Avengers, I took a stab at watching the animated carry on to the Avengers.  According to the on disk extras, this particular piece of Avengers timeline is in fact a stand alone with heretofore unheard of characters.  This was not one of the “tiny or mini” Avengers that you find on some of the kids channels.  Though aimed straight at a much younger audience, this full length animated feature is much more edgey and far more ambiguous when it came to the right choices.  So it is clear that the writers and directors were aiming at a much more sophisticated watcher.  Though the animation is certainly not Japanese anime quality, it is still far above what was usually available in Saturday morning fare.

I would give this a qualified watch.  I think the younger you are the more you might enjoy it.  As for extra features, the movie has two featurettes and a couple of Hulk VS introduction shorts and that is about it.  The featurettes however are interesting enough if you are a comic / anime fan, for the thought process and a view into the minds of fan / animators / artist, which is worth a watch.

So overall if you are an Avenger or comic Avenger fan and are intrigued by a stand alone follow on piece then this is for you and as far as entertainment goes under those parameters, the movie will  likely be an 7, but otherwise it will not work for you, it is clearly a fan film by fans for fans and as such will simply not appeal to the average movie viewer.


kallamis said...

That's where I get lucky. I have learned since the disasters of the 70's (Doctor Strange, Captain America, Spiderman, Logan) to not ever expect much. So when they do even a half way job of it, I'm good.
And as for this one, I really liked it. I would have liked to seen a sequel to it actually. But then if I can find a character to latch onto that I connect with, I'm usually more involved in their story than the actual plot.
I really liked these kids. Hell, to be honest I would rather have them on my side than the originals in a lot of situations.
But then, I've always had one question for Stan. Since Banner knew and was friends with Reed, why didn't he just have the FF make him a pair of pants from unstable molecules like Reeds. That way they would stretch, and not shred top pieces,and end the other great question about his pants. Or maybe mom was right there. Some things just don't grow as much as others. (Yeah, she's a sick freak.)

Beam Me Up said...

See this is why we need you doing more anime reviews. You get it. Like you, I would have liked to see a sequel. I am however REAL weak on comic books. I keep trying to get another friend to do that, but so far he has not stepped up. Really Kall you should think about it! Maybe one or two a month on whatever you have been watching or reading.

Oh and as far as them being kids, look at Teen Titans or Ben 10. I wish they would do a back story on about half the characters that have not been represented and there is a fascinating side story to Ben 10 as an adult that really really should be explored. But that is just me.

kallamis said...

Yeah, Ben 10 could go in so many directions. Ben10 Omniverse that is on isn't to bad, but it didn't start out well. People didn't like seeing Gwen and Kevin leaving after all this time.
And as for comics,. I am so far behind what is happening it is unbelievable. Hell I just got around to finding out why Nick Fury is a black guy. Different universe it turns out. I missed all that back there. Been out of the comics a long time myself. Since 1981 actually.

Beam Me Up said...

Well what got me started was an episode of alternate universes and Bens in the other universes were being killed. Ben meets the adult version of himself doing it one better. A really nicely done version and plot I must say. But Gwen and Kevin out? WTF They are Main Characters!

Hey, I thought Fury was always black! I thought the only time he was done white is when the Saturday morning crowd had their way with Shield. Damn!