Being direct to video, and about comics, I’m putting this here instead of the movie thread.
Anyway, it’s not very good. In retrospect, neither was the first one, but I liked it more because I was filling in the gaps in the movie with what I know from the Ultimates comic. This time around, they’re still working in bits and pieces of the comic, but the main story and the involvement of Black Panter are all new. As far as I know, Black Panther hasn’t shown up in the Ultimate universe, and definitely not in The Ultimates.
Speaking of the panther guy, I don’t know a thing about that character, and I never really wanted to. So I guess the movie doesn’t disappoint there, because I still don’t know a thing about that character. What are his powers? Why can he turn into a panther sometimes? I’d be more willing to let the comic geeky stuff like that slide if he was even remotely interesting as a person. He’s not. Very cliche through and through.
It wasn’t all bad, but what was good was again only good because it was imitating what’s already been done far better in the comic. Where it deviates from that, it falls completely flat.
The animation style and quality is the same as the first movie, and it’s not looking any better in the preview for the upcoming Iron Man animated direct to video movie. Very much TV quality animation, with all the coloring looking like tacky airbrush work.
So if you’re a rational human, avoid this. If you’re like me, you’ll probably get it anyway, cause hey, it’s related to the Ultimates! Just don’t expect anything from it.
I don’t think it’s that bad, just not that good either. The confusing thing to me is how the comics can be so very different in presentation and tone and art and well, everything, while the movies are so different yet still come directly from Marvel.
I could understand more if it were some other company or group doing them as licensed work, but coming from the horse’s mouth I expect better. The storylines from the comics are normally very good, filled with all sorts of interesting angles and takes on this or that, while the stories of both movies have been pretty simplistic and uninteresting. The dialogue in the comics is normally good with the occasional great bit here and there, while the dialogue in the movies is flat and hammed up with a high cheese factor that isn’t helped by the campy, over-the-top voice acting. The art difference between the comics and movies is apparent at a glance, especially in the coloring.
All of that said, I still liked the movies because hey, it’s The Ultimates! I really wish they would have started with an Ultimate Spider-Man movie though, then added the other books into the Ultimate movie line. Heck, they could have easily gotten away with simply animating the existing comics, using the same stories and dialogue as much as possible, adding new books to the movie line in the same order they were introduced into the comics universe, and the movies would probably have been better off for it. As it is now, they confused things from the start by calling it Ultimate Avengers and I fear the whole movie line will continue to miss the point more and more with each new release.
And while I’m on the subject, why isn’t Marvel making more of an effort to avoid confusing their product lines? We have the new game from Raven coming soon that, contrary to what the title suggests, doesn’t seem to take place in the ultimate universe. Then we have the Ultimates movies, which insist on calling the Ultimates the Avengers, yet they still take place in the ultimate universe. It’s just silly.
I would think Marvel might try and keep their brands easily identifiable rather than muddy the waters with things such as Ultimate Alliance and Ultimate Avengers. The former misuses Ultimate while the latter misuses Avengers. Pretty soon we’ll have The Ultimate Friendly-Neighborhood Amazing Spider-Man joining The Ultimate Avengers Disassembled. Lunacy!
I think the main issue I had was characterization. There was a lot of stuff that didn’t get the time they deserved. Like, if Banner is dead, why did the Hulk show up? We get nothing of his internal dialogue? Even Giant Man/Wasp’s stuff felt rushed and shallow.
Also, didn’t really hold up to the surprising brutality of the fight with the Hulk. This was more kiddie super hero, I felt, first fight with Panther I and Nazi Skrull aside. I mean, encasing him in a big thing of vibranium? Crap.
Still liked the first one, though. Sad that this didn’t keep up the quality. Maybe if they stuck to adapting the Ultimate storylines a little more.