Saturday, April 28, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Ultimate Avengers: The Movie

Ultimate Avengers: The Movie is a direct-to-DVD animated film closely based on the original Ultimates comic book limited series (even though it's considered a direct-to-DVD movie it did air on television before its DVD release).
The original Avengers movie
Mark Millar's Ultimates comic book series was suppose to be a gritty, realistic reimaging of the Avengers. So, it follows suit that the movie inspired by the comic series would also be gritty and realistic. Ultimate Avengers doesn't disappoint in that regard. The opening sequence shows a World War II scene where soldiers are getting killed like in Saving Private Ryan. Even the superhero action is more brutal that what is typical of a regular Marvel movie.

The relationships between the characters have many adult undertones. Not only do some of the characters not get along with one another, sometimes they openly despise each other such as Giant Man and Tony Stark. Characters are deeply flawed, sometimes to the point where you wonder how much of a hero they really are. Thor is depicted as a borderline delusional psychotic. Bruce Banner deceives SHIELD for his own selfish purposes and, once the alien invasion is turned away, the Hulk becomes a bigger threat than the aliens ever were!

There are some good character moments in the film such as when Captain America is reunited with his World War II partner, Bucky, who went on to marry Cap's old girlfriend, Gail Richards.

The animation is... serviceable. Sometimes I was distracted by a particularly poor sequence but overall it's okay. The character designs were taken directly from the comics so they had a pretty good foundation from which to work from.

Perhaps the biggest failing of this film is the lack of a substantial threat. I've watched the film several times and I know it has something to do with aliens that helped the Nazis but I can't tell you much beyond that. At one point the aliens destroy a satellite that would have allowed humans to detect them or something and after that it gets a bit fuzzy.

This is an enjoyable enough film, although it may be more appropriate for older audiences.

1LR Review - 11 out of 20 - It's a Glancing Hit!


  1. Oh, older audiences? I was hoping that it would be kid appropriate since after watching The Avengers in theater, my daughter has been bugging me for more Avengers. My boss at Dish told me that Ultimate Avengers part one and two are available on Dishonline and they would be good for my seven-year-old daughter. I think I’ll give them a screening; after all, I’m starting to like the Avengers myself. Thanks for the review!

    1. No problem. Let me know if you agree with me about the films being for older audiences or not.

    2. I couldn’t agree more, Scott! Your review is spot on and I’m definitely going to hold off on allowing my daughter to watch this until she’s at least 13 years old. While I was looking up Ultimate Avengers on Dish Online, I did find Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow. It’s much more suitable for children near my daughter’s age, and it’s even entertaining for adults.

    3. Thanks! My review for Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow is at but if you want the best Avengers cartoon made to date, you should definitely check out Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes which I reviewed at

    4. Both look great! Thanks for the series suggestion; my daughter and I are both grateful.