Already, I'm seeing people calling the Avengers "best superhero film EVER!" and immediately others are like "LOL no way man dark knight rises is in july", so here's my opinion on all of the inevitable comparisons between the two. The summer of 2012 is going to be remembered for a long time for its comic book movies. That's because both The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises are the culmination of years of waiting. The Avengers was first teased at the end of the first Iron Man way back in 2008, and it's understandable why everyone is freaking out about it, because something we've waited so long for is actually really good. Meanwhile, Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy had its first release in 2005, and after two excellent movies, fans have very high hopes for the final film. So, comparisons between the two are definitely going to happen. But here's my opinion: you can't really compare the two. I absolutely loved The Dark Knight (also Batman Begins, but less so) for two reasons: First, the theme of symbolism and fear elevated Batman to something more than a man in a batsuit, and gave a really interesting, clever, and well-planned answer to a good question: What makes Batman a superhero, seeing as he has no powers? Second, the movies proved that superhero films could be taken seriously. I mean, The Dark Knight is like the art film of superhero movies. And I just saw The Avengers last night and absolutely loved it too. But here's the thing: I freely admit that the Avengers didn't really do anything different. It followed the formula for superhero flicks. The reason it was so enjoyable is that it followed the formula really really well. You could say it perfected the formula. So why can't you compare the two? The two movies are exact opposites. The Avengers is a witty, wonderfully written big-budget action flick. People have pointed out that the plot is minimalist at best. But the Avengers doesn't really need a great plot: the writing and character dynamics make up for it, and I'd argue it is almost helped by its simple plot. On the other hand, if you take away the great themes running through the Nolan Batman movies, what do you get? A somewhat boring film with a few action pieces. TDK is great because of its serious nature and themes, while the Avengers is great because it gives the audience exactly what it wants.
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