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The Avengers (2012)
Way OVERRATED - not really different or better than Bay's Transformers series
SPOILERS AHEAD Let me preface it by saying I have never been a fan of the Marvel comics and only found a couple of the set-up movies to be decent. However, I was still intrigued because of the very good reviews from critics and the box office success. After watching, this is not what I would consider a good film. It's basically on par or slightly above Michael Bay's Transformers series, and anyone who has read my reviews of those knows how low I think of them (even the best, the original, is really only average). Avengers is pretty well made, decently well acted, and slickly produced. But it just doesn't have a good story and the premise is basically absurd. First, the villain is nothing special. Loki's motives are vague, his plan confusing at best, and at no point is his character even that menacing. Right from the start you know that Thor or Iron Man or Hulk could kick the crap out of him so there's never any suspense as to whether Loki would succeed. Second, all the science and techno talk throughout makes little sense and is very difficult to follow. I found myself not caring about Iron Man and Bruce Banner's supposed genius after a while. The script is just soooo formulaic. You know the heroes will have personality clash at first, you know there will be a sombering event that will pull them all together, and you know they will prevail. This has been done a million times in these movies and to be honest, it's been done way better.
What is even the point of the Scarlet Johansen and Jeremy Renner characters? They're human and their abilities are really impossible to even believe, same with their effectiveness when fighting the final battle. In reality, they'd have been killed in like 2 seconds like any other human fighting in a battle of immortals. Renner's acting was also pretty bad. Same with Chris Evans, Captain America was just a wooden character. And for a movie that was praised for a clever script and lot of humor, I laughed only a handful of times, even Robert Downey Jr's alleged wit got annoying.
And like I said, no suspense in the final battle. The alien army that had been built up throughout turns out to be very easily defeatable. These guys get killed like nothing and don't even appear to have any special powers. Their forces turn out to be quite light as well. Besides, Hulk and Thor are basically portrayed as immortal, same as Iron Man when he is in the suit (which has every magical ability under the sun), so there is zero suspense because no one watching could ever believe for a second that any of these 3 could actually be defeated or killed. The way Iron Man blows up their big ship is a ripoff of Independence Day anyway and of course he lives, once again, zero suspense as to whether he would make it. It's just poor film-making. And really, Micahel Bay could have made this movie especially the final battle, that's basically what it is.
Overall, you'd have to be a huge fanboy of the comics to think this is a great movie. It's really not. Plus, at 2 hours and 20 minutes, it drags and drags and is a tough watch. Very disappointed overall, not recommended. 4/10
Piranha 3DD (2012)
One of the worst films ever made - and not in a good way
The first Piranha surprised audiences in 2010 with its wit, over the top nudity, and excessive gore. It never took itself seriously and had a solid cast. This follow-up to the 2010 movie is just honestly embarrassing. It had all the elements that the first movie had, but everything goes horribly wrong with incompetent direction, laughably bad acting and dialogue, and some of the cheapest gore effects I've ever seen.
Why is this movie so bad? Let's start with the plot - there is none. If you can buy the premise that piranhas are going to go in underground lakes and somehow end up in a water park swimming, well then I have a bridge to sell you as well. The characters are all terrible. The one couple in the van early on exists only to die, no other purpose, no even attempted development. Yet later we see other characters mourning their disappearance, only it's forgotten 5 minutes later. The one scene that people will probably remember involves a girl that had a piranha swim up her lady parts (and somehow survive) only to bite her boyfriend's penis during intercourse. Trying to be inventive there, but really just shows the lack of any restraint with this movie. But even if you think the plot and acting are atrocious, at least there will be good gore, right? Wrong. The gore effects can be described in one word: cheap. The special effects with the piranhas are terrible too - you wonder where they spent $20 million on this movie. Not to mention, the inevitable massacre scene is shot so poorly that it has zero coherence and lacks any punch. It looks like they just poured some red dye in the pool and hired a few extras to flop around. The massacre scene in the first film had some of the best gore effects I'd ever seen. This is a joke of a follow-up.
So which actors disgraced themselves for a paycheck? There is a cameo by David Hasselhoff where he's basically mocking himself, but you have to wonder what is going through his head when his character mutters "Welcome to rock bottom." I wonder if the irony is lost on this man. David Koechner is just obnoxious and terrible. Jerry O'Connell played this type of character way better in the first film. Every time Koechner was on screen, I was just wanting him to get killed off already.
And also surprisingly, we don't even get any good nudity. All the extras they hired for this movie look like washed up strippers. None of the cute female leads goes topless. Maybe they ran out of budget and couldn't pay them enough to do it.
I have a feeling that 95% of the people involved in this film will ever have meaningful work in Hollywood again (thankfully). Don't waste your time.