Ultimate Avengers: The Movie (Video 2006) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
79 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
7/10
Marvel gets off to a decent, if not great, start
TheLittleSongbird22 August 2012
I saw Ultimate Avengers as someone who loves animation and superheroes. I don't think it is as good as some reviewers say, but it is also nowhere near as bad as others(some of which have a very ignorant tone to them, especially the ones who unfairly accuse those who liked it shills) say. As an adaptation, and I'm not sure if it was intended to be, it may be left wanting. As a standalone, which I think is a fairer way of judging it, it is decent. Ultimate Avenger was flawed for me, the film was too short, but that wasn't as big a problem as the pace, character designs and one character that could have been written better. The pacing is very uneven, it takes some time to get going and the very end is rushed and anti-climatic. The characters were for my tastes lacking fluidity and seemed jerky too much. I also wish that Thor was more interesting, he is rather stubborn and does little more than whine and threaten people. Aside from the character designs though, the rest of the animation is great, the backgrounds are very detailed and the colours are atmospheric. The music is driven and gives a haunting undercurrent to everything else forming the film. The writing is sharp, the story is compelling with an exciting final action scene and the action is well-choreographed and intense. The characters apart from Thor are interesting, with Bruce Banner/Hulk and Captain America very sympathetic characters and it was a pleasure to see The Wasp again. The voice acting is solid I thought, Olivia D'Abo's Russian accent was a little overdone for me and unidiomatic but the rest do spirited jobs. Overall, decent film but for me not a great one. 7/10 Bethany Cox
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Ultimate? What is this ultimate?
neil-47624 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
See, if you're not the sort of person who keeps up to date with all sorts of alternative continuities, then you won't have the vaguest idea of the significance of the "Ultimate" tag so, as far as I'm concerned (what with me not being that sort of person and all) I'm just going to consider the movie on its own merits.

It is a tolerable super-hero animated movie telling an Avengers origin story, with a couple of reservations.

One, the animation isn't always that great - there are times when you get a distinct whiff of what one might refer to as "TV animation." And, two, the voice casting (and character design) for Bruce Banner is spectacularly bad. Neither the look nor the voice convince and, what's worse, they don't fit each other.

Apart from that, it's OK. But no better.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
entertaining animated feature
disdressed1216 August 2007
this is a pretty good animated movie.it might be a bot too intense for younger kids,but it should be OK for older preteens.some of the fights are amazing,but there's also some drama,which is handled well.i like the choice of villain for the movie.i thought it represented a very dangerous threat,and the filmmakers presented it in a credible way.i also liked the great mix of characters with different skills and abilities.plus,the movie highlights the value of friendship and team work,so there is a bit of a lesson there.it's not preachy though.the movie is short,(less than 75 minutes)but there's a lot packed into those minutes and the movie doesn't suffer from the short running time.for me there were only two real drawbacks to the movie.one is that one or two of the voices don't seem to fit their characters very well.most of them do though.in fact,some of them are brilliant.the other minor complaint i have is that the movie does start of very slow,and takes a bit of time to get going.but once it gets going,it doesn't stop until the end.over all ,this was a fun and entertaining movie.7/10
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Another example why slapping together comic book animated films can be bad bad bad
Robert_duder17 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A new trend has emerged that initially and for the most part excited me. Taking the big budget explosive world of comic books and heroes and animating them into movie format so that we can enjoy these heroes without waiting years and years to see the same brought to live action. Unfortunately here is the problem that plagues some of them including The Ultimate Avengers, and perhaps moreso than most. These comic book stories, and characters are often epic! That's part of the reason they make such great franchises like Superman, Batman, X-Men, Spiderman etc. So for them to take these type of story that could potentially cover three or four films and jam them into one animated feature than can be even less than the typical hour and a half is ludicrous and will feel like one big elongated trailer missing so much back story, details and character development, all of which can be done in animation...Up, Wall-E, Toy Story, any Disney classic film etc. The Ultimate Avengers tries to jam origin stories, with some sort of epic mini series all jammed into one tiny film. It jumped around, and bounced between ideas and characters and left me completely confused annoyed and bored.

The one issue with The Ultimate Avengers that isn't an issue is the voice cast. Although I will agree with several reviewers that Justin Gross was a little young sounding for Captain America/Steve Rogers. However, the voices worth mentioning that did an excellent job were Michael Massee, Olivia d'Abo, Marc Worden (who was really the best and this was his first of four performances as Tony Stark/Iron man thus far for him. Worden is a veteran in voice acting so he holds his own easily. Andre Ware is also excellent as Nick Fury however he's being type casted without knowing it because they obviously wanted him to sound as much like Samuel L. Jackson as possible to tie this disaster in with the far superior Iron Man films and future Avengers films.

The amazing thing to me is how much of a minority I am in when referring to this film. It would seem that Marvel fans and comic fans everywhere mostly rave about this movie. But is that because this is currently the only way to see The Avengers? It is so rushed and slapped together and I am disappointed that director Curt Geda didn't do a better job putting this together. He has plenty of experience doing this having worked on plenty of animated films and TV Shows including comic book characters. Here is my general analysis. I am a comic fan although I'm a DC kid, always have been and always will be, but I am always for a great Marvel story but this isn't it. They slap it together and skip over key areas that would make the film...interesting. I almost always watch a sequel but I am having trouble forcing myself to watch the second installment of this which was forced out only months following this. I see a scary pattern. 5/10
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
A great adaptation that renders its characters surprisingly realistically.
Pjtaylor-96-13804425 June 2018
Essentially adapting 'The Ultimates' comic-book story-line but making it ever-so-slightly more kid-friendly (Ant-Man doesn't domestically abuse The Wasp and The Hulk doesn't eat anybody), 'Ultimate Avengers (2006)' does a good job of bringing Marvel's most famous superhero team to life. It introduces its core players pretty well, doing so all within (roughly) half the time of a usual superhero film - six years before the team hit the big-screen. The flick actually provides some fantastic characterisations, including a fleshed-out Bruce Banner who's relationship with Betty Ross is filled with the past traumas and false promises of one previously built on anger-induced abuse. It also puts a strong focus on the dysfunctional nature of the here unwanted team, with their struggles to follow orders and work together being a major plot-point that actually pays off in quite a satisfying, if expected, way. Perhaps because of its source-material, it manages to make each character stand-out in some way so that they all feel incredibly realistic, flawed in ways perhaps counter-intuitive to what you'd expect but ones that are interesting and logical nevertheless. The middle portion of the movie drags quite significantly, though, and the music isn't all that good, being cheesy and overbearing when it ought to be triumphant and being downright absent when it ought to be subtle and nuanced. Still, the first and third acts are pretty great and animated with a lively, if bloom-heavy and slightly washed-out, verve that makes both the frenetic fight sequences and quieter character moments feel, essentially, as real as one another. 7/10
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Ultimate Avengers: Generic Marvel animation
Platypuschow15 December 2017
Ultimate Avengers is a feature length animated alternative tale of how the Avengers were formed.

Sadly the foe that brings them together is highly lackluster and ultimately faceless. Combine that with failing to make many of the Avengers even remotely likeable and you don't have the best movie.

Captain America is defrosted, Iron Man learns to play with others, Thor comes down from his high horse, Antman just annoys from start to finish and Hulk is..........destructive.

For a high profile Marvel animation this was more than a slight let down.

There are simply better out there and the actual Avengers movie is a far better origin.

The Good:

Has its moments

The Bad:

Highly bland

Characters can be annoying

Story is pants

No real antagonist

Things I Learnt From This Movie:

Mjolnir doesn't know if it wants to be a hammer or an axe

Hulk is worthy

They still haven't explained how Hulks clothes change in size with him!
11 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
These were just fight scenes.
John6Daniels12 April 2020
At the time or release UA1 AND UA2 looked fabulous. Upon rewatch years later... Umm nope.

Sure yes I love good superhero fights scences. UA was just that. Fight scenes and degraded weak avengers.

Thor was disrespected and a major no show.

Avengers of Tommorow was best if the 3 because it had heart soul and a story.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Ultimate? More like Eh Avengers.
MBunge10 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This cartoon is an adaptation of The Ultimates by Bryan Hitch and Mark Millar, a re-imaging of The Avengers that came out early in the 2000s. It's not much of an adaptation, however, because the makers of Ultimate Avengers decided to make their characters likable, or at least not have them be psychopaths and raging douchenozzles. But when you take away the vulgar, trashy, sensationalistic twists Hitch and Miller gave to Marvel's classic characters, the simple fact is there's not a lot left. And given that mimicking Millar's art style in animation would be a costly and time-consuming process, the result is a movie that looks like an episode of G.I. Joe or He-Man. It's brief enough and has plenty of action, but there's no reason for this to exist instead of a cartoon flick about Stan and Jack's original creation.

In 1945, as World War II winds to a close in Europe, Captain America (Justin Gross) leads an assault on a secret Nazi base and discovers aliens working with the Third Reich on a missile. It's launched, but Cap takes it out and winds up frozen in a North Atlantic iceberg. 60 years later, Cap is cut out of the ice as a specimen to help Bruce Banner (Michael Massee) in his attempts to recreate the Super-Soldier serum. Cap revives, however, and finds himself charged by General Fury (Andre Ware) with leading a team of super-heroes against the alien threat that's still around. He's joined by Iron Man (Marc Worden), Black Widow (Olivia d'Abo), Giant Man (Nolan North), the Wasp (Grey De Lisle), Thor (David Boat) and, eventually, Banner as the unstoppable, uncontrollable Hulk (Fred Tatasciore). The team initially fails, only to rally together to stop an all-out alien assault and then subdue their berserk, Gamma-spawned teammate.

The fight scenes here are not bad and certainly more violent than you get in any Marvel cartoons on TV. The animation isn't anything to write home about and the voice work is unexceptional. The best written part of the story is how it manages to explain every member of the cast while avoiding exposition overload.

The bottom line is, though, this cartoon was made for a mainstream audience. Which means it excised the adolescent "edge" and Jerrry Springer-type behavior from Hitch and Millar's original comics. With that gone and Millar's stunning but static artwork replaced by yeoman animation, what's left is pretty humdrum. When someone isn't getting hit, shot or ray-blasted, it all feels like one of those Marvel cartoons from the 90s and not a particularly good episode.

A fan of The Ultimates isn't going to find this a satisfactory version of the comics. People who don't know what The Ultimates are would probably enjoy an animated movie that stuck closer to the original Avengers characters and origin. As something that's neither fish nor fowl, Ultimate Avengers is okay but it's easy to see why this rendition never really caught on with the general public. Watch it if you want. You'd probably be better off picking up the trade collection of the Busiek/Perez Avengers reboot after Heroes Reborn. If you don't understand what that means, ask a comic book fanboy.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
One of the better Marvel cartoons.
13Funbags27 July 2018
While it's just another origin story, I actually enjoyed this movie. I wish Marvel could make a movie that wasn't an origin story but whatever.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
I like it!
worldfangirl31 August 2021
Not that good of a plot execution, but I still find this a very enjoyable animation!
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Not perfect, but there's much to enjoy here
lemon_magic8 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In a field of talented, hard-working creators, Bryan Hitch may be the most 'widescreen' oriented comics artist working today. In fact, his work is so powerful and cinematic that it is almost impossible for an actual animated adaptation to match what he and Mark Millar are doing every month in the pages of "The Ultimates". And the folks here can't do it. But they come close. And there are flashes of genuine energy and inspiration here that carry "Ultimate Avengers" and make it a treat for anyone who enjoys these characters in either their 'original' or 'ultimate' versions.

No one asked me, but I think the art directors would have been better advised to go with the simpler, stylized 'angular' look of animation that worked so well with the new "Justice League" adventures. Going for the highly realistic over-the-top look used here means that every frame has to be just right, or things will look cheesy and stiff, like a bunch of human-shaped inflated balloons on display. Captain America, in particular, suffers from this design choice - he's just another bland, over-muscled oaf, when any fan of the character knows that he is the most dynamic fighting man alive. So that is a minor disappointment. You see Cap animated for the first time, you want it to be special.

On the other hand, when the character is supposed to look bulky and over-sized, as with the Hulk, and Ultimate Iron Man, it works out fine. In fact, the Hulk's depiction here is an example of what good hand drawn animation can do for 'larger than life' characters - he is far more convincing and impressive in "Ultimate Avengers" than millions of dollars worth of CGI could make him in his "live action movie".

The screen play does feel a little cramped - but it manages to include most of the elements and scenes that made the first volume of "The Ultimates" such a good read. I was hoping they would include a good knock-down, drag-out fight between Thor and the Hulk, and they did. I was hoping there would be a bit where Thor cut loose with a lightning storm against the Chitauri, and there was. I was hoping that Cap would get to do some fancy shield slinging, and the creators depicted that very well....and so on. They left a lot of stuff out, and changed elements to fit the format (otherwise the movie would have cost $200 million and been 4 hours long)...but they made good choices and compromises and the results are quite watchable.

My other complaint is that the voice work, and some of the dialog, while professional enough, was a little bland. Not enough to detract from the experience, but not enough to add anything extra to it. It got the job done, which is probably much harder than I give credit for. The overall sound design was great, though, and added a lot of texture to the movie. I especially liked little touches like the whine of Iron Man's boot jets and the 'shing' of Cap's shield as he frisbeed it at targets. Someone put in a lot of hard work on stuff like this.

Good stuff. More, please.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Not my Avengers
WeAreLive23 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I saw Ultimate Avengers two years ago on the same week end as the second one. I just found both of the movies massively insulting to the Marvel Universe.

The First and second movies were just plain tedious because apparently in this universe when the war was over, Bucky doesn't become the Winter Solider but instead he retires and steels Steve Rogers wife/girlfriend. Oh but it doesn't stop there Hank Pym is more or less like Scott Lang in this universe because he is a massive jerk to the avengers and his main priority is his wife and only his wife for example in the first mission when the avengers were in trouble and he heard Janet scream. But in the end Ant Man makes a good sacrifice. He was about to break the building down and not worried about the other avengers. In the second movie he was the same except that this time when his wife was hurt he threaten to throw Captain America out if he didn't leave. The Hulk was just a mindless brute like in the MCU and the reason why Betty divorced Bruce was because of the Hulk. Speaking of I didn't really find Betty a nice woman in these films because of that. Thor, Iron Man, Wasp (Apart from the fact she looked too much like Hope Pym and had darker skin colour), Black Panther and Black Widow were just themselves. Speaking of Black Panther in the second movie we get introduced to him, I found this one just too bloody and brutal when a General stabbed his dad and when the General got stabbed a couple of times but wasn't even dying. I also found it just plain stupid that Iron Man was wearing the War Machine Armor. If you are an Avengers fan I would recommend you don't waste your money on these movies. You might be disappointed. My overall score 4/10 for both movies.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Earth's Mightiest Superheroes Beat My Expectations
brando6473 September 2007
Let me preface this by saying that, while I am a huge Marvel fan, I am still new to the comics. So, I am not completely up-to-date on all of the intricate details of the characters and existing stories. In a way, I feel that makes watching movies like this more enjoyable because I can watch it for what it is, without distracting myself with little plot inconsistencies that don't coincide with the comics.

Personally, I enjoyed this flick. I didn't rush out to buy it when it came out because I wasn't sure what to expect. I figured it would be sugar-coated for the kid population. But I was definitely surprised, in a good way. Marvel knew that the majority of its fan base is over 10 years old and took that into account. The movie has some good action scenes that don't always soften the punches (poor Iron Man...). From what I can tell, they stayed pretty true to the Marvel comics characters, even going into detail as to the origins of Captain America.

While I'm on the topic, I do have one complaint in that aspect. The only problem with starting with a movie about the Avengers, Earth's mightiest team of superheroes, is that there are a lot of characters and, with a 90 minute runtime, not enough time to give good development to all of them. Character's like Thor get too little on-screen time (though the time he does get is awesome). I did enjoy the Avengers Trivia Track option in the Special Features, allowing for a little more background and information on the characters and Ultimate Marvel universe.

My only complaint is that the animation is a little weak when it came to close ups of characters and the showing of emotion. The faces did not give a whole lot of expression and in certain moments when emotion was primary over action, it took away from the scene. It wasn't a drastic problem, though it did bug me a little.

Overall, this is an awesome start to the line of Marvel animated movies. These movies are gonna be a great addition to Marvel's live action line-up. They got off on the right foot with "Ultimate Avengers" and, the way I see it, it can only get better from here.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Ultimate Avengers The Movie
Terryfan7 October 2015
I recently pick up the Ultimate Avengers Collection on Blu Ray I had the first Ultimate Avengers on DVD but I didn't know what happened to that copy however. There were three movie in the set I brought and for 9 dollars I couldn't pass it up.

Now when I watched the DVD copy back when I had it I had hoped for a good film but what I got was more or less a disappointment. But I put the movie on my list of films to give a second chance.

Watching the movie again I have to say there were some things to make it worth watching however is it a perfect movie? No but here is what's strong about it.

The animation is superb that's what I was drawn to most for this motion picture for it excellent animation values it were close to what you would see in a movie made for the theater. The characters look very good and the backgrounds give you that feel of actually being in a Marvel Comic Book. The animation is good enough to look at the movie.

The voice acting is good as well and they pick talented actors to play the characters we know and love.

Captain America/Steve Rogers (Voiced by Justin Gross), The Wasp/Janet Pym (Voiced by Grey Griffin), Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Voiced by Michael Massee and Fred Tatasciore), Iron-Man/Tony Stark (Voiced by Marc Worden), Black Widow/Natalia Romanoff (Voiced by Olivia d'Abo) Thor (Voiced by David Boat), Nick Fury (Voiced by Andre Ware) Giant Man / Hank Pym (Voiced by Nolan North), and Dr.Betty Ross (Voiced by Nan McNamara) each actor makes the film interesting with their performances and they give the characters depth.

The main problem I have with the film is that the story didn't feel like it was all it should be while it was interesting and had a plot that hold your interest it just didn't feel like it was work out like it should have while they did work on the character development the film feel like it was rush.

But after given it a second chance I have to say the animation is the selling point of the film but if you're a fan of Marvel you will enjoy it

I give Ultimate Avengers an 7 out of 10
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Superheroes unite....
Angelus227 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is a great animated movie of the comic book.

The characters are all true to the comic books except Nick Fury, but this Fury belongs in the Ultimate universe , so its cool.

Its great to see Captain America on screen; here we see his life before the current day.

The avengers must battle an alien race.

That's the plot.

The plot may be thin, but its the characters that make the movie work, each character has there own problems.

Banner deals with the monster inside him, Iron Man....a loner. Cap is dealing with the new world that surrounds him.

The end fight sequence is great and the animation is fantastic.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
"Who's the chick with the hammer?"
DarthBill9 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Plot in a nutshell: General Nick Fury of SHIELD must recruit a group of superheroes to save the world from alien invaders. The group consists of Iron Man/Tony Stark, Thor, husband/wife team Giant-Man & Wasp, the Black Widow, and Captain America/Steve Rogers, who is chosen to lead the group despite having just been thawed out and not having much familiarity with the 21st century. Throw in the Incredible Hulk and it's pretty much a roller coaster ride from there. Based on the "Ultimates" storyline.

The players -

1) Captain America/Steve Rogers: A Real American Hero and all around nice guy, Steve Rogers was a scrawny reject for enlistment in WW2 when he volunteered for the super soldier program that turned him into the mighty man Captain America. Frozen in ice at the end of World War 2, Cap is thawed out by SHIELD in the 21st century and chosen to lead the Avengers because of his combat experience and his experience fighting the very aliens that now threaten the Earth now back in WW2; the only draw back is that he's not very up to date with the 21st century. Probably the most sympathetic character in the film; looks a little bit like Duke from GI Joe.

2) General Nick Fury: originally a white guy in the mainstream Marvel universe, the new Shaft-styled Fury is charged with putting the Avengers together and trying to get them to act like a team. Dislikes Giant-Man, and the feeling's mutual; calls Giant-Man a "pretentious lab jockey".

3) Giant-Man/Hank Pym: described by Fury as a "pretentious lab jockey", Hank Pym is also a brilliant scientist, but his ego and cynicism often gets in the way of that. Can grow to 59 feet, calling himself Giant-Man. Husband of Janet/Wasp. Indirectly competes with Iron Man for the role of lovable smart ass. Was actually prone to spousal abuse in the Ultimates continuity, but nothing of that is shown here. Dislikes Bruce Banner because Banner "stole" a big SHIELD project from Hank.

4) Wasp/Janet: Hank's wife, originally Caucasian in the mainstream Marvel universe, now an Asian Marvel mutant. Often argues with Hank.

5) Black Widow/Natalia Romanoff: Former KGB spy/assassin, now working for SHIELD and Fury. Film seems to imply that she is romantically or at least sexually attracted to Captain America, despite the fact that in the comics she's usually a love interest of Iron Man.

6) Iron Man/Tony Stark: A brilliant engineer businessman and unabashed playboy, Iron Man spends a lot of time indirectly competing with Giant-Man for the spot of lovable smart ass. His arrogance sometimes gets the better of him; has a strained working relationship with Nick Fury. Not much depth given to him, but his long, painful battle with alcoholism is hinted at.

7) Thor: A government hating Green Peace god who also has a strained working relationship with Fury. Initially declines to work for the Avengers but turns up at the end for the brawl. Despite his mighty size and uncanny resemblance to Tyler Mane, Giant-Man and Iron Man somehow mistake Thor for a woman.

8) Dr. Bruce Banner/Hulk: Lovably neurotic mad scientist working for SHIELD desperately trying to find a cure or means of controlling his monstrous alter ego the Hulk; hopes that by re-creating the super soldier serum he can use it to control the Hulk. Relationship with Betty Ross is strained by the Hulk's existence. Disliked by Giant-Man. Films features both the "Merged Hulk" where Bruce Banner retains his mind in the Hulk's body (sometimes called "The Professor Hulk") and the better known "Savage Hulk" whom Bruce can't control at all.

9) Betty Ross: A sexy lab nerd working for SHIELD and would be lover of Bruce Banner. As in classic/mainstream Marvel continuity, only Betty can calm down the Incredible Hulk.

With a 50/50 mix of traditional hand drawn animation and CGI, this mostly sleek animated film suffers a little from the brisk running time and not taking enough time to spend with its characters. The scene where Captain America and Nick Fury confront Thor probably should have gone longer so as to give Thor and Cap a chance to interact more and not simply exchange greetings, so that Thor can be shown getting a feel for the nobility of Cap's character. The scene where Banner's temper flares up a bit around Captain America also could have been handled more smoothly, with more time necessary to allow Bruce to slip into his anger more gracefully. But on the whole, this turned out better than certain live action Marvel films; "Daredevil", "Elektra" and the 2005 "Fantastic Four" come to mind. The voice acting is generally good (though Captain America sounds younger than I imagine he would) and the action is very well executed. So all in all an entertaining diversion.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Rather messy.
Animany9420 January 2020
I found Ultimate Avengers rather boring and clumsily put together. The plotlines just felt like they happened out of nowhere.

Like when the team encounters Thor very briefly and then without any further sights of him he just shows up for the final battle. And by the way, he is an environmental activist on Earth, like where did that come from? And Ant-Man was a snotty brat most of the time, so on the character front, Ultimate Avengers was a mixed bag.

But maybe it could have benefitted from a longer runtime, because as I stated earlier, many plotlines seemed rushed. The animation was okay for a direct-to-dvd release and Capt. America and Bruce Banner/Hulk were also okay characterized.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
An Okay But Disappointing Adaptation Of The Ultimates
timdalton0073 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) became one of the biggest franchises on the planet, there was the Ultimate Marvel range of comics that would establish many of the foundations upon which the MCU would be built. Before the MCU had released Iron Man, let alone the first Avengers film, Marvel would take another crack at bringing them to the screen. The result, based on The Ultimates by writer Mark Millar and illustrator Bryan Hitch, was the 2006 animated DVD release Ultimate Avengers. Judging it on both its own merits and what was to follow, how well does it hold up?

In some places, quite well. The animation looks fantastic for the most part as it works quite hard to capture the spectacular Hitch illustrations that made the comic some brilliant. While it never quite manages to attain the almost photo-realistic nature of The Ultimates best moments, there's plenty of good results from its efforts including the opening Second World War battle sequence and elements of the lengthy final battle sequence. In some places though the animation suffers from mixing traditional 2D efforts with 3D elements such as the battle sequence between the SHIELD Helicarriers and the Chitauri ships which never quite looks as good as it ought to while even some of the traditional animation looks clunky such as a shot of Captain America and Nick Fury walking through a cemetery about halfway through the film. On the whole though, the animation might be the best thing about the film.

Somewhere that Ultimate Avengers has more mixed results is in its voice casting. It's perhaps inevitable that, given the mammoth success of the MCU franchise, that comparisons will be made with the current actors filling the roles. That's especially the case with Nick Fury as it was The Ultimates that modeled the character on Samuel L. Jackson and that led to him being cast, with the film keeping that in mind though the voice is by actor Andrea Ware which can be oddly disconcerting at times. Beyond that, there's some good casting choices including Marc Worden as Iron Man, Michael Massee as Bruce Banner and Nan McNamara as Betty Ross. Some have moments where they work and then don't including Justin Gross as Captain America who does pretty well as a team leader but seems out of place when he's trying to play the quieter, character driven moments. Others meanwhile don't quite work at all such as the over-the-top Olivia d'Abo as Black Widow or the aforementioned issues with Ware's Nick Fury, though it isn't clear if that's down to the performances or the direction. All of which helps or hurts the film, depending on circumstances.

Where the film is the most let down by is in its adaptation of its source material, especially in its pacing. Bringing a twelve issue comic book series to life on screen is no easy task to begin with and, indeed, I initially saw this before reading the source material. What's clear from having now read the source material is that the writers of this film liked the ideas being presented more than perhaps the content of the comics themselves. There's moments when its quite faithful (the opening battle sequence), times when the writers are adding sequences (the Chitauri attacking a SHIELD satellite and space shuttle for example) or completely changing and dumping plot points (Iron Man's identity is a secret to SHIELD and the team for much of the film, the timing of the Hulk's rampage is shifted and the film is also guilty of completely skipping over the breakdown of the Pyms marriage that is a major subplot in the middle of the comic).

Some of that is forgivable given the 70 minute running time and one has only to look at DC adaptations such as Justice League: The New Frontier or All-Star Superman to see that a project can still work like that. It might even have worked here except that Ultimate Avengers tries to have its cake and eat it too since it can't quite decide whether to be a loose adaptation or a faithful one. There's no real time for character development despite all the moments being presented as the emphasis is placed increasingly on action sequences and spectacle with the film rushing from one moment to the next. As a result, the pacing is all over the place and by the end of 70 minutes you're wondering if a plot has actually unfolded and if you should care about the characters at all. It's almost as if the film, despite its PG-13 rating, isn't sure if it should appeal to kids who might be watching or adults who are fans of the comic with the result being that the film doesn't quite work for either audience.

Perhaps then it's fair to say to called Ultimate Avengers okay but disappointing. While there's some good animation and performances here, there's times when especially the performances don't work. As an animated film, it can't quite figure out who it's target audience is with results that don't quite work for either younger viewers or older ones. Above all else perhaps, judging it as an adaptation of The Ultimates, it either tries too hard or too little depending on the scene at hand which leaves what it does here a mixed bag of good moments and frantic pacing. In the final analysis then, Ultimate Avengers might be ultimately disappointing more than anything else...
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Average Avengers
xamtaro26 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Touted as the animated adaptation of Marvel comics "Ultimates" miniseries by Mark Millar, i must say that the movie did not quite live up to expectations. First came the 30 second teaser. The one with Hulk bashing on Giant-man then Iron man flies in and then the Hulk fights Captain America. Heavy blacks, realistic features, gritty and powerful. THe animation in that teaser was so brilliantly done that it looked exactly like in the comics. The framing and scenes were shot-for-shot translations of the comic panels.

But when the actually movie came out, it was very different.

1) Gone was the gritty-ness and real world feel of the story. MAny of the characters no longer act like how their counterparts did in Ultimates. rather they seem closer to the regular Avengers in the mainstream marvel comics continuity.

2)THe movie felt "kiddy-fied". The political bashing, the philosophical aspects, realistic character interactions, heck even the violence, ALL toned down. This is no longer the Bad-ass Ultimates i know and love.

3)Another aspect i loved about Ultimates was the flaws of the characters. No one was a perfect boy scout. Captain America was overly smug "holier-than-thou" attitude, Giant-man was abusive, Hulk was horny, Thor was an extremist, etc. Those real-world flaws, once again, toned down or completely gone. Captain America is now a "for the greater good" boy scout again, Giant-man is just another obstinate a**hole, Hulk is just savage as usual and Thor is just stubborn.

OK the story has its merits. It moves for a more mainstream superhero type tale as opposed to the real-world gritty type. Not as clever or intricate a saga as expected, but good clean superhero fun. A couple of interesting themes are explored such as Captain America being unable to adjust to the modern world or Bruce Banner wrestling with his inner demons, even the tumultuous relationship between Giant Man and Wasp. Alas, they are only touched upon for a few moments and then forgotten for the rest of the movie. A complete waste if you ask me.

The animation is......inconsistent. You got great scenes with exceedingly smooth animation combined with a high level of art detail and all the right shadows and shading, like in the final battle with Hulk. But then again you got really crappy, flatly colored scenes like the Space satellite scene and the WWII para drop scenes that look like they were Flash animated using basic motion tween and stock footage. For a movie, such inconsistent animation comes across as being sub-par. If it was touted as an OVA miniseries or a TV series pilot, i might have been more forgiving toward the animation quality. But no it was touted as a MOVIE, hence i expected MOVIE level animation. Cos honestly, it looks to be only on par with some of the best X-men Evolution Episodes.

Anyway, 6/10. I'll give it 7/10 if i wasn't such a big fan of the Ultimates graphic novels. Good clean Superhero fun. Straight forward plot that is easy to understand. Adequate quality animation The growing up older kids will love it. THe is sufficient violence(though not overly so) for the kids to go "look, im watching a grown up's show".
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Might as well have been the first three episodes of a series
eddax6 September 2010
Meh, at an hour and eight minutes, this feature might as well have been the first three episodes of a series. Nothing else about it sets it apart from a typical cartoon - yes cartoon - series about the Avengers. The animation is at TV standards, as are the story and voice actors.

It's basically about the formation of the Avengers team, with a focal point of how Captain America came to be, and rather shallow background information on the rest of the team. The action is rather routinely chopsocky and blasty since they have none of the fancier Avengers with fancier powers here.

If this had indeed opened a TV series, I wouldn't have followed the show after.
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Ultimate avengers DVD R1
helmutty6 May 2007
Boom! Bam! Those who like big action fights, here is one for you. Everywhere, things explode when aliens come and it is up to the chosen avengers to protect the city. Amazing! But the slow-paced plot can't keep the action up. The director did a great job in making it intense and great battles. Although it is short-running, the pace is not there. There was some unnecessary talking which can go to the deleted scenes. Anyway, the story has some good meanings, they must do teamwork in order to fight. It seems like it is some short special show that looks like a movie. But I did have fun while watching the movie, but it is short, 1 hour 12 minutes. Bravo to the last battle, it totally blew me off with great animation that is intense!

The DVD's special features are something, a sneak preview of Ultimate avengers 2, a featurette and a voice talent search are something to look out for but the others are not. Good time watching the movie and the special features.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Not bad, not bad at all...
crowrobot28 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
When 'Ultimate Avengers' had its first trailer, I was excited but hesitant. The animation looked pretty Saturday-morning, and the voice acting sounded somewhat cheesy. I am happy to report that 'Ultimate Avengers' is a pretty good first attempt by Marvel to create an animated franchise.

The movie is based on the 'Ultimates' comic book, where heroes like Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, and the Hulk coexist in today's world. Captain (voice of Justin Gross), after a final stand against the menacing Chitauri aliens, has been frozen for 60 years. He finds himself now in the hands of Nick Fury (Andre Ware), who's putting together a team of superheroes to fight the returning Chitauri. These heroes include Dr. Bruce Banner (Michael Massee), aka the Hulk, who hopes Captain's return will help him stabilize the Hulk with Captain's Super Soldier Serum; Iron Man (Marc Worden), the hi-tech cybernetic commando, and Russian superspy Black Widow (Olivia D'Abo). The Ultimate Avengers must now put aside their differences and work as a team to fight the Chitauri... in addition to the growing threat of the Hulk.

Beginning with an awesome WWII battle, 'Ultimate Avengers' has some spectacular superhero action. Its PG-13 rating is justified, considering that although many of the more intense aspects of the comic (i.e. Hulk going on a rampage to kill Freddie Prinze Jr., Giant Man and Wasp's spousal problems) have been toned down, the movie is pretty violent. People get blown up, tossed around, shot at, and the Hulk even breaks Giant Man's knee at one point. The end battle is particularly impressive, and the animation is much better than the trailers had led me to believe.

The voice acting is also pretty good, with standouts being Justin Gross as Captain America and Michael Massee as Bruce Banner. Gross, while a tad too boyish-sounding for hard-edged Captain America, is earnest, sincere, and appropriately patriotic. I like how Massee makes Banner into a truly tortured individual; he's not very likable, but you sure feel for him. The rest of the voice cast is good (I like Andre Ware's Sam Jackson-esquire delivery of Nick Fury's lines), and it's fun as always to hear the immortal Grey DeLisle as Wasp.

'Ultimate Avengers' is a good starting point for the franchise.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
My Avengers movie before the live action Avengers movie.
amiranda-3927428 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
During the period of my childhood when i was finally getting into Marvel superheroes, before that i was a DC fan, mostly because of Batman and justice league unlimited, but after watching this movie, i converted to a full time Marvel fan. I never really read comics, i only watched cartoon shows and movies, so i dont have much knowledge on the ultimate comics this movie is based off of, only the opinion of a movie buff. First things first, this movie has a very generic plot, and i honestly forget what the whole story is about when the action starts, but the story is not why i like this movie so much. You will get sweeped up in the action, the movie starts off with a saving private Ryan beginning, with soldiers actually getting mowed down by machine guns! the movies action has very fluid animation in it, but in the middle, its nothing too special, in fact, the avengers fighting the invading aliens isn't even that great, but let me tell you when the avengers start to fight the hulk, it gets intense. Every punch, every tackle, and every painful scream feels real, its as if the best animation was saved for this last fight alone. i just want to comment on the animation, despite it still being 2d, there something strange about it , as if a little 3d was mixed in to make the characters and backgrounds look more realistic then a traditional 2d cartoon; everything pops in this movie. All the characters are very nicely designed, each looks exactly as the characters should look with a little originality, however i don't like iron mans look to much, he looks like he has a squirtle face for some reason, and clearly someone tried to make the black widow exaggeratedly sexy,( not like i have problem), she looks great in some parts, but in others she has like giant lips. I don't know why they didn't just make her look more like Betty and Janet, who were very great to look at, with their...ahem, " simpler" character designs. As for character development and personalities, everyone was very likeable, i liked that they gave antman a cocky, arrogant attitude this time. The voice actors were each perfect in this movie, the voices just captured the essence of each character, grey delisle did a great job as Janet. And as for Bruce banner, i gotta say this is the best depiction of him Ive ever seen, i really like how despite trying to do his job, he has some kind of depression and understandable struggle with controlling himself. In fact this movie really shows the effects the hulk has on his sanity and relationships, this is one of those times i really like Betty's interactions with Bruce and the hulk. Despite this being a good depiction of the avengers, there isnt much room for total character development, unlike the marvel franchise, but they still do a great job. i actually was expecting the live action avengers movie to be close to this, and i was kind of right, except because of all the previous standalone movies, i became attached to all the characters and understood their motivations way better. i like live action tony stark way better, because hes not afraid of anything( being played by Robert downy jr helps!), and doesn't need to hide his identity like in this movie, black widow is way better in the live action movies, mostly because of the absence of the Russian accent, but i really like captain America and her as a couple, and its ashame that's not present in the live action movies( Chris and Scarlett have great chemistry, whyyyy!). i however don't like the way, the hulk is portrayed as a completely mindless monster in this movie, and i prefer his live action version far better, but it is realistic, that in the heat of battle he would lose control and turn on his comrades, the live action movies did that great, but i like it when hes able to regain control. i kind of feel like instead of having Bruce subplot of making a way to control the hulk, they should have just had him wanting to get superpowers to impress Betty, and accidentally turn himself into the hulk instead, wouldn't have made much of a difference to the story. Overall this is a good superhero movie, and a good alternate version of the avengers, however i hate the sequel, it feels way too dark and makes the characters very unlikable, however this movie helped me discover the vastly superior show Avengers earths mightiest heroes, that i like a lot more than this movie.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
makes this newbie want to see more!
crispy_comments28 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Having only basic knowledge of a few of these characters (Thor and The Hulk), I watched this movie on a whim. I enjoyed it more than I expected, although I was a bit confused at first, trying to figure out "who's that and what's their motivation/ability?" - but I understand there wasn't enough time to go into every character's history. Plus the target audience is probably familiar with it all and impatient to get on with the action. Still, Black Widow, Giant Man and The Wasp especially needed more screen time and fleshing out.

Much of the time and development is devoted to Captain America and I just fell in love with this character! First the movie grabbed me with an audio excerpt from Command Performance radio show and an awesome WWII opening sequence - I'm a big fan of this era and immediately perked up. I was impressed by the battle scenes, which reminded me of many live-action war films from the 1940s. It felt authentic... well, until we find out that the Nazis were in cahoots with...aliens! :)

Anyway, Captain America's character is very sympathetic and I really felt for him - the storyline of an old-fashioned hero, a decent guy from the past, who has to adjust to modern times, just resonated with me. I'm sure part of that is because I can relate a bit, due to my own feeling of not belonging in this time period - but part of it is the truly good writing and voice acting. Not only does Cap have to deal with culture shock, but the fact that many of his friends are dead, and other loved ones have aged and moved on with their lives without him. This is really only touched on in a few minutes, but manages to be very moving nonetheless.

The majority of the film deals with Captain America becoming the reluctant leader of the Avengers, a group of superheroes who aren't used to working as a team, and whose personalities, of course clash. They must combine their powers to deal with a major threat to the world ... those pesky aliens again!

This basic idea reminds me of the Justice League animated series' pilot - but I enjoyed the execution of Ultimate Avengers much more! I bought the JL DVD containing those first few episodes packaged as a mini-movie, and I remember finding it...boring. Dull characterization and just not emotionally engaging. It did not make me interested in watching the rest of the series. But if Ultimate Avengers was the pilot for a TV series...

Another sympathetic character here is Bruce Banner, who is desperate to find a way to control The Hulk and harness his violent strength for good. I liked the fact that he turned out to be the *real* threat at the movie's climax, rather than those paper-thin aliens. I sometimes get annoyed by tragic backstories and inner demons and so on - sometimes you just want a black and white, clear-cut good vs. evil story (like I said, I belong in the "good" old days with the Nazis! Well, not *with* them exactly, but youknowwhatImean) - but Ultimate Avengers' treatment of The Hulk was a great exception. Just enough angst to give him depth. I didn't find him too whiny like some people apparently did.

I'm not sure I like this treatment of Thor though. Seemed like the writers just weren't respecting him enough - what with the other characters thinking he was delusional and not a real God... and calling him a chick, and all. And doesn't he have anything better to do than hang around wharfs threatening fishermen?!

Although the female characters were underused and underdeveloped, it was nice to see Black Widow and Betty Ross make significant moves to help end the final fight.

Last but not least: the animation. I don't know why some reviewers found it lacking. At no time did I think to myself "oh it's okay...for direct-to-video." Seems to me it would be more than good enough for a theatrical release. (I actually assumed it *was*, until I came online and read otherwise.) Cool character designs, some great background art, nice effects, and just the right blend of traditional hand-drawn animation and CGI. I hate the overuse of CGI these days, preferring subtle enhancements that aren't too distracting.

Mainly though, the story is the thing. And, despite the flaw of having too many characters to develop in such a short running time, I found Ultimate Avengers a lot of fun. Not perfect, but better than the average action/adventure/superhero movie. Better than most animated OR live-action films in general, from this disappointing decade.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Great animation....but story lacking.....
croatiansensation2913 February 2006
Now before I get flamed, I have never read the "Ultimate Avengers" comic book. I have always been a fan of Iron Man when I was a kid, and this is the only reason I watched this animated feature.

The Ultimate Avengers tells the story of the Avengers. We see the birth of the team of Captain America, Iron Man, Wasp, Giant Man, The Hulk and Black Widow. The team is put together when the earth is attacked by extra-terrestrial beings.

The animation is superb! It is nice to see cartoons get back to the animation I was used to as a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons. The cartoons of today are terrible. This was definitely a plus for this animated film. However, the story did not do too much for me. I was hoping for a lot more of Iron Man, but the film mostly centers around Captain America. Again, I have never read the comic, so I can't tell if this is true to the original story. Also, the film was laughably short. Only 70 minutes. But I guess that is to expect from an animated film.

Overall, a fun time-waster. Fans will definitely love the film. I unfortunately, was never really a fan of most of the heroes in this film, so I guess I just didn't get it.
15 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed