Eye For Film >> Movies >> Ultimate Avengers - The Movie (2006) Film Review
This is the first original animated movie from Marvel, and it's an interesting choice. Forgoing something obvious such as Spider-Man or Fantastic Four, the company has opted to adapt The Ultimates, British creators Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's update of the Avengers. That's 'update' in the sense of nastier, more cynical and much more drawn out.
It loosely adapts the series first 13 issues, with the formation of the team and the battle against evil aliens and one of their own gone wild. The course of the alien war is simplified, and there are some tweaks and omissions. Things left out are generally those which would hurt the film's chances of hitting a family audience, such as domestic abuse, cancer and a much less sympathetic Betty Ross (here upgraded to scientist from the comic's original PR bitch).
There's an intriguing storyline, plenty of action and characterisation to spare, well-conveyed by a cast mostly unknown to me. The production design, while necessarily simplified to serve the mostly 2D traditional cel animation used, is pretty faithful to Hitch's comics, and the script has the Ultimates sensibility down pat. Only two things got on my nerves - Olivia d'Abo's Boris and Natasha accent as the Russian Black Widow (or rather, Belaaaack Weedoh), and the random shadows on characters which I suppose were meant to be light modelling.
But that's me being very picky, this is a thoroughly diverting cartoon take on one of Marvel's more successful modern comics, and recommended to all superhero fans.Reviewed on: 02 Oct 2006