D outsnuck me today by surprising me with an unexpected Monday evening movie date at Pacific Place to watch The Avengers in 3D. Fair enough considering that he picked The Cabin in the Woods over The Avengers when I asked him to make a decision on what to watch on Saturday! So while the former was disappointing, the latter turned out to be as riveting as the critics claimed it to be. Pretty interesting since both films touted the Joss Whedon name (he was the co-writer and producer of The Cabin in the Woods and director of The Avengers).
I suppose that having read the movie review of The Cabin in the Woods from HK magazine and hearing my friend W rave about the film’s creativity meant I had already set rather high expectations for it. After all, a black humor horror genre film was hard to come by and fairly unique. Unfortunately, despite the potential premise of the film, it ended up being too clever for its own good and bringing on one too many theme combinations made it seemed like it was going through an Inception-esque Scream/I-know-what-you-did-last-summer/Pan’s Labyrinth/Scoobie Doo zombie-horror-thriller teenage B-flick identity crisis.
The first main problem was that the audience already knew from the beginning what was going on – the writers didn’t exactly hide the fact that the kids were all pawns to some highly manipulated operation where they all end up as sacrifice to certain ancient gods. The second main problem was that there lacked a focus to where the film was leading us and by the last half hour of the film, I was rather bored with all the zombie killing and gory deaths. By the time the “industrial labs” were being invaded by all sorts of “creatures from your nightmares”, I was ready to put my palms over my face and shake my head at how ridiculous the movie had become.
On the other hand, I completely enjoyed The Avengers, and so did D who was initially very skeptical about it being any good. The story and interwoven sub-plots of each character were well developed and I was impressed at how it managed to not have one character’s story overshadow another’s. The cast was also perfect and I especially loved the interplay and contrast between the righteous but often too rule-driven Captain America played by Chris Evans (hot) and the ingenious but roughish-natured Iron Man played by Robert Downey Jr. (also hot, but in a different way =P). The only criticism that D and I both had was that the 3D didn’t really have much impact except during a few of the battle scenes near the closing of the film. Ok, so some of you might think it’s a chick flick full of eye candy, but while that may be true, the guys do get a lot of action and Scarlett Johansson out of it too…no one should be complaining. Conclusion: the movie is good in its own right!