Choked Up American Sentiment
Having seen The AvengersÂ first, I couldn’t stop talking to people about the moment where Tony Stark rockets up into space with the nuclear missile, and he realizes that he will probably die. Unfortunately, the power of the moment was marred because we knew that the stakes weren’t thatÂ high: Whedon had already killed off Agent Coulson (RIP), and Robert Downey Jr.Â was not going to disappear from the Marvel universe that easily.
Then came Spider-Man, with that great sequence near the end when Spidey limps from building to building after he gets shot in the leg and it looks as if he simply won’t make it to the Oscorp tower. Then all of a sudden, the construction worker whose kid he saved calls up all his buddies, and they activate their cranes to build a sort of bridge. It hearkens back to Peter’s working-class roots! It’s a great visual! I have no shame in admitting that I definitely teared up!
Also, after all the hype that TDKRÂ would be about Occupy Wall Street, it didn’t quite deliver. Gotham’s reckoning was more akin to the French Revolution, which is cool but less relatable.
Winner: The Amazing Spider-Man
As a casual comics fan, I’d say that when it came to setting up the villain for the next movie, I was more intrigued by Dr. Connors talking to a shadowy creature in the mental institution than Thanos chattering about humans and death. But judging from the fanboys in my theater, the latter was much more of a punch to the gut. Also, you really can’t beat that perfect, nonverbal shwarma scene.
No coda for The Dark Knight Rises, but we knew that going in since Nolan was wrapping up his trilogy.
Winner: The Avengers
via Warner Bros.
I’m very lucky to have seen all three movies in theaters the way they were intended, whether that was IMAX and/or 3-D. AvengersÂ and Spider-ManÂ were at midnight, while TDKRÂ was in the middle of the day. To be fair, each movie was fabulously done and a rich, delightful cinematic experience. This could be the most difficult to rank, because they’re all so different. The AvengersÂ was without a doubt a Whedon film: I can’t remember cheering this much for a movie and feeling so united with my fellow theatergoers. But with TDKR, I was literally on the edge of my seat in suspense. When certain twists happened, even if I’d heard rumors of them pre-screening, I flailed and looked to my friends in shock and disbelief. When the credits rolled, I sat back and let out a long breath and said goodbye to this trilogy.Â I know that TDKRÂ hasn’t won most of these smaller skirmishes, but this category is going to push it up higher on my list than you might have expected.
Winner: The Dark Knight Rises
If you haven’t been keeping track, I’m gonna have to award The AvengersÂ as 2012′s top superhero movie, with The Dark Knight RisesÂ at number two and The Amazing Spider-ManÂ narrowly coming in third.Â I’m all ready for disagreement, so lay it on me in the comments!