Avengers: Good, 3D: Bad

I saw The Avengers last night (in 3D), and it was a really good time.

When it comes to any superhero, I’ve never seen any Saturday-morning cartoons or read any comic books. Therefore, I’ve never thought of myself as a comic book/superhero movie person. Last night I realized that I have seen the first two X-men movies, all 3 Spider-man movies, both the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, and last year’s Captain America. That hardly makes me a fangirl (thank goodness), but I saw most of these movies in the theater, own several on DVD, and genuinely enjoyed all but one of them. So as I applauded with the rest of the theatergoers when Avengers was over, I realized I just can’t say I’m not much for superheroes. (It also kind of made me want to watch Thor and the Iron Man movies.)

I can’t talk much about the specific story, mostly because I had trouble following the techno-jargon, but I didn’t get too worried about that and I still liked it. It’s your basic superhero story: Evil guy(s) capture some very important substance with which they intend to enslave/destroy the earth, and it’s up to the hero(es) to stop them. It’s well-acted and well-written, and I was genuinely interested in the characters and got sucked in and invested.

This is probably the part where a lot of people go on a fanboy/girl rant about the brilliance of Joss Whedon, but I’m not familiar or attached enough to his work to do that. I’ve seen (and liked) Firefly and Dr. Horrible and a few season of Buffy but that’s as far as I go. Not because I have anything against him or his fans, it’s just not something I personally feel like becoming a fanatic about.

When I go to see movies, I primarily go for the story or the actors involved. I liked Captain America (and I have a soft spot for Chris Evans) so I wanted to see this. I actually very much dislike Scarlett Johansson (I have some personal issues with her, plus I think her acting is poor and wooden), and loathe Gwyneth Paltrow, both of whom are in Avengers, and yet I still really, really liked it. Even some of the scenes they were in! I’m not a fan of Mark Ruffalo, but I ended up quite liking him as Bruce Banner, and I’m also not much for Robert Downey Jr., but I enjoyed his scenes as well (although his arrogant-quipping schtick got a liiiiiittle old).

Honestly, my biggest problem with the movie was that we saw it in 3D. This was the first time I had seen a modern movie in 3D, as I had been actively avoiding it. I think it’s gimmicky and unnecessary and it really doesn’t add much to the story. You get a couple moments of “Whoa! That arrow just barely missed piercing me in the eye!” or “Watch out for that flying schrapnel!” but I don’t think it’s worth the price of admission. Maybe in a movie like Avatar or Alice in Wonderland it adds to the audience’s immersion into the scenery, but as I said, I go to movies to see specific actors or to be told a certain story, not just to watch a pretty moving picture. I like a good fight scene or a good explosion, but I don’t need to see it in 3D. I don’t think it even looks real—at least, it didn’t for Avengers. It just looked like a high-tech pop-up book. I realize this may make me sound like a Luddite, or like those people back in the 1920s who thought that talkies wouldn’t go anywhere, but as I’ve written before about my appreciation for the modern world, those aren’t really my issues. Obviously they’re making 3D movies because people are willing to pay to see them, and I can’t fault them for that. I just hope this is a trend that dies out, because I like movies and I don’t want to see them all made this way!

Oh, calm down, it’s not that realistic.

But as I said, that was really the only thing about the movie I found worth complaining about. Granted, it’s a big part of the movie, but not so much that it kept me from enjoying it.

(Plus, I popped the lenses out of my glasses and I’m going to wear them as hipster frames.)

To sum up: Go see Avengers. It’s worth it—just not in 3D.

Have you seen it? Will you see it? What do you think?