MZS hits all the right notes with his review ("A close-but-no-cigar movie"), so I'll send you there and kvetch instead on an element of the aesthetic that (predictably) gets me cogitating: Marvel's use of 3D CGI. I'm working with stills from the various trailers, i.e. visuals selected to quickly capture and keep viewer attention, so I can't zero in on the particular scenes that struck me. But see if you can't spot where I'm going, regardless:
The gathered masses, a flotilla of sky-boats above a fortress city of spires -- one could argue this tableau is Kirby-esque. There is a particularity of detail, however, that . . . well, I don't know whether it would have caused Kirby to blush or turn green with envy. But for this viewer, that much "too much" nudges me into boredom.
Here's what I got when I Googled "Jack Kirby gathered masses":
|Not quite Valhalla, but unmistakably Kirby.|
To be fair to the filmmakers, Marvel's animators seem to recognize this impediment. While other scenes and set-pieces buzz with Lucasian clutter, the battle scenes invariably resort to slow-motion -- the better for hapless movie goers to admire the CGI goods.
Here's a typical battle scene:
Ah, Cate Blanchett! Could anything distract from those fabulous shoulders?
A veritable mudslide of detail, it nevertheless has visual narrative cogency, albeit of a rudimentary Raphaelite variety.
While regarding Raphael's Transfiguration the eye moves from up-to-down and back again, or vice versa, depending on the viewer. The Marvel animators stick with upper-left-corner-to-lower-right, or vice versa -- depending on the necessary visual cues (preceding scene/next scene).
These battle scenes are visually impressive, employing an effect that, although akin to what we've already seen in the Jackson-Tolkien movies or 300, has a brocaded intricacy unique to Marvel 3D. Sitting in the middle row of a darkened theatre and watching a Marvel 3D Slo-Mo Battle Crescendo is a surprisingly miniature affair. Paradoxically, it's like watching a time-lapse video of someone engraving Dürer's Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse onto a grain of rice.
Alright, one final scene for your consideration -- take a look: