THE AVENGERS & THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
First off let me state that I am a big fan of Joss Whedon and I do like both of these films but I also believe that the massive amounts of praise that have been heaped onto them just are not warranted. Both “The Avengers” and “The Cabin In The Woods” are good films but in my opinion that is all they are. The most hyperbolic thing you hear about “The Avengers” is that it is the best superhero movie that has been made yet which is just not the case (that honour still goes to Sam Raimi’s “Spider-man 2”). Whedon did a great job of making a movie with all of the Marvel Universe’s best characters and giving them all their moments, that I will agree with, but the first forty or so minutes of “The Avengers” when the team is being put together are some of the worst of the year. It is incredibly plodding and so boring and just doesn’t seem to gel into the cohesive whole. Each segment with each character just feels oddly out of place and it made the beginning of the film excruciating to watch. However once the team is together, Joss Whedon really comes into his own as does his witty script full of brilliant one liners and little character moments. This is when the film shines and I particularly liked the staging of the big battle at the end except for the fact that the villain of the piece is so forgettable. The best thing that Joss Whedon did with “The Avengers” though is give it a fun tone. Finally we get a comic book movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously and lets the audience have fun with it, which has been long overdue. Whedon is also the first person to actually get the Hulk character right (although I could have done without the pointless Hawkeye). Again, “The Avengers” is a good film, it’s just not as special as everyone claims it to be, thus making it overrated.
The other film of 2012 (well, when it was finally released, that is) that Joss Whedon was involved in, this time in a screenwriting capacity, “The Cabin In The Woods” is my other candidate for most overrated film of 2012. I’ll reiterate by saying that I do like the film, but it is not the next coming in horror that so many fans think it is. The problem with talking about this film is that it works so much better the less you know about it, so all I can say is that I do not think the film is as clever as it thinks it is. I do like the fact that it is taking off the horror genre while playing within its rules, but I think by the time the finale comes around, it has become a little too silly for itself. The characters played by the always great Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford are the highlight of the film and the payoff to the “merman” gag is just hilarious. Again, it is a good film, but that is it.