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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Animated > Ultimate Avengers 2 (Animated feature film/Lionsgate/Marvel)

Ultimate Avengers 2 (Animated feature film/Lionsgate/Marvel)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: A     Film: B



Lionsgate and Marvel Studios bring Ultimate Avengers back with this second installment of animated action and adventure.  In this follow-up to last year’s successful debut, the Avengers must once again battle an alien menace from beyond the stars.  Ultimate Avengers (which we shall refer to as UA2 henceforth) packs plenty of action, character development, and surprises into its 73 minute run-time, but once again, fans of the original Ultimates comics may be disappointed by the script’s distinct lack of comic writer Mark Millar’s edgy tension.  Still, like its predecessor, UA2 manages some tough moments that elevates it well beyond standard “kiddy” cartoon fare. 


The exploration into Captain America’s character continues as he struggles to adjust to life in the modern era.  Meanwhile the other Avengers get a bit more face-time as we learn of their personal lives and struggles.  Is Thor really a Norse god?  Is Iron Man more than just a playboy?  Does the Wasp have the strength to leave a destructive relationship?  Is Giant Man really as big an asshole as he seems?  And will the Hulk spend the entire movie in a drug-induced stupor?  Answers to these and many other questions are provided in UA2.


Perhaps most exciting about this DVD is the addition of the Black Panther and his African kingdom Wakanda to the UA world.  Every action sequence featuring the Panther is a feast for the eyes and harkens back to Jack “King” Kirby’s first renderings of the jungle hero.  More recent fans of the Panther’s late 1990’s series might also think of artist Mike Manley’s excellent (but too-brief) stint on that title when enjoying Panther’s screen time in this one.


The picture and sound on this disc is adequate.  The anamorphically enhanced 1.77:1 ratio widescreen is a nice touch and does a good job of conveying the full panoply of superhero action.  In spots the picture shows some annoying flickering and the crash of explosions and action threatens to wash out bits of dialogue, but these are minor issues.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is not bad, though DTS would have been nice considering how well-recorded this all is.


Generous content and clear, easy to use menus make the extras on this disc a real plus.  An incredible documentary on the Ultimates comic, DVD-ROM game, gag reel, first look previews of Dr. Strange and Iron Man animated features, and more provide plenty of extra value on this already solid package.  In all fans of the original UA will find UA2 to be more of the same great fun.   Not the Ultimates comic brought to life, but a solid of amalgam of the Ultimates and the original Avengers comics.



-   Scott Pyle


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