After catching the insanely awesome Avengers, I've just been itching for more of our superheroes, and fortunately for me, Netflix has pretty much the entire run of Marvel's animated releases available for streaming.
Review by Crispy
Added: June 03, 2012
WWII, and our American GIs are none too happy about the ensuing battle; indeed, it's as straight-forward a suicide mission as you can get. Hope literally falls out of the sky however, and the one and only Captain America joins in the fray. He immediately breaks into the control room, knocks out a few of the alien lifeforms (called Chitauri) that fight alongside the Nazis and hitches a ride on a nuclear missile. He's able to detonate it in mid-air, but the blast sends him deep into the Atlantic Ocean. Fast forward to the present, and S.H.I.E.L.D., led by General Nick Fury, is still fighting the Chitauri. They're barely holding their own against the aliens, so they have a sedated Dr. Bruce Banner working round the clock trying to recreate the super-soldier serum that made Captain America the man he was. It's mostly been a fruitless endeavor, until a lucky breakthrough. Against the immense odds, his body has been found frozen in a glacier deep in the ocean. Even more miraculous, he's awoken after a fifty year slumber, perfectly preserved. Fury sees that this living legend is the key to fighting the Chitauri, so he sets on rounding up a group of superheroes to end the threat once and for all.
Like I said in the live-action version's review, there's just no understating just how beneficial introducing each character in their own movie was. Here, characters are just introduced real quick and in a hurry, and don't get any time to expand beyond archetypes. Cap's the focused one, Iron-Man's the loner, Pym's the asshole, etc. Thor's appearance is so random it almost borders on deus ex machina. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that Dr. Banner is the only one who got any real depth. With all that said, this was all the movie really needed to do. After all, this is just an introduction movie; even the final battle is against a single Chitauri squad. Far from a major victory, but a victory it is, and our team is properly assembled for future installments.
Considering that this is merely a stepping stone for future movies, it goes without saying that the plotline is pretty minimal. Still, it moves along at a nice pace, brings us up to speed with everything we need to know, and I absolutely love the treatment the Hulk was given. From what I understand, the story actually follows the first few issues of the original comic fairly closely, even if it was condensed for time. Speaking of, I really wish they would have extended the running time some. At a whopping seventy-one minutes, it's a pretty short feature, and again, throwing an extra twenty minutes worth of character development in there would have been more than worthwhile.
Obviously, it's nowhere near the live-action epic that was just released, but it serves up a very nice helping of Avengers Lite. Even though Marvel seems hellbent on pushing the Jackson Fury on us. 8/10.