Ultimate Avengers 2 (2006)

I was a little less forgiving for the sequel of “Ultimate Avengers” mainly because it was a sequel and I expected a lot from it, and mostly because it was so utterly disappointing. People whom have been following the “Ultimate Avengers” story, will be surprised to see that there are twists aplenty including some deaths of very important characters that could decide the fate of them all, and lead to rather sinister developments—but if you’ve read the comics, then you know what happens. Meanwhile, the animation is still rather excellent, especially since it’s darker and yet just as colorful as we previously remember. “Ultimate Avengers 2” is a lot of fun to look, but not suggested for kids. I wanted more of a story, more linear characterization, more personality, and I received just more of the first film. Surely, this adds a new character attempting to mix-up the chemistry and conflict, but it’s just a copy of the first in the end.

It’s lazy, hackneyed, and utterly bland. Are we going to have seven films of more endless bitching and moaning from a group of petulant babies while the aliens try to take over Earth? Are we going to see more of “The Real World: Marvel”? Is this all we’re getting from one of the coolest teams in comic books? It’s boring, and it’s pointless. I want to see much of the main villains that tackle this team actually appear, and yet we’re subjected to much more of the same gimmicky junk that we’ve seen forever. The plot seems to derive from the many generic superhero tales, particularly cribbing from “Justice League” in which our heroes have to face morphing aliens, and gigantic laser shooting aliens on tripods.

It’s too generic for a sequel. And it even features a Nazi villain—how utterly original. Meanwhile, the guest star Black Panther is basically drawn as nothing more than a supporting character who steps in to do his job and disappears without ever drawing notice to how this team works, nor does he want to. And don’t get me started on the way the Panther costume is turned into another generic archetype. There’s no mystique, and no appealing qualities to the new model that has a half faced mask, cheesy metallic claws, and a Panther mode very reminiscent of the Power Rangers. And for no discernible reason War Machine appears. While I love War Machine, I couldn’t understand why someone like Tony Stark wouldn’t have a second suit and then revert back to an old model.

More importantly, this new installment lacks any energy, and it slows down just to pad itself up and fit the running time without doing it gracefully. We see more of Captain America being his old one-dimensional self, we see more of Bruce Banner whining doing nothing much but sitting around and begging to be released from prison, Tony Stark gloating, Thor waxing poetic, Betty Ross moping, Hank Pym being a prick, and Janet Pym being a doting subservient wife. It’s monotonous because these characters are still at that spot where they were in the first film. There’s no forward motion with these characters. We’re still back to where we were in the first entry where they’re bitching and moaning and not being bad-ass breaking skulls and fighting villains.

The alien plot is wearing very thin and it doesn’t help that they’re the most boring villains of any verse. “Ultimate Avengers 2” is right where we left it, without any progression, and Black Panther or not, if this story doesn’t widen its ideas, it’s going to get much worse. While the animation is gorgeous, particularly in the animation of the women, and there are surprises aplenty, “Ultimate Avengers 2” is disappointing, thus I unleashed my wrath on it for not being a different film and insisting on being a boring, lazy re-iteration of the previous installment. Here’s hoping we actually see something new in the next sequel.