I saw the Avengers movie last night and was impressed by the spectacle and the humour. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone that appreciates the superhero genre. There were times, though, when my enjoyment was interrupted by the way the action was filmed. This isn’t a gripe specifically about the Avengers movie itself but instead with quite a few over recent years.
It’s the computer game tie-in. I know that computer games are a bigger industry than Hollywood (depending on who you listen to) and to my jaundiced eye there is too much influence of the former on the latter. During an action movie there will be scenes that look exactly like the sort of events you’d see in a game.
Take, for example, the part in the film where Captain America has to swing from one place to another to reach a lever. The perspective and framing is exactly what you’d see in a 3rd person computer game. When playing a character in a game, you need to clearly see what you’re doing and where you’re going but that doesn’t apply to a movie.
Another example is the compulsory chase scene with falling obstacles along the way. The filming style doesn’t add a feeling of danger or risk, just an idea of exactly how the same event will look on a computer or TV screen while you’re driving the chasing vehicle.
The computer game has to have scenes which are easily recognisable as key stages within the movie and the easiest way to do that is to make them both the same. Considering the resources available to the film-maker, that just means downgrading the movie.