Truth be told fans everywhere don't have much faith when it comes to Marvel's animation department. Their collaboration with famed Japanese animation studio Madhouse is no exception. So far, this collaboration has released four TV anime series under the label "Marvel Anime" which includes Iron Man, Wolverine, X-Men and Blade, all received with mixed reviews. Their first direct-to-video release however, Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, didn't have that much praise, with most criticism focuses on it's dull-written script, dumb dialogues and the fact that it's dragging in time which makes the audience TechnoBORED (get it, no?). The question still remains; are these projects made for Anime fans or Marvel fans? Hopefully Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher could give us an answer, if not, THE answer.
The biggest praise anyone could probably give this film is its animation style. Even if you still prefer western animation, the famed anime style fits perfectly for this action-packed adventure. With its fluid animation and spectacular character and setting designs, you can just simply look past the fact that some characters make a few weird facial expressions on a few occasions and marvel at the ink and colors that fills up the screen.
The film has a pretty interesting voice cast; Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) as Black Widow and Brian Bloom (The A-Team, [Justice League](movie:401267): Crisis On Two Earths) as Punisher, did a pretty good job on their respective roles, but in movies like this voice casting don't stand out that much.
The movie itself has a solid intro, putting both title characters upfront and gives them chance to shine with only just the first 8 minutes of the film. That bad-assery goes on as the movie progresses, it's a toss coin when it comes to the question of who is the better lead and that's a good thing. However, the film went unconventionally slow as it goes from point A to point B. Certain plot elements are being shoved up to are throats to death, just to keep you reminded on how they are relevant to the situation at hand. We are also introduced to some characters who was just there for the sake of either having a comic relief character or just simply to have a time-killer scene. The first few action sequences are top-notch gritty and entertaining though I do see a pretty obvious changes, the subsequent fights scenes just gets cheesier, and cheesier than ever.The Punisher shoots someone in cold blood, and that blood glowed neon red. Yes, it glowed neon red. Not only that, The Avengers came down to the scene (at the climax) along with neon light-trails as if they were teleported like Power Rangers or something.
Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher is probably the most fun and entertaining Marvel animated movie in a long time. It's action packed, the lead characters owned the show like they should, it gets cheesy at times and gets slow in between but it has a pretty entertaining story and a well written script. It's definitely a film that is made to satisfy both Anime fans and Marvel fans. Here's hoping for a better future installment for Marvel Anime.
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