Ultimate Avengers 2 (2006) – A Marvel Animated Feature – Directed by Will Meugniot and Richard Sebast.
Quality wise, ULTIMATE AVENGERS 2 isn’t noticeably better than the first ULTIMATE AVENGERS animated movie, but where the first film offered up a bunch of jerks fighting the Chitauri, the sequel offers up … um … a bunch of jerks fighting the Chitauri.
Yet, while we’ve got the same basic premise, and the same basic focus on Captain America as the lead protagonist in our drama, ULTIMATE 2 is a slightly more satisfying movie. The big difference is that while the team is still made up of a bunch of jerks, there is an attempt here to become better people. Plus, ULTIMATE 2 has the advantage of bringing in the Black Panther, which gives us an actual decent person to root for besides Cap.
Like the first movie, the plot here is decidedly simple. We’ve got the Chitauri back to cause more havoc, only this time they’re concentrating their attack on the African kingdom of Wakanda. The movie opens with Chitauri shapeshifter/pretend Nazi Herr Kleiser killing T’Challa’s father, T’Chaka. I don’t know why Kleiser is still taking the form of a Nazi, but maybe it makes him happy. Or maybe it’s just so we can have visual consistency between the two movies. Whatever the reason, he kills T’Chaka and thus T’Challa is elevated to the throne.
T’Challa is not overly popular with the Wakandan community because his daddy sent him to be educated in the west. There’s a deep distrust of outsiders in Wakanda, to the point where they definitely do not make a habit of inviting non-Wakandans over to drink beer and watch Hell’s Kitchen. T’Chaka believed it was important for T’Challa to gain knowledge of the rest of the world, and so when the son becomes king, he heads to America to learn about Herr Kleiser from Captain America.
After the two of them punch each other down the side of a building, Nick Fury shows up to try to make nice with T’Challa, but he’s respectfully not having it. Fury sends the Avengers to Wakanda anyway, but he makes a change in command. After Cap spends the opening scenes proving he’s got a death wish, Fury puts the Black Widow in charge. It’s a solid move, even if Widow still talks like Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle and thus isn’t taken seriously by anyone. The Hulk can’t go with them because Fury has Banner locked up, and Thor can’t go with them because he’s off praying to his dad and envisioning a future where all the Avengers are dead.
It’s kind of a pointless vision because nothing is really done with it, other than Thor getting all New Agey concerned about it.
The Avengers head to Wakanda and the rest of the movie is basically one big fight sequence after another. The Avengers fight the Wakandans and then the Avengers and the Wakandans team up to fight the Chitauri. There’s lots of punching and stuff and it’s not a bad watch but it’d be nice if there was something new to punch besides the Chitauri.
There’s a few changes going on – Hank does the shrinking thing this time around in addition to growing big, and after the Wakandans knock the crap out of his Iron Man armor, he decides to put on the War Machine armor. This decision to switch armors leads to the best line of the movie. After Stark laments the busted armor by saying it was his favorite, Jarvis (who’s a person in these cartoons, not an AI program) reminds him, “They were all your favorites at one point, sir.” This brightens Stark’s attitude, and he replies, “Let’s go pick a new favorite, then.” It’s a pity he picks the ugliest armor in the shop, but the “bad-ass-ness” of ULTIMATE AVENGERS sort of demands the “bad-ass-ness” of the War Machine armor.
Hank makes up for being a complete dick in the last movie by sacrificing himself to save the day this time around. Cap proves he’s learned the lessons about losing his death wish that Natasha tried to instill in him earlier in the movie by making out with her, because it’s always easier to move forward when a hot, redheaded Russian spy is there to pass the time with.
All told, ULTIMATE AVENGERS 2 is a decent enough diversion. It’s not the best Marvel Animated Feature, but unlike the now historic pointlessness of the first one, ULTIMATE 2 has some things going for it that nothing else does. Maybe in five or ten years we’ll finally have a Black Panther live action film that leads into T’Challa taking his rightful place alongside the Avengers and this movie will become a lesser version of something far better, but for now, ULTIMATE 2 is worthy of a few repeat viewings.