Ultimate Avengers 2 – Rise of the Panther

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Justin Gross as Captain America/Steve Rogers (voice)
Grey DeLisle as Wasp/Janet Pym (voice)
Michael Massee as Doctor Bruce Banner (voice)
Marc Worden as Iron Man/Tony Stark (voice)
Olivia d’Abo as Black Widow/Natalia Romanoff (voice)
Nan McNamara as Doctor Betty Ross (voice)
Nolan North as Giant Man/Hank Pym (voice)
Andre Ware as General Nick Fury (voice)
David Boat as Thor (voice)
Fred Tatasciore as Hulk/Jarvis/Additional Voices (voice)
Jim Ward as Herr Kleiser/Additional Voices (voice)
Dave Fennoy as T’Chaka/Additional Voices (voice)
Susan Dalian as Nakinda/Additional Voices (voice)
Kendre Berry as Young T’Challa (voice)

Special Features:
“The Ultimates” featurette

The Ultimate Gag Reel

First Look at Iron Man feature

First Look at Dr. Strange feature

“What Avenger Are You?” DVD-ROM game

Animated Interactive Menus

Trailer Gallery

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.77:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Audio
Running Time: 73 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

“To save humanity, the Earth’s mightiest heroes must reunite for a rematch of heroic proportions.

Mysterious Wakanda. It lies in the darkest heart of Africa, unknown to most of the world. An isolated land hidden behind closed borders, fiercely protected by its young king – The Black Panther.

A king who holds the fate of the entire earth in his hands. Because brutal alien invaders are coming, soon to fill every sky and control every land, seeking what is buried beneath ancient Wakanda. That leaves The Black Panther with a single option, one that goes against the sacred decrees of his people – to ask for help from outsiders.

And so he turns to The Avengers – Captain America. Iron Man. Thor. Giant Man. Wasp. And the Incredible Hulk. These mightiest of heroes have battled the aliens before, and barely survived. They thought it was over. They were wrong.”

“Ultimate Avengers 2 – Rise of the Panther” is rated PG-13 for intense action violence.

Mini-Review:
“Ultimate Avengers 2″ is much like its predecessor. The animation is the same. It has the same toned down violence and darkness from the comics. It features all the same characters. However, there’s one thing it lacks – novelty. The first film was interesting because it was new and comic fans were interested in seeing how the Ultimates comic book would be adapted. That novelty is now gone and “Ultimate Avengers” must stand on its own. It does so moderately well, but it definitely hurts from not having a Mark Millar script to build upon.

Unless there’s mind numbing action on the screen, “Ultimate Avengers 2″ is incredibly boring. The quiet scenes attempt to establish the angst that our characters are in. Captain America has issues. Hank and Janet are fighting. Tony Stark deals with his artificial heart. T’Challa has troubles following in his father’s footsteps. Thor has issues with his dad, too. Sadly, these moments aren’t near as interesting as they are in the comics and they grind the pacing of the film to a halt. Only when things start exploding does UA2 get rolling.

There are several action scenes. There are some minor battles between Black Panther and the aliens. There are also some flashbacks to battles between Captain America and Herr Kleiser. But the big showstopper is a major battle between the Wakandans, the Avengers, and the aliens. It all has an “ID4″ and “War of the Worlds” feel, but that’s OK. It’s also odd to see the Wakandans battling aliens using spears and wearing loin cloths, but it’s forgivable. The end result is a film that’s mildly entertaining but utterly forgettable. They really need to get Mark Millar to script their next film.

“Ultimate Avengers 2″ is for any Marvel Comic fan and anyone that saw the first film. They’re the ones that will most enjoy it and most forgive its faults.

The DVD has a pretty good selection of bonus features. First up is a spoof reel where they take footage from the first film and change the dialogue around. There’s an amusing running gag about Iron Man’s obsession with ribs. Also included is a great featurette on The Ultimates comic. They interview Bryan Hitch, Mark Millar, and other Marvel folks. The discussion then transitions from the comic to the cartoon and its sequel. Marvel fans will also be glad to check out a sneak preview of the upcoming “Iron Man” and “Doctor Strange” cartoons. They look petty cool so far. Rounding things out is a game that determines which Avenger you most resemble. (Are you an alcoholic? You most resemble Iron Man!)

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