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Kevin Smith On Why He Prefers 'The Avengers' Over 'The Dark Knight Rises' & Turning 'Hit Somebody' Into A Single Film

by Drew Taylor
December 3, 2012 11:03 AM
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The Avengers Tom Hiddleston

That kind of money is certainly peanuts when it comes to the hundreds of millions being spent on superhero movies and blockbusters at the studio level. But like any fan, as long as a movie delivers, Smith doesn't care if it costs $5 bucks or $200 million. So when we asked the director what some of his favorite movies were in 2012, it was a hardly a surprise to see some very big spectacles on his list.

Cloud Atlas

"The ones that come to mind are 'Cloud Atlas.' I thought, Wow, this is a fucking movie, man. If I had gone back in time and talked to the pretentious young Kevin Smith and talked to him about whether this is a film or a movie I'm sure he could have done twenty minutes on it. I don't know what it is but I think it's wonderful cinema. It's a real triumph. I wish it had made a lot more money but at the end of the day that doesn't really matter," Smith gushed. "They produced a compelling piece of art that will live for ages. The kind of three-week box office race that becomes the sexy in industry doesn't take away from the fact that it's a really wonderful flick. Now you look at Ben [Affleck]'s flick ['Argo'] and that's really wonderful and that's doing well too. Both movies are really strong, both I enjoyed thoroughly. They would be at the top of my list."

Of course, the massive comic fan in Smith couldn't help but get into the fray with "The Avengers" vs. "The Dark Knight Rises" debate, and for him, Joss Whedon's movie came out on top. " 'The Dark Knight Rises' I have a weird relationship with – it's like a chemical romance with a toxic ex-girlfriend where I love her to death but there are some things about her that are just fucking wrong. 'The Avengers' I loved so more than I thought I would. I've written for Marvel but I was never an Avengers guy. I'm more DC," Smith elaborated. "But I've become obsessed with Favreau's 'Iron Man' movie because I think it's very nearly a perfect film. So when I saw Favreau wasn't doing it I thought, Well what do I care? The first time I saw it was in Australia and it opened a week before it opened here and we were traveling for the 'Jay and Silent Bob Go Down Under' tour and we had just done a show and we went to a midnight show. And the first time I saw it I could not get past the Loki poke-y stick in the beginning. Because Loki sticks something in somebody's chest and it's like 'WAAMP, you're a bad guy.' What the fuck? Is this the level of discourse we're going to have? But you can't deny that flick." 

The Dark Knight Rises Christian Bale

"By the middle of it I was like, 'The Hulk is amazing.' The next time I watched it I was totally into it. You can't watch that movie and be like 'I object to the Loki poke-y stick' when there's a motherfucker who turns into a green giant. In my mind Marvel science is okay because we were raised on it. As someone who looks for realism in comics, you can say, 'Well, you could get belted by gamma rays and turn into someone else.' But you can't say, 'A stick from outer space that makes you a bad guy is bullshit!' So I got past that and embraced the whole thing," Smith continued. "I've now watched 'Avengers' about eight times, twice on a plane back-to-back. It just keeps giving. That's 10,000 across the board! Whedon in the driver's seat, 70-80 years of Marvel, and the charm fucking factor of Robert Downey Jr. It runs like a golden machine. I never imagined that I would love 'Avengers' more than 'Dark Knight Rises.' Not only would I have never imagined that 'Dark Knight' would underperform (based on other mitigating factors of course). But I would have never thought 'Avengers' would make more than 'Dark Knight Rises.' But I never would have thought I would have liked 'Avengers' more than 'Dark Knight Rises' but I really did like 'Avengers' more. And I've watched them an equal amount of times. 'Avengers,' I'm not going to say it's the better movie, but it puts a smile on your face. It's magical cinema."

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  • jdigitalseven | December 24, 2012 9:40 AMReply

    I saw the Avengers with low expectations and it blew me away . I ended up seeing it 7 times and got the same thrill each time. There was too much dialogue in all of the nolan Batmans and very little action, especially in the last one. Bane was probably the most boring enemy ever and barely could tell what he was saying. Tdnr felt like it was 10 hours long, yet the Avengers felt like it was only an hour. Nolan's Batmans are so over rated. They are more drama because of the very little action. For a batman movie, he was barely in it. Just because you shoot things in the dark doesn't make it more "bad" .

  • Chris138 | December 4, 2012 3:04 PMReply

    The Avengers is pretty forgettable. But I guess Smith is a big comic book guy so it makes some sense that he would enjoy it so much. Nonetheless, even with its flaws, I still think TDKR is leagues ahead of The Avengers.

  • Shirley | December 4, 2012 11:39 AMReply

    The dark knigh rises was a better movie to me. I cared about the people in the world of Gotham more.

  • tristan eldritch | December 3, 2012 12:46 PMReply

    Avengers looks like shit compared to Pfister's work on Dark Knight Rises, but it's far more intelligently written. Whedon writes deft comedy and characterization, and the Nolan bros write clunky exposition and endless "This is what I am a symbol of..." speeches.

  • V | December 5, 2012 5:38 AM

    "The Dark Knight Rises" was terrible. All build-up and close to zero pay off. Whatever happened to the "class warfare" sideplot? It just vanished in the final act in favor of the gimmicky "bomb" plot. Ultimately, TDKR's finale boiled down to the same as 'The Avengers', where the lead hero has to save the city by taking a WMD out of harm's limits. Only, we had loads of fun getting to that point in The Avengers. Whereas TDKR made us endure 2 long hours of pretentious drone till we reached there.

    And don't get me started on the terrible way the Nolans handled the "romance" element in the film. Those couple of moments featuring Pepper Potts in "The Avengers" far outshone anything in TDKR. Of course, when it came to the love story, The Amazing Spider-Man was the superhero movie of 2012 which nailed it best, but that is a discussion for another day.

  • Maria | December 4, 2012 5:20 PM

    The Nolans are far superior writers and there is plenty of thematic imagery in the film that is overlooked. The underground sewer representing the lie at the end of TDK and Blake rising at the end which is perfect show don't tell to highlight the symbol of Batman rising into legend. The ideas are also great just as the lie at the end of TDK is used in the wrong way to create the Dent Act so are the good intentions and legitimate concerns of the citizens co-opted by Bane for his own agenda. Comedy is great but ideas and themes are more important and create discussion. Also the characterisation of Bruce Wayne and his arc is again far superior to anything in the Avengers.

  • Christian | December 3, 2012 12:52 PM

    Lol, Nolan bros. are better writers. Shawarma?

  • cirkusfolk | December 3, 2012 12:22 PMReply

    He also said The Avengers was like a blowjob when The Dark Knight Rises was like actual sex. Way to flip flop. But he's right regardless. Avengers way better than Dark Knight Rises.

  • Yosef | December 3, 2012 12:01 PMReply

    This is non-news. Kevin Smith said back in January that Hit Somebody was one film. You guys even reported it then, big snafu.

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