Title: Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Kenichi Shimizu
Starring The Voice Talents of: Jennifer Carpenter, Brian Bloom, John Eric Bentley
Runtime: 1 hr 23 mins
What It Is: Everyone knows Frank Castle is a lone wolf quite literally dead set on his vengeance for the murder of his family. He trust no one. Natasha Romanoff is a dangerous super spy who or may not have gone rogue. You’re never quite sure what she’ll do your just certain she is not to be trusted. So when the two meet after The Punisher screws up a S.H.I.E.L.D. operation he is taken into custody by director Nick Fury, who then proceeds to force The Punisher into a team up with the often untrustworthy S.H.I.E.L.D operative. Their goal? To stop global terrorist organization Leviathan and it’s crazed leader Orion from selling stolen S.H.I.E.L.D tech to anyone with enough zeroes at the end of the paycheck.
What We Think: Look we’re as big a fan as any of Marvel’s cinematic universe, but DC has been in the feature-length animation game since 1993’s unbelivably underrated Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, and they do animated features really well (have you SEEN the Flashpoint movie?). Here the stunning anime style visual cannot liven up a dull and uninteresting story that only picks up with ten minutes left in the film. I don’t find either lead hero very engaging, and The Punisher has never really worked, and certainly doesn’t in a PG-13 animated film. Carpenter’s absolute lack of charisma in her vocal performance really makes it seem like Widow is all looks and no substance, and doesn’t want to even be there.
Our Grade: D, Boring soap opera dramatics mixed with cardboard vocal performances that make the original Resident Evil games voice actors sound like the highest quality vocal thespians. Marvel in this forum needs to look at what DC does, and try to emulate it. Injecting action in spurts to keep the film paced well, while offering enough fan service. Also I dont believe there’s a comic precedence for this story, and it’s completely original. Why not make you’re animated splash with a story people know, and care about. Hopefully the groundwork is there for a superior future, as I loved the animation itself. For now though a fat disappointment, and way too much left on the table.