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The second part of the Ultimate Avengers series see’s the movie shift to an exotic location in Africa and introduces a new hero The Black Panther to fight alongside the Avengers who have fallen prey to the Chitauri aliens from the first film. This instalment is a lot more colourful and violent that the first episode and takes a more adult approach to deliver a much more well rounded film.

With the Chitauri appearing in Africa, the Avengers must continue to fight to save the earth from another invasion, this time around though they also have Captain America’s old enemy Herr Kleiser (the alien shape shifter who supposedly died in the first film). Unfortunately for the aliens they have invaded a part of Africa where the Black Panther is tribal king. When the Panther heads to the USA to seek out the help of Captain America, the two must find a way for the Avengers to make friends with the tribe who do not accept outsider help.

This film improves on the first one,there is a lot more action, the different setting allows for a new kind of story that doesn’t revolve around America and New York City, and this was a refreshing change. The introduction of the Black Panther was the perfect new hero to introduce, he is a strong and dark hero who is a contrast to the brightness of Captain America and Thor.

The Hulk/Eric Banner is absent in this film, he has been confined to a room after the events of the first film and appears every now and again as the “brains” who helps figure out how to destroy the aliens. This was a disappointment, also the couple of scenes that Thor was given were small and this was also disappointing.

Captain America, Giant Man, The Wasp and Black Panther were the clear front runners in this film and why it was good to see more unknown heroes taking the helm, Thor, Iron Man and Hulk were actually sorely missed. It felt like this component was definitely not there and this caused some of the action scenes to suffer a little.

The story with the African tribe and old enemy Kleiser did bring things to a more interesting level and this was reflected in the animation palette. This film is a lot more visually aesthetic than the last, bright colours contrast with dark ones, a lot of great special effects and action scenes in the jungle made for a lot more enjoyable battle scenes as well.

The same voice actors are in this film providing outstanding performances and a satisfying conclusion to the two part story. Even though it is 7 years old now, it still holds up as a great story and the animation is still pretty effective.

Ultimate Avengers II Rise Of The Panther is now available on DVD/Blu Ray

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Alaisdair

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