ITEM 47, if you haven’t already heard of it, is the latest in the Marvel One-Shots. This time its on THE AVENGERS Blu-ray; as if we needed another reason to buy the Avengers!. That said, is the 12 minute short film any good?
Well, its not THE AVENGERS and it can’t live up to that hype but, yes, its great. Its well written, funny and delivers quite a lot in 12 minutes. First of all, there’s no superheroes, so none of the Avengers themselves make an appearance. ITEM 47 focuses on the world outside of the superheroes, making it a refreshing change from the movie it comes attached to.
There’s no Agent Coulson either, as this is set after THE AVENGERS. Agent Jasper Sitwell makes his second appearance (his first is in the THOR one-shot THE CONSULTANT) but this story really isn’t about S.H.I.E.L.D. The main focus here is on Benny (Jesse Bradford) and Claire (Lizzy Caplan) and this is what’s really at the heart of ITEM 47.
The film takes no time in establishing the back story; presumably you’ve watched THE AVENGERS by now. Benny and Claire are quickly established as a very human couple. Then they rob a bank, its that simple. Yet its the acting from Bradford and Caplan that really sells ITEM 47. Benny and Claire aren’t villains. They just happened to find the titular Item 47, a leftover Chitauri weapon. This is the biggest appeal for me; the very human element at the heart of the story. Yes, there is an alien gun but, besides that, its simply about two people in a world full of superheroes and alien invasions. These are very likable characters, surprisingly well rounded for a 12-minute film.
In many ways it reminds me of DC’s Gotham Central, by showing the changes and effects caused by the superhero community. Considering the events of the Chitauri invasion of Manhattan, its great to see that even the little person is affected. Even in the comics, with so many superheroes roaming about its hard to remember that there’s still a large portion of innocent, normal people.
As for the titular weapon itself, it certainly looks the part. As for as graphics and budgets go, there’s no concerns for ITEM 47. It looks great; there’s no flimsy CGI to ruin the moment. Its certainly more believable than the more outlandish Avengers themselves, not that that’s ever been an issue. THE AVENGERS showed the interaction between Superheroes and S.H.I.E.L.D; ITEM 47 shows how S.H.I.E.L.D interact with the public. Without spoiling anything, things don’t always go smoothly.
In short, ITEM 47 is a great focus on the little guy for a change. I certainly would not mind seeing more of this on the future, especially in the form of a free bonus to an THE AVENGERS Blu-ray.