Hey guys. Lately I have been trying to catch up on the newer released Marvel films like Thor and The Incredible Hulk in order to watch The Avengers and I can safely say that I enjoyed every film released in the continuity. I had the chance to see The Avengers a few days ago with a group of friends and I'm ready to give my thoughts on the film. Since it's hard to review this film without spoiling it, it'll be on the short side. Enjoy the review.
Director: Joss Whedon
Starring: Robert Downy Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, and Samuel L. Jackson
Release Date: May 4th, 2012
Marvel has had a great streak going on with their Marvel Studios continuity. Iron Man 1 and 2 were great fun and perfectly captured the character of Tony Stark, Thor was a charming tale filled with great characters and great action, Captain America had one of the best origin stories in any superhero film and Chris Evans filled the role of Cap stupendously, and The Incredible Hulk was an enjoyable film that had great chemistry with Bruce and Betty while having some good action. Now that the origin films are out of the way, Joss Whedon takes all of these characters along with a few others to bring together The Avengers. Did the film manage to bring together all of the characters into a great film or does it fall on its back?
The story starts with Loki, the demigod Thor's brother, traveling to Earth through the Tesseract, a powerful cube that SHIELD has been trying to extract limitless energy from. Being the vengeful soul that he is, Loki declares his plotted takeover to rule as a god amongst all humans. Loki also decided to bring a few thousand alien friends along to join in on the invading fun. Fighting a god and an army of aliens only with regular human agents isn't exactly the greatest idea, so Nick Fury restarts the Avengers Initiative and gathers the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye to try to put a stop to Loki's evil deeds. Although they initially have trouble getting along, they need to put aside their differences to vanquish the threat against all mankind.
Right off the bat, giving almost every main character in the film an origin film to lead into this movie was a wonderful idea. This allows Whedon to cut through the introductions and go straight to the gist and meat of the film, while giving the characters their own time in the spotlight. There really isn't a single dull moment in The Avengers. Whether it's an over the top fight scene or witty exchanges with the characters, Whedon manages to keep the attention of the viewer, which says a lot about this film considering its long length.
The heroes don't really get off on the right foot....
Contributing to the film's sharp presentation is the interaction between the characters. As expected, Iron Man is a complete smart aleck with everyone and some of his exchanges he has between the other characters are great. That said, Iron Man isn't the star of the show. Every character has quite a few shining moments, especially when it comes to the battle scenes. The biggest surprises for me were Mark Ruffalo's performance as the Hulk and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. The former contrasted Edward Norton's performance as a stern and worried man to a troubled, intelligent, yet meek man. His intellectual discussions with Iron Man also had some great moments, with Tony Stark remarking that he finally met a man that can speak English as both of them had the perfect opportunity to nerd out in their intellect. Although I was originally saddened by the loss of Norton, Ruffalo's performance was a refreshing take on the character and well done.
Whedon also took the relatively uninteresting Black Widow from Iron Man 2 and turned her into a relevant character, tying her to Agent Barton (Hawkeye), which was a great move. Tying the two supporting characters together allowed Whedon for the characters to be relevant amongst the big shots like Cap and Iron Man. And rest assured, Samuel L Jackson plays a great Nick Fury and is relevant throughout the entire movie instead of only appearing at the end of the film.
Hawkeye is also quite an awesome character. Although he wasn't prevalent with the main team in the first half, his joining of The Avengers gives him a perfect opportunity to prove why he's one of the greatest aims in the Marvel universe. Just wait until the final stretch of the film to see some amazing moments that Hawkeye has. Jeremy Renner has a great performance and represents the character quite well in his role as the world's greatest marksman.
The perfect match for a nerdy couple
Aside from the heroes, Tom Hiddleston's performance as Loki was also great and he evolved from a jealous shadow to his brother to a vengeful and often sadistic maniac who will stop at nothing to enslave humanity. Loki was a perfect choice for a villain and also gave the perfect setup to bring Thor in and give him a reason to join The Avengers to stop his brother's ways. Just the way Tom Hiddleston portrays his emotions with scorn was perfect and you just wanted to see the guy receive a sever thrashing for all of the things he tried to pull off, along with a large bodycount. He's also good looking. *cough* *cough* *cough*
While there is a large cast, Whedon did a great job removing unnecessary characters to not give the film too many characters to work around. Many of the side characters like Betty and Thunderbolt Ross, Jane Foster, and Pepper Potts were either given small cameos or didn't appear in the film, which was for the better. This would sort of ruin the balance that Whedon is trying to establish with the characters and might make some characters be more prevalent than the others, which would ruin the purpose of the film that emphasizes on teamwork.
The best thing about the characterization is that it's obvious that Whedon is passionate about the characters that he is directing. Every single character takes lead and never stands as a shadow to other characters and the interaction between everyone is fantastic. There will be times when you will laugh at some of the instances of humor, while some of the teamups between the individuals will lead you to awe. I don't want to spoil the movie, but let's just say that combining Cap's shield with Iron Man's lasers makes for a very deadly combo.
Nick Fury finally gets a share of the spotlight
Along with the great cast comes some great little references. When you see the listing of SHIELD members, pay extra attention, as you might see a certain Street Fighter character's name. And make sure to watch the entire credits for an appearance from a certain Marvel characters that will get you excited. Just like the other Marvel movies, the film is riddled with little references that will get the fans very excited.
While the first half of the film is spent trying to get the members of The Avengers accustomed to each other and many of the internal conflicts being dealt with, the last stretch of the film is non stop action that will amaze you in every way. I have never had so much fun in the theaters and all I could do was tell myself that what I just saw could not be topped. However, every time I said that, the previous action would be overshadowed by something phenomenally larger. The triumphant destruction of Thor's godly thunder powers with his Mjolnir, the fighting and shield smashing antics of Captain America, the ridiculous athletic abilities and aim of Hawkeye, the utter destruction of the Hulk, the whatever she does that is relevant and pretty cool that I can't describe without spoiling the movie of Black Widow, and Iron Man pretty much being a human Swiss Army Knife of destruction. All of this is absolutely sensory overload.
While the whole city is going in shambles due to the intense battling, you can't help but notice how amazing this looks. The entire alien technology looks great and some of the designs are absolutely fantastic, having smaller soliders to giant behemoths that would make the Hulk look like a teddy bear. All of this plus nonstop explosions and action is just awesome to look at in awe.
Compared to the rest of the destruction, this is barely anything
Throughout the final part of the movie, I just turned to my friend and said that this is amazing. And I want to urge you to see this in 3D. While I normally watch movies in 2D, the final 40 minutes alone is worth it to see in 3D. The utter destruction will just blow you away and the before mentioned teamups of the heroes is just amazing. I myself am indifferent about 3D in films, but some films just need to be seen on the big screen in 3D with the sounds blasting at you and this movie perfectly fits the criteria. Do yourself a favor and watch the film in the theaters. You won't regret it.
The Avengers Theme- Allen Silvestri
The sound is also stupendous in the film and gives off this triumphant and epic feeling while you are watching the superheroes doing what they do best. The music just fits the scenes unraveling perfectly and I couldn't help but smile while watching everything unfolding before my eyes. The music only elevated that epic feeling of triumph that one gets when watching an amazingly large scale movie. Heck, after the final scenes were over, the entire theater started cheering and clapping as the credits started rolling. The feeling was unreal and I had to sit there and let my mind regain consciousness after the great lengths of amazing that I just witnessed.
Just like any other movie, this film isn't without its faults. For one, Hawkeye really felt like a plot point than a character for the first half of the film, but it's easily forgivable as it was a reasonable action and he does play a larger part in the second half. Also, some of the logic behind the heroes while they were still on the airship was a bit dimwitted. However, this is just minor nitpicking and can be easily ignored. I personally have no problems with the movie and everything was enjoyable to me, so I really see no reason to try to criticize it if I can't find a lot of significant faults. I came in to see a movie filled with fun and my favorite superheroes duking it out and I got exactly what I asked for.
Do be warned. Don't go in expecting for the film to feature a deep and moving narrative. This isn't what the film was made for. It was made to entertain the audience and the strong and fun script and fantastic action should be plenty to enjoy. There are times when moving and deep plots are needed, but for a film like this, it's just fine the way it is. I certainly enjoyed it enough that I want to see the movie a second time in the theaters. And you can sure as heck expect me to buy it when it comes out on Blu Ray to watch it multiple times.
The perfect popcorn flick with a ton of fun
From the eyes of a casual movie goer, this film is great. From a critical point of view, the film is fine. From a comic book fan's point of view, the film is perfect. Being a fan of Marvel Comics for as long as I can remember, I begged for an Avengers movies for years. Joss Whedon didn't only take the characters and treat them with respect. No. He made this film a celebration of the greatness of Marvel and shows us why we love the characters after decades of their presence. The cast played their roles phenomenally, the story is great, the action is mindblowing. The Avengers is a dream come true for a fan like me, and I could have never imagined to have seen an interpretation done so perfectly. I walked out of the theaters with a giant grin on my face and completely satisfied with what the film offered.
Quite honestly, watching this in the theaters elevated my love for this movie. The cheering of the crowd when something epic happens, the ridiculously huge scales of the battles, everything. This is honestly one of the best experiences I have ever had watching a movie in the theaters and it almost felt like Joss Whedon took everything out of what I wanted in an Avengers movie and crafted something amazing. Of course there have been films before The Avengers that took a similar approach, but it's the familiarity of these beloved characters and the tone of the film that makes it stand out as something special to me.
The Avengers not only is a phenomenal film, but raises the standard of how a superhero film should be done. It features great characters, fantastic dialog and writing, and ridiculous action. I cannot wait to see what Whedon does next with the characters and kudos to him for going beyong the call and creating essentially, what is to be a love letter to the fans who have been around for years to decades enjoying the stories of these beloved characters.
Watch It, Rent It, Drop It?- Watch it!
Thanks for reading.
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