The performances are so well-pitched in The Avengers, meshing with such vividness and ease, that it's tempting to overpraise the good but not great movie that surrounds them.
While I agree that the performances from the cast were so well-pitched as to "shield" us from the movies flaws, I would still, easily consider this movie to be far beyond the adjective of "good". With or without the recognition of the flaw, this movie was incredible.
May 4 - 12:37 AM
couldn't agree more!
May 31 - 12:25 PM
I think this is a pretty fair assesment of the movie
May 4 - 09:02 AM
Overall a solid review, but I disagree with the slightly negative spin here.
On the minor qualm about the "fractious subplot" between Hawkeye and Black Widow: Not everything needs to be fully explained and put to light, especially considering there are probably going to be two more of these movies (and perhaps spin-offs for one or both of these characters?). This is classic comic writing here, really. You don't just bring all of the plot-lines to a neat end by the close of the film (comic), you also plant seeds and continue to, sometimes inchingly, develop other ones that take much longer to pay off, and have a different kind of satisfaction to them when they do. Besides that, it creates depth of realism in the world of the movie. Not knowing EVERYTHING makes it more believable, as it reflects real life and shows that this universe is more vast than what we can view in one sitting.
Regarding the film not breaking ground: Hitting all the right notes IS the quality of a great movie. When did doing everything right become too little? You also seem to want to disassociate the role of the actors' performances from the rest of the film. However, just as you note the quality of the interplay between the stars, there is a similar relationship between the performances and the plot. Every wonderful showcase of chemistry is also quietly moving the story along and continuing to inform the environment, especially considering the ever-present shroud of the god of mischief, so that after a hearty laugh and a big grin you realize it all meant something. Lastly, take care not to be so blinded by the fantastic nature of the film that you forget the initial premise has never been done before. Eight leads? (including the absolutely spectacularly played Loki) Yes, we've had great ensemble casts, but never where every one was a super hero and almost all had a film already unto themselves. It seems obvious, especially because we've been expecting its arrival for years, but it's no less groundbreaking.
May 4 - 04:42 PM
In Your Dreams
nah it was just alright
May 4 - 05:13 PM
Very, very well said sir.
May 5 - 06:46 PM
so was it everything i wanted it to be and more? well yes and no. it was exactly what i expected, and while for some that may be the best thing you can say about a movie, for me, that's not really even close to what i want to say. i wanted this movie to blow my mind. i wanted this movie to transcend the marvel universe, because really, what other film brings together characters from 5 other movies as this one does? i liked a lot of things about this movie, i even loved some things, but it runs into the same old problems that happen in ensemble movies, especially with this many characters, the plot often focusing not even on the immediate superheroes but those around them as well. sometimes, a parallel event that i had almost dismissed as still happening because it's been so long since i've seen it on screen, well, suddenly it turns out that captain america over there is still holding onto that thread over 30000 feet after what feels like 10 minutes. there is also a couple major plot lines that end up going no-where .. important .. at all .. more like misleading plot lines, where we think the psychological deviance of the main antagonist is far more than what is on the surface, when it turn's out, no, Loki really just wants to be worshipped and start a war. there was a moment there, where i thought that Nick Fury and Loki were in on some sort of plan to get all the avenger's together so they would begin tearing each other apart, or at least the Hulk would take a few of them out, totally crippling the avenger's, so Loki could definitely have a chance at taking over the world. because really, why would they want the hulk up in the air with them? so banner and stark do some research of their own, and find out Nick Fury wants to make these weapons he was designing to make with the Tessaract's powers, and it was his idea to go find banner! so there must be something going on with him and Loki right? who would allow himself to be trapped and brought aboard this flying fortress while all the avenger's and most importantly, the Hulk. so what happens? well, something and nothing. we find out Loki did plan on the Hulk messing things up, but there doesn't seem to be much forethought to that, he's just kinda amused at the idea that it might happen. Nick Fury has nothing to do with it. so the Hulk does go on a rampage, almost killing some of if not everyone on board. the entire situation was pretty much to create some peril, because, really, was no-one thinking of the consequences of that situation besides me and Stark and Banner and Loki? also, somewhere between there and the final throwdown, banner has learned to control the hulk, but it's never explained. there's just too much going on for it's own good, and Whedon says the second film will be more personal and a harder hit to the team, like sequels usually are, but it expected more from the supposed flagship of the marvel studio universe, which is really just kinda on par with the other movies, with maybe some better dialogue and thought to scene structure than other origin stories leading up to this. but this is a team origin story, and a great one at that. there was part of me that didn't think they'd be able to pull it off at all, but they did. honestly, it's a great film. there is some great chemistry on screen, it really is amazing to see all these now legendary character's all up there sharing the space, sometimes not always well, which leads to some of the best moments.
May 6 - 12:49 AM
"Fractious subplot"? Is that what she said? Gosh, I loved the ambiguity and mystery surrounding those two. Classic Whedon - and comics! I left wanting more of them, I think it was those two that stayed in my mind the most, which, as you all know, is helluva saying something.
May 7 - 04:52 PM
Hornaday, loose the turtle neck, get laid, live a little, the movie was EPIC!
May 5 - 12:19 AM
Lose not loose
May 9 - 10:13 AM
This was better than good, you were probably just watching it to find flaws. They did an awesome job and put a ton of work into it. Respect them and the movie, and forget about the "flaws" and just simply watch it and then you'll see how awesome it really was
May 5 - 08:12 PM
If the person sees it as a flaw enough to comment then they must not think it was awesome. I personally think it is flawed. To be invested in it I needed to know more about Loki and what exactly he is capable of. Other than threats. I need to understand how powerful the aliens are. i mean when they came it wasn't like they beat down the Avengers and they all had to regroup. They showed up and were done in the same afternoon.
May 9 - 10:18 AM
Watching "Thor" would tell you all you needed to know about Loki for this movie. And don't tell me that's unreasonable; this was a movie about a team of superheroes and almost every one of them had their own installment leading up this. I would consider them prerequisites for this movie, at least if you plan on complaining about not knowing enough about the characters. You wouldn't jump into Harry Potter 5 and object to not understanding what's going on.
May 12 - 10:51 AM
May 16 - 03:11 PM
I'm in the middle of Hornaday's opinion and some of the comments here. It was "very good" for me, but far from perfect, and therefore could not be great. I thought it was nearly great from the beginning up to New York. But the final battle is when things fell apart. Like Hornaday said, in the last 20 minutes it was literally the character interactions that carried things. However in the first two hours, I thought the movie surrounding the characters was pretty well-crafted.
May 6 - 02:11 AM
I am unsure that you understand the concept of great. Your statement is mean spirited and derogatory.
May 7 - 05:07 AM
I think it's almost an autonomic response that critics need to give this film only tacit approval . They feel that if they bestow a glowing recommendation on it then this will detract from their beret wearing indie cinema credentials with all of their pseudo intellectual compatriots guffawing all the while secretly pleasuring themselves over Scarlet H/Chris H.
This was a superb film and it deserves it's phenomenal box office and praise, hold steadfast to the courage of your convictions and give no thought to what your fraternity may think. Tis why I like Peter Travers so much.
May 7 - 07:54 AM
It is clearly a conspiracy! It was not even a month before this film was released when all those pseudo-intellectual critics also dared give 'Marley (2012)' more glowing commendations as well. Coincidence? I don' think so! Clearly, there is only one explanation, and that is CONSPIRACY: they conspired to support Magnolia Pictures because it concentrates on foreign and indie films!
May 11 - 01:59 AM
Remember everyone: No one in their right mind could possibly think that The Avengers is "only" a good movie.
Oct 1 - 08:20 PM
Thank you, I do appreciate your review; I always find them useful and I certainly do not believe it is chance that your reviews agree with the tomatometer 4 times out of 5.
May 11 - 01:21 AM
I have NEVER before in my life had a favorite movie, but I do now. I saw it twice in the first weekend!
May 16 - 03:14 PM
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Jul 3 - 08:25 AM
I think it was a great movie. I did not want Wheedon to try and put his spin on the marvel characters. I wanted him to be true to the characters. I think it can be harder to stay true to source material than putting your spin on the characters. At least sometimes. It is not a perfect movie but it is hard to think of a better superhero movie and a better movie this year. The movie is not trying to be Casablanca. It is trying to be what it is. A great movie about one of the greatest (if not the greatest) super hero teams in comic lore.
Jul 14 - 10:08 PM