Marvel's The Avengers Reviews
Director Joss Whedon takes the foundation that was built in the prior films and brings together the greatest team of superheroes in film history, The Avengers: Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) as "assembled" by Nick Fury. Whedon's scripts usually include clever banter, gripping action sequences and an air of mystery and The Avengers is no different. Whedon has an utter love for comic books, and it is proudly put on display in The Avengers.
At a running-time of 2 and half hours, The Avengers is well paced and time flies by. The effects are top-notch, the acting is very good, and the script drives the movie elevating its strengths. I see the new Hulk is awesome in CG motion capture better than The Incredible Hulk and Hulk.
My all-the-time favourite scene is The Avengers fight Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his Chitauri (aliens from space) armies in defense of New York City for half hour.
So I finally got around to seeing one of the more hyped films in recent memory. I purposely didn't go see The Avengers when it was first released because the hype was so huge. I honestly didn't think it would live up to all of it. I'm glad to say I was wrong. I've never been the biggest Marvel film fan. The Hulks were nothing special. I thought Thor sucked. Captain America was pretty good. Iron Man was the best of them and a great movie, but the second one was a big step down. Put all those guys together, give it a huge budget, an all-star cast, and amazing effects and you have something though.
This movie was huge. Huge. Massive. Epic. Awe-inspiring. The movie looked great, sounded great, and most important of all was great. It started a little slow for me, but with each scene the movie just picked up momentum and kept getting better and better.
I'm not going to say this is the best Superhero movie ever because in my opinion it just isn't. I'd take the original Superman, the Nolan trilogy, and Iron Man over this in those regards, but that isn't saying I don't completely respect this movie for what it is. This movie had so much going on. It didn't just have a focus on one superhero versus a villain or two. It had to put emphasis on a large amount of characters and it did so rather impressively. From Bruce Banner(The Hulk), who I thought was the best character in this film to Scarlett Johansson's sexy spy. All the characters were given just treatment and the character interplay is what made this film as good as it is.
So if you're one of the very few people who have not seen this yet, do so. It's definitely another move in the right direction for the superhero films. I'm extremely excited about the sequel and if they don't go to far away from what made this one so good, I could see that one even being potentially better. Only time will tell though. And hopefully this will give DC the push it needs to put out a Justice League movie, although I don't see them touching this quality with that.
After gaining control of the Tesseract (the mystic blue cube thing as seen in Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger), Thor's half-brother Loki uses it to gain control of an extraterrestrial army that he plans to use for global, if not universal domination. In response, S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Nick Fury and his underlings assemble their own counter-strike team of sorts to help combat the looming threat...and the lineup they choose is great: besides S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives Black Widow and Hawkeye, they get Thor, the Hulk, Captain America, and Iron Man.
It takes a while for this newly assembled team to learn to work together and play nicely, but when they do, they prove that it is possible to put egos, opinions, and other things aside in order to work together for a great cause. And the exact same thing can be said about the film's cast. I honestly don't know if II would want to be in Whedon's shoes. He had to take several lead-in movies, their established characters and actors (well, one's a re-cast but he is amazing), and piece them all together to make a cohesive and wieldy whole. Amazingly enough, it works. All of the performers bring their best, they have great chemistry with one another, and I love how they seem to treat this as more than just a paycheck.
Downey Jr. steals the show as one might expect, but each performer has at least one moment where they really shine, and the film does a pretty good job at developing at least all of the principles and giving them mostly balanced amounts of screen time. Renner could have been used more, but he's bad ass when he's around. Ruffalo makes a great replacement for Norton, and he is probably my favorite person to play the character in the last decade. I didn't give him much thought in Thor, but Tom Hiddleston is superb as Loki. He's a great villain: really creepy, charismatic, dangerous, and a joy to watch. Cobie Smulders makes an impression as agent Maria Hill, but she gets the short end of the stick mostly. Here's to hoping the sequel gives her more time to strut her stuff.
While the film does a really good job at juggling all the characters and their individual stories, the main plot of the movie is rather lackluster. I understand that the film was already pretty long, and it was noble of them to be so ambitious to take so much on at once, but they could have beefed things up a lot better, and fleshed out the stuff with the Tesseract more than they did. That might really be my only complaint actually. Granted, it's not small, but it's not quite enough to really wreck things.
Especially when this movie is so fun. It's action packed, thrilling, almost never drags, and, while not designed to be a comedy, is flat out hilarious at times. There's lots of great lines, character interactions, and little things here and there that all come together to make a movie that is bound to please almost everyone in at least one way or another.
This was quite an accomplishment. It's not perfect, but it sure comes close. It's easily the best movie of summer 2012, the best superhero movie of the year, and quite deserving of a place on the "best ever" superhero list.
Four years of hype is a difficult expectation to live up to. Who wouldn't be hyped for such a premise as one presented in "The Avengers"? The film could've turned out two different ways:
1) "The Avengers" could simply turn out to be one colossally hyped movie that doesn't live up to the hype due to a single-minded focus to bring the most epic, bad ass, in-your-face action of all time.
2) "The Avengers" would smartly play on what is drawing attention towards such a film: By focusing on how each of these notorious individuals but intensely dynamic super heroes, all with diverse stories and motives, come together to fight.
Luckily, "The Avengers" doesn't quite turn out to be the first option, but definitely doesn't turn out to be the latter one. It dwindles between the two and because of unfortunate restrictions (It's pretty difficult already to keep our attention span for 2 hours and 22 minutes), an overwhelmingly strong emphasis on the stale narrative that's ONLY placed in as a story arc for a "reasonable" reason to present the final battle, and avoiding what would make such a premise interesting in the first place.
Now to clear up all misconceptions, this must be said: "The Avengers" is not a bad movie; it successfully delivers its purpose: to entertain at a summer blockbuster action flick effort. With that said, the film never goes beyond its entertainment value. We, the viewers, are never emotionally attached, and once the final battle spurts forth, there's no tension whatsoever throughout. There's no worry for any of the heroes for their danger as they battle against innumerable odds. There's no strain weighed over our shoulders over whether the situation will be better. There's no sense of sorrow over the dreadful attacks enacted against the citizens of New York. The action's there only as a spectacle to dazzle with amazingly over-the-top set-pieces. Again, I must clarify that I'm all down for great action set-pieces, but when it carries no substance under the glamour, it's nothing more but a forgettable eye-dazzling moment that rushes by. "The Avengers" definitely has a lot more substance than the entire "Transformers" trilogy combined, but it still isn't enough especially when such a package is coupled with average direction, editing, and camerawork.
Remember "Heat" when Michael Mann brought in two of the greatest actors of all time on board (Robert De Niro and Al Pacino)? Well, they didn't share screen time together till an hour through the movie and it successfully stirred up a stronger yearning to see how these two masterful stars would interact with each other. And boy, what a scene that was when they finally met. "The Avengers"? Nope. Instead of a resounding booming clap of a reaction to see these iconic superheroes meeting on the same screen, it kinda trickles out with very impersonal results. The writing and the narrative all were focused on the uninteresting story arc of how Loki, an average and uninteresting villain within the Marvel series, seeks to destroy the world and how out of the blue, The Avengers must be formed. It was pretty mundane which caused the pacing to be very fickle. It's when the movie deviates from this lackluster plotline and let's the characters talk, instead of explain jibber-jabber to forward the inevitable action sequence, is when "The Avengers" truly shines. Unfortunately, it glimmers by letting the viewers taste what its like to see the character interact, but quickly gets shut out by not letting it prolong. The narrative never truly delves deeply into these intricate relationships.
This is not Marvel's best movie; it's far from it -- it entertains: Every time The Hulk came onto screen, he swept the show; the ending fight scene was one grand extravaganza with spectacular visuals and ingenious action moments; every character had a defining moment within this motion picture and the acting ensemble was all-around superb. "The Avengers" is a highly entertaining popcorn flick, but "Best superhero movie of all time!"? Hell no. It's not genre-defining material as "The Dark Knight" was.