Kenneth's Review of Marvel's The Avengers
Marvel's The Avengers(2012)
Before viewing, I sensed that Avengers was Disney's efforts to cash-in on six or seven different characters, rolling them together in one cinematic casserole in hopes of generating six or seven times the profit. Ultimately, even though this is exactly the case, the film does manage to add enough humor to keep my attention. Ironically, the most interesting parts of the film are NOT when the heroes suit up and make a mess of New York, but when they are all crammed into a single, windowless room, taking verbal potshots at each other's shortcomings, armor-less and irritated.
If you are a moviegoer who likes a lot of 'bells and whistles' with your story, Avengers is for you. But if you are looking for something that Rotten Tomatoes describes as having "a script that never forgets its heroes' humanity," you may be left a little confused as I was; I know this film genre isn't the most realistic in the portrayal of human existence, but believability is deeply diminished after our heroes crash a multitude of times through trees/rocks/buildings/solid steel, and emerge with only fashionable cuts on upper eyebrows and lips. While the effects are good, they are all "expected," including the grand finale featuring falling buildings and fireballs, an image Hollywood has force fed the public since 9/11. I felt like I was watching a bunch of boys playing war games in the sandbox for two straight hours, and was shocked by how much I WASN'T laughing; this film should have been looser in its execution and even wittier in the dialogue department. (These are COMIC books, after all.)
However, despite all this, much of this film seemed to work. Downey Jr.'s Ironman, while coming off as an annoying playboy in his first two feature films, is very fitting alongside fellow Avengers; the man serves as a Han Solo-ish bad boy who intentionally stirs the hornet's nest of super tempers in order to fulfill his emotional whims. Johanasson's Black Widow, while never possessing a superhero power (a fact which raises many issues of on-screen sexism I won't get into here,) is quite strong-willed, and realistically gets her butt kicked as often as she kicks it; she is, perhaps, the most believable of the on-screen action figures. However, it is Ruffalo who shines the brightest; though his CG transformation into the epic, green guy is tarnished because special effects artists took the safe route by aping Peter Jackson's King Kong, (down to the chest thumping,) his mild-mannered scientist role makes him both sympathetic and understandable.
Overall, this is not a bad film; I would deffinately watch it again. However, I felt none of the awesomeness most have attributed to it, as it contained none of the intriguing dialogue in Nolan's The Dark Knight, nor the revolutionary CG effects of Raimi's original Spiderman in 2002.