Movie Review: The Avengers

Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi  action throughout and a mild drug reference. Running time 142 minutes, Action/Adventure/Sci-fi

Plays like: Star Trek (2009), Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)

Back in 2002, I remember reading an article for a possible Superman/Batman movie. This of course, was before they rebooted the Batman franchise altogether and I remember thinking “They’ll never do that! They can’t! It’d be too much and not enough at the same time!” And I think I was right about that still. So when there was talk of an Avengers movie in ’08 when the first Iron Man was released, I was skeptical. But with all the end-credits scenes and movie-by-movie, the heroes were introduced. Even as I was watching the Iron Man interract with Captain America, Thor, Nick Fury; I was still thinking “Man, I can’t believe they actually did it.” Well, they did and you’re gonna like it.

Loki (Tom Hiddelston) returns from his exile by way of a portal created by the Tesseract, an object with vague and ridiculous power. Desperate for an answer to the menace Loki causes within just the first few minutes he’s back, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) calls together “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” to face the threat. Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye might be able to defeat the villain if they can survive each other first.

Everything fans of the previous films loved are present here, specifically the characters: Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is back of course and still as arrogant as ever and I wouldn’t be surprised if he were voted the most entertaining figure in the film. Captain America is still reeling from the fact that 2012 just isn’t the same thing as 1944 and is a little colder and a little more distant this time around. Thor is put in a strange disposition as it’s his brother who’s causing all the damage and all the talk of how to kill him makes the god of thunder a little apprehensive. Mark Ruffalo makes his appearance and plays a surprisingly larger part as Banner before the big green guy is actually able to show up. Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as the ultra-spy Black Widow and Jeremy Renner appears (for more than 2 minutes like in Thor)as SHIELD agent Hawkeye whose arrows are as deadly as his aim is accurate.

Whether or not a person is going to like this film is up to that individual, but you’ve got to give the writers Zak Penn and Joss Whedon for bringing it together the way they have. One could say bringing in all these characters would just cause a mess of a film. Some loud, abberant explosion similar to what Green Lantern was. But thankfully, Green Lantern this is not. While not playing by the superhero handbook to the tee, we still recieve a loud, fun, coherent superhero movie. A lot of the comic book movies forget the “coherent” part. About 20 minutes in, audiences will realize this is the first blockbuster of the summer and the good times will roll.

A major aspect of the film is the chemistry between the characters. Loki may be the villain in the film but every hero at one point or another looks the other as a possible threat. And why wouldn’t they? Bruce Banner aka The Hulk could kill everyone around him in a mood swing while Thor’s own brother is trying to take over the planet making Thor appear a little untrustworthy. The Captain isn’t sure of anything being that he’s been in stasis for seventy years and Iron Man is one cocky jerk. But dang it, how can you not love him. Well, Captain America doesn’t and it’s apparent just a few minutes in because they all take turns fighting each other, something the fanboys will eat up. In fact, one of the best moments in the film (that won’t spoil anything) is a grudge match between Hulk and Thor. The Jade Giant and god of Thunder duking it out onboard the SHIELD helicarrier is one of the few times in any comic book movie I’ve ever watched and had it feel like film and comic book have meshed perfectly, no medium compromising to the other. If there were a complaint about any of these scenes, a couple moments seem a little forced to get the characters to cross swords, but nothing worth whining about.

The climax of the film is something to behold as well, seeing as how secret identities are done away with, discretion is a thing of the past and (as you can see from the trailer) New York is being destroyed. What can our heroes do but counterattack with everything they’ve got. The destruction is on a Michael Bay level.

If I had to have an ultimate complaint, it might be with the villain, the god of Mischief himself, Loki. Tom Hiddelston does a fine job with what he’s given but unfortunately, it never goes past “spoiled rich kid.” If you’ve ever seen The Italian Job (2002) or last year’s Fast Five, Loki never goes past the lead villain whose constantly being made a fool of by the protagonists. He never feels like a real terror, save for the obstacles he surrounds himself with. This may not be a problem for others, but I found it hard to fear what he might do if he were to rule the planet by the third time Fury or Iron Man had a one on one and verbally bested him.

All in all, people will love this movie and the mid-credits scene will have comic book nerd freaking out about what’s to come while the casual movie goer may be scratching their heads and rushing to the closest comic book store to figure out what’s next.

Grade: B+

3 Responses to “Movie Review: The Avengers”

  1. vegan pug Says:

    My favorite thing about the movie was simply the hulk. Marvel has finally found an actor that brings to life what i imaged bruce banner to be like. mark ruffalo was a much better pick then all of the other failed hulks.
    I really enjoyed the avengers movie and only had a few complaints.

    • Taylor Says:

      I was just talking about that actually. I was cool with Edward Norton but Mark Ruffalo did well in the role and from what I hear, they’ve finally picked the actor who will stick around for more than a single movie.

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