THE AVENGERS

Directed by Joss Whedon

 

CAST

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America

Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk

Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Scarlett Johannson as Natasha Romanov/Black Widow

Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye

Tom Hiddleston as Loki

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

 

There were multiple valid reasons for me to hate the Avengers, so the fact that I liked it as much as I did should speak volumes about what a blast this movie is.

Reason 1: I’ve read a ton of Thor comics, and I hate the long-haired bastard. Verily I speaketh as ifeth I am eighteth years oldeth in a playeth at schooleth about Shakesperath even though I am a milleneth year oldeth Norse thundish godeth. People give Batman a hard time about his daddy issues, but Thor is like 3000 years old and still whining about how Daddy doesn’t love him even though it’s abundantly clear that Loki was the one who got the shaft more. And why does he hang out in America all the time? That’s like Captain America spending all his time in Norway.

    It’s shit like this, Odinson.

 

 

Reason 2: I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would like a character like Hulk. Whether it’s comic books, movies, games or TV shows, he’s always got the same thing going on. He punches things repeatedly until they can no longer be punched, and then he moves on to the next punchable item. Don’t get me wrong, he’s the best at what he does (suck it, Wolverine) but when what you do is that damn monotonous I start to lose interest at alarming speeds.

No, Iron Man. He is capable of precisely one thing.

 

 

Reason 3: I have an unreasonable hatred of Joss Whedon. This is because countless people have told me how great Buffy and Firefly are, but I was bored to tears while watching them. Contrary to what you might expect of someone who watches movies perpetually, I have incredibly low standards. For years I was convinced Scary Movie 2 was a cinematic masterpiece. (In contrast, Whedon also wrote a show called Dollhouse, and I loved every single minute of that show even though the whole world agreed it was complete garbage). So if Buffy and Firefly did not meet my incredibly low standards, what good could come of giving Joss Whedon seventy gajillion dollars to make this movie?

 

 

As it turned out……..so much good. The characters all have great intros, with the big bad villain introduced within the first few minutes of the film, his motivations and goals explained on the fly. Within…..say, 20 minutes of the film’s beginning you already know the nature of the threat the Avengers are facing.

Black Widow has some notably badass moments in this movie, which is not surprising. Say what you want about Whedon (I sure do) but he does know how to write femme fatales. She actually has a personality and character in this movie, as opposed to her appearance in Iron Man 2 where her role was confined to Skintight Latex Ninja Chick.

Iron Man was Iron Man, just as he was in the previous two movies where he was Iron Man. There was no change in how the character was portrayed, which is a good thing; you can’t improve on what’s perfect. Thor and Cap were stumbling blocks for me. They didn’t really fit into the movie very well, in my opinion. They were there for some minor drama and the action sequences. Same goes for Hawkeye.

To my initial shock and disbelief, Hulk steals this entire movie. Every scene that has either Banner or Hulk in it is just terrific stuff, and Mark Ruffalo gives the best performance in this entire movie. It’s even better than Robert Downey Jr’s. There’s a scene near the end of the film with Loki and Hulk in it, and……..well, I don’t want to spoil anything, but that single scene (which goes on for about 10 seconds or so) alone is worth the price of the ticket.

Spoiler alert: Hulk smashes everything

The action scenes are expertly filmed, Michael Bay should take notes. There’s never any shakycam or unnecessary lights and sounds, everything is done perfectly on that front.

My only real gripe is that this is an action movie through and through (which isn’t a problem if you want that sort of thing) but its attempts at being more than that, at bringing some serious drama into the film, are clumsy at best. The film’s entire plot can be summed up as “Loki—-army—-world domination—-avengers assemble—–gets his ass handed to him”. There’s another scene where Loki’s enslaving a crowd and one of the citizens he’s attempting to dominate makes a Holocaust analogy to describe his actions. The whole scene is just so awkward that you feel like screaming “Yes! We get it! Loki is Hitler!”. It’s not helped by the arrival of Captain America, who brings up the Nazi thing too. 99% of this movie is an action extravaganza, and that part is terrific. The remaining 1% that tries to elevate the plot a bit is just not done well. If they’d given that more thought, it would have been a perfect film.

Oh, and if you stay back after the credits, you’ll get a look at the villain for the sequel. Those of you who know who he is should be excited.

Watch It?

Definitely. Watch it at least once, you absolutely have to.

RATING

 

 

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