Zoë's Movie Review: THE AVENGERS
Published: April 16, 2012 - 9:01am
Writer/director Joss Whedon has done the impossible and created the greatest comic book movie of all time. He took four big name super heroes from individual films, paired them with others who have only so far made cameo appearances and brilliantly conjoined them into a single story. I am a big fan of Marvel Studios' batch of movies, and I have recently come to appreciate Whedon’s prior work, but it's when these two forces came together with The Avengers that I believe movie magic was truly, and perfectly, achieved.
In The Avengers, four mainstream comic book heroes -- Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor -- are joined by five highly trained government agents to defend the world from an imminent and deadly assault. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) comes to Earth after his defeat at the hands of his adopted brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth) to wage war on humanity in an effort to rule us all. He has garnered the help of an extraterrestrial army to unleash his fury on mankind, and our fate is now in the hands of a ragtag team of heroes who aren't prepared to work together. Captain America (Chris Evans) has been recently awoken from accidental suspended animation and is trying to adapt his 1940's way of life to a cynical modern civilization. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) continues his work on his arc reactor technology in hopes of providing unlimited energy to the world; this journey takes him to New York City for the construction of Stark Tower. Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) has tried to stay off government radar while traveling the world helping people who randomly suffer from radiation sickness. S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) join Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) to uncover Loki's plan for domination and assemble a first line of defense, known as The Avengers.
Hands down, the writing -- particularly the dialogue -- is the best part of this film. Without Joss Whedon’s extensive changes to the script, this movie would not have been as wonderfully fluid. Some critics have complained that the first half drags on but I don’t believe so at all. At it's core, this is huge action film. But it is first and foremost a character piece. This band of heroes deserve their own proper, individual acknowledgement. You cannot expect a group of large muscled super heroes to get along right away, and not only do they have to battle their personal demons but work together towards a common goal. Whedon delivers this dynamic in spades. For those who were worried that Iron Man would receive all the screen time and the other characters would be secondary, have no fear. Everyone is given character development and plenty of moments to kick serious ass.
There is more humor, action, and heartbreak in this film than all of Marvel Studios' previous films combined. The solo films were origin stories, with hours dedicated to their personal journeys, and here -- in an abbreviated time frame -- we learn just as much about their personalities. This is the first film I have seen where comic book characters did not lose their comic book touch on the big screen. It’s as though Whedon wrote a comic and magically transferred it to live-action reality. No other super hero movie has accomplished what this film has done; believe me, I've seen them all countless times. This is a revolutionary time for comic book fans, and Joss Whedon has changed the entire game with this film. From now on, both movies and comic books themselves will be held to a precedent where the characters have to not only be entertaining and powerful, but human and engaging ALL THE TIME. This movie makes me proud to be a part of the comic book community, and will undoubtedly convert many non-fans into die-hards within the span of two hours.
Feel free to watch this movie in 3D in that is your preference. Considering it was post converted it was surprisingly solid but overall not necessary for a full immersion experience. Thankfully there are no "in your face" pop up gimmicks as seen in other films released in this format. The effects, particularly the facial expressions for Hulk and fight scenes, are very well done and the classical score sucks you into this world. If you are a Marvel fan, you will need hours afterwards to recover from how much this film will affect you. It's not just visceral entertainment but an emotional roller coaster that leaves you completely satisfied yet utterly exhausted. The trailers hardly gave away any information, but do yourself a favor and NOT READ ANY SPOILERS. Go into this film knowing as little as possible and stay after the credits for the famed Marvel epilogue.
The Avengers is the most wonderful cinematic adventure I have experienced in as long as I can remember, and I cannot talk about this film without saying a big thank you to all those involved in making this production a reality.
Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1963, Marvel’s The Avengers brings together the mightiest super hero characters as they all assemble together on screen for the first time. Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel’s The Avengers is the super hero team up of a lifetime. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster.
Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man, Iron Man 2) returns as the iconic Tony Stark/Iron Man along with Chris Hemsworth (Thor) as Thor, Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger) as Captain America, Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) as Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are Alright) as Hulk, Scarlett Johansson (Iron Man 2) as Black Widow, Clark Gregg (Iron Man, Thor) as Agent Phil Coulson, and Samuel L. Jackson (Iron Man, Iron Man 2) as Nick Fury. The star studded cast of super heroes will be joined by Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) as Agent Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as Tom Hiddleston (Wallander) and Stellan Skarsgård (Angels & Demons, Mamma Mia!) who will both reprise their respective roles as Loki and Professor Erik Selvig from the upcoming Marvel Studios’ feature Thor. The Avengers is scheduled for theatrical release in the US on May 4th, 2012.