Marvel’s The Avengers: Review

Well it’s really been a work in progress ever since Marvel Studios first began slinging blockbuster films at audiences back in 2008; but it’s finally here, The Avengers.  To be perfectly honest when I walked out of Iron Man four years ago after seeing Sam Jackson’s cameo and a small hint at an Avenger’s movie, I really didn’t buy it.  The whole thing seems too convoluted and too much of a pipe dream where everything would have to break the right way.  Well, much to everyone’s delight, it did.

Kevin Fiege is really the man to thank for the genesis of this project when he took over for Avi Arad in 2008 as studio head for Marvel Studios.  Soon after, Marvel was bought by Disney much to the chagrin of fans and people who don’t understand how big business works.  After that cooled down it was Fiege who had the idea behind penning Jackson to a 8 picture deal and having him appear in cameo roles in all of the upcoming (now released) Marvel studio films.  Marvel then began to pen multi-film contracts with more actors and also stopped auctioning off they’re characters to other studios.(Ex: Columbia with Spiderman, Fox with X-Men)

All the business red tape fell into the right places and then after Jon Favreau decided to take a producing roll, Marvel studios took a gamble and hired Joss Whedon to direct.  Some of you may thumb your nose at that statement but the fact is Whedon’s work has a cult following but has never generated much revenue for studios and really grasped a wide audience.  Well I can tell you without any hesitation that Whedon was the perfect man for the job.  So that is a quick run down of the genesis of this project and now with all of that aside and me constantly doubting such a lucrative project would ever come to pass, it’s happened, it’s here, and the Avengers is one hell of a movie.

If you’ve seen the commercial then you know the plot; The World’s Greatest Heroes Captain America, Iron-Man, Thor, The Hulk and others come together to fight a looming threat that will destroy the world.  It’s a pretty bare bones plot but it really has to be to accomplish what this movie wants to be;  It’s not the Dark Knight, a gritty realistic crime drama, no this film is a comic book on film, as close as you will ever see in your life.  Another obstacle over come is the balance of all these characters in one flick.  Within the script and film direction they do a masterful job at giving you just enough of every character and making each one feel pivotal to the movie and it’s story.

For me it was the social aspects that were at times a show stealer, watching these characters of such power and fury interact with each other is worth the price of admission alone.  Characters collide is extremely entertaining scene after another with the humor and levity that only Joss Whedon can provide while keeping a serious and dire tone.  All of this amounts to the predictable and enjoyable final battle that lasts almost longer than some movies.  The thing that may catch you off guard is how coherent the action scenes and one long continuous shot in particular that is absolutely breath taking.

The acting performances are all excellent right down the line, really no qualms or complaints about any of the heroes. Extra helpings of praise go to Robert Downey Jr. who gets his mojo back in this film with what I thought was a poor showing in Iron Man 2.  Scarlett Johansen who I predicted would be a throw away character in Black Window stands out wonderfully in this flick.  Part of that praise should go to Whedon who molds his female characters as tough, intelligent and all be it important characters instead of the usual brainless love fodder we are so used to.

Finally Tom Hiddleston who was good in Thor but great in The Avenger’s as The mischievous villain Loki.  He’s convincing as the foil to earth’s greatest heroes and when he finally gets his comeuppance, it might be one of the most crown pleasing moments in movie history.

Finally the big stand out for me was “The Hulk” This really is his third go around and they’ve finally gotten it right.  The first Hulk movie was a disaster, the second was better but not great and then his turn in the Avenger’s was pitch perfect.  Mark Ruffallo nails trouble yet brilliant Doctor Bruce Banner and when he unleashes the monster it’s really some of the most exciting moments in the film.

I think what will get lost in time is really the potential for what a giant cluster fuck this movie could have been considering everything that had to fall into place.  Too many story lines to connect, too many egos to stroke, it was just going to be too much, but they got it done and done right.  Whedon balanced everything perfectly and he’s really showed he’s right up there as one of the best for having a great eye for action cinematography.  I waited about 5 days to write this review because I didn’t want it to be too knee jerky, but I think as time has passed I like the film even more because it’s become very difficult to pick out any major flaws.  I know it’s not a film as some will dismiss it as a brainless actioner and that’s fine.  My point is where big action movies fail with foreced love stories, empty plots and characters you don’t give a shit about, The Avengers has all of that plus the giant action set pieces.  That stuff aside the big winner here is Joss Whedon.  He’s been scrapping and clawing with some great unique projects that just never struck a big audience and now he’s breaking box office records.  If Marvel is smart they will pay the man big time money and keep him around for as long as possible because he has officially broken out.

All in all this was a home-run for Marvel/Disney and as a comic book fan this is the movie you’d see in your head when you pictured an Avengers movie.  It’s safe to say this is the best comic book adaption of all time.  I’m not ready to start the Avengers/Dark Knight debate (I guess I just did) lets wait until after July 20th for that.  This is literally everything you loved as a child (at least I did) jumping off the panels of a comic book and on to the big screen.  The appeal of this film is really in it’s grand scale and seeing it in theaters will stick with people the way Star Wars, ET, and Indiana Jones did in the 80’s.  The way Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park did in the 90’s.  The way Lord of the Rings, Spiderman and The Dark Knight did in the 2000’s.  The Avengers fits into that movie going experience for myself and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

 

Bonus

 

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~ by ATOM on May 8, 2012.

2 Responses to “Marvel’s The Avengers: Review”

  1. Can’t wait to see it, so glad you like it :).

    • Thanks! Yeah I saw it friday and even waited a few days to write a review just to let it all sink in before I wrote about it. Great flick, highly recommend it.

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