REVIEW: The Avengers

 

Short Spoiler-Free Review:

The Avengers presents everything a summer blockbuster requires. Action, Drama,  Humor, and Heartache. First announced back in 2008 (Rumors of its production started as early as 2005) fans didn’t believe this movie was possible. An epic ensemble with its build up from 5 separate, yet connected, movies. From its roots IronMan, IronMan 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger, fans have tried to piece together what a movie like this would be, but most of all, they tried to imagine how it would be possible.

The movie shouldn’t have worked. Its reputation, its hype, its build up, should have ruined it, And if it was any other movie it would have. But it didn’t.

The Avengers was directed by Cult favorite Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Serenity, Dollhouse) work has created him a reputation that sometimes can precede him, but he delivered more than anyone could have ever imagined. The entire movie feels like a third act to an epic story that first started with IronMan and was building up from these 5 movies. What caught me off guard, and surprised me the most, was how amazingly funny it was. I experienced something I had not seen since I was a child, people laughed out loud, and hard.  People cheered and laughed some more, it was like a theater performance, people loved it, ate it up, and were enveloped by it. It transcended the everyday movie and became an experience.

Some may ask, “Should I see the other 5 to understand the Avengers?” Short answer, Yes. But you don’t have to.

I took my wife over the weekend to see this movie, and she had only seen about 30 minutes of the first IronMan, and 45 of Captain America, in short, she likes Superhero movies, but hasn’t bothered to really watch any of them. She loved it. Absolutely loved it. But, for every moment she didn’t understand, she would lean over and ask a question, and by the halfway point of the movie, I had answered over two dozen. After the movie, she pulled me aside, and told me that the movie was amazing, and she would want to see it again, but first she would want to sit down and watch the other 5.

Bottom line. The Avengers is everything a fan would hope it to be, and more than what the average movie goer will expect. You don’t need to be a fan to enjoy the movie, but if you have taken the time to see the other 5, this movie will do exactly what you want for these characters. It is not the perfect comic book/superhero movie, but it is damn close.

 

The Avengers 4.5/5 – A

Below the break is a Longer Spoiler-Filled Review

*If you do not want key moments of the movie ruined for you, do not read any further.*

Last Warning:

Below is a Spoiler-Filled Review of The Avengers:

*If you do not want key moments of the movie ruined for you, do not read any further.*

From its opening moments, The Avengers pulled from the ending of Captain America. Shield has the Cosmic Cube. And Thor’s Dr.  Erik Selvig is leading the way to unlock its power.

With a flash of light, and a roar of power, Loki is brought before them by the cube. Within moments he is on a rampage to reclaim the Cube for his own purposes. Taking with him Selvig and Hawkeye as his new pawns, and killing everyone else he doesn’t need, and leaving the entire facility in a crater close to a mile in diameter.

From the very start of this movie, you know Loki is pissed. All his anger and resentment from the ending of Thor has led him to make a deal with some unknown force for an army to hit Thor where it would hurt him the most, Earth. And his payment for this army, giving his dealer the Cube.

In response to the attack, Nick Fury makes the call. The Avengers initiative has been reinstated, and he personally goes and rounds up Captain America, while he sends Agent Coulson to get IronMan, and Black Widow to get Dr. Bruce Banner (AKA The Hulk).

That’s when the movie starts to really pick up its pace.

None of these heroes got along. A statement easily proved by Thor’s appearance and the epic fight between him, IronMan, and Captain America that followed. And as soon as they all got together in a room, they were at each others throats. All these heroes, top of their game, best of the best, their egos clashing. They are all use to being the main characters in their individual stories and lives. now having to work together for something they aren’t even sure of.

Then Agent Coulson was killed in action. Doing the one thing nobody expected him to. He went face to face with Loki. He stood up to a god, and didn’t blink. The death of his character galvanized the team, as well as the audience, and gave The Avengers something to avenge.

The Avengers brought about a unique connection made from all 5 of the previous movies that built it up. But what it did most, was hit you right where you needed it, your heart.

The movie was filled with fan pleasing moment. I could type all day about what this movie did right, but instead I’m just going to list it off.

  • Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth are amazing. Just as good as they are in their previous films, and by the end of the movie, their characters are even better.
  • Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner are better than I ever expected. The “cameos” from IronMan 2 and Thor didn’t even scratch the surface on how awesome they got.
  • Although I was initially pissed about Edward Norton being recast, I now truly believe that his way of portraying Banner just wouldn’t have worked well, and Mark Ruffalo fit in perfectly. The Hulk had easily some of the best moments. From his flat out beat down on Loki and the “puny god” remark he make after, to randomly punching Thor in the face after they took down the leviathan together. THE HULK STOLE THE SHOW. And the awesome nod to how Banner now controls the change “I’m always angry” was amazing, not what I was expecting him to say, such a simple explanation, but fit very well.
  • I knew the Helicarrier was coming, but it still amazed me. In the comics the thing just looks silly, and is like this flying boat, but for the movie, they made something that looked like it worked, and it was breathtaking.
  • I loved the final fight. It lasted forever, and when it was finally over, I felt exhausted. I felt that previous movies had kind of let down the audience on the final fights, Thor’s was pretty good, IronMan 2’s sucked (the Whiplash fight was like 3 min, seriously what the hell?) and the only one that really fit the title of “awesome” was the 15min fight in the Incredible Hulks fight in Harlem. THIS FIGHT TOPPED EVERYTHING I HAD PREVIOUSLY SEEN IN A MOVIE. EPIC.
  • Even though I knew it was coming (The inclusion of the Infinity Gauntlet in Odin’s Trophy room in Thor was a big enough hint for most fans), the reveal that THANOS (pretty much MARVEL’S version of the embodiment of all evil in the universe) was the guy who gave Loki his army was awesome. Great way to set up potentially an even bigger sequel.

The Avengers was amazing. It lived up to the hype, and that rarely ever happens in Hollywood. I cant wait to see it again, and whatever Marvel does next, I await eagerly.

The Avengers 4.5/5 – A

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