MOVIE REVIEW: THE AVENGERS (2012)

“You came here with a mission, sir”

I’ve come to realize, after revisiting all of the Avenger related films last week, that MARVEL and I have a special relationship. This is a relationship based solely on my gut reaction being a lot more fanboy-ish than I’d ever want to admit. So after taking a whole 24-hours to reflect on The Avengers I hope that the reaction that follows has calmed some to equate to something more understandable.

Five films in the making MARVEL decides to hand the biggest nerd culture fan boy that has the privilege of being a film director, Joss Whedon, the reigns to make their multi-billion dollar franchise tent pole film of 2012, The Avengers.

So with a film that has the task of taking four well established leading men, adding a few supporting players, and making them all play nice and then producing an adversary worthy of having them be challenged, it’s not hard to say that this could’ve gone massively wrong. The film clocks in at near two hours and thirty minutes and it’s a wonder at how there weren’t that many dead spots where plot didn’t feel too campy or character development (in this case that of the team) didn’t feel overlooked.

With Professor Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard)* see Thor (2011) working on harnessing the power of Tesseract* see Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) at the SHIELD headquarters. Unprovoked the cube powers up and let’s Loki (Tom Hiddleston) into our realm and he steals the cube for his own purposes. This begins Sgt. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) having to call in all of his agents as well as the few extraordinary players for his Avengers – Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rodgers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and added bonus Thor (Chris Hemsworth) – initiative to help deal with this threat of intergalactic war.

The first hundred minutes of the film are dedicated solely to the unification of The Avengers. These men, each are a leader in their own way, are not well playing together, for obvious reasons. However, it is the belief of Nick Fury that together they can be a force worthy of any adversary. So we’re forced to sit through a lot of bickering and half believed cohabitation here and there. The problem with that is that it isn’t anything I’d refuse to see. Watching Captain America and Tony Stark go at it, Thor and Bruce Banner is such an enjoyably comedic and action adventure fun time that I couldn’t help but refuse to see any of the obvious flaws in the film itself. I would even go so far as to say that the flaws are so minimal that they’re not even worth being too critical about.

While I have a personal attachment to the character and film of Thor, the highlight of this movie has to be Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of Bruce Banner/Hulk. I deeply love The Incredible Hulk and Edward Norton’s acting there, this time around he seemed so much more frail while at the same time having a small sense of confidence that helped the slight twist for him in the third act so much more effective in that OMFG summer blockbusting way.

I guess at the end of the day this film is a true action comic book extravaganza. Not in the same way that The Raid is, or Kick-Ass is, or even The Dark Knight is, but at the same time isn’t that what makes it great. In my view MARVEL always knew to be fun at the end of the day. It may have shortchanged some great dialogue, character darkness (which has become very popular among comic book culture nowadays) and even realism, but I don’t think I’d ask for any of that if it meant giving up things like Cap America handing Nick Fury that ten dollars in the film or Agent Coulsen (Clark Gregg) being a complete fanboy or even the Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) moments, especially when she gets the call to come in. This film stands out among the plethora of comic book adaptations that the internet wants to pretend it wants to stop. I rather just enjoy the ride.

Rating: 8.5/10

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Author: Andrew Robinson

This is my blog. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. My blog is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my blog is useless. Without my blog, I am useless. I must fire my blog true. I will. Before God I swear this creed: my blog and myself are defenders of my mind, we are the masters of our enemy, we are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen.

  • Steven Flores

    Is it too early to make an Oscar campaign for Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk?  Dude ruled that film.

     

    •  It'll never happen and I wouldn't dare to be ready to defend such a statement.

  • I think I liked X Men First Class more and I think it just felt like they crammed too much , but I enjoyed it. Hulk took that movie, I also want a Hawkeye & Black Widow movie. There seems to be a lot about their story they wanted to hint about (Hawkeye saving her, the video clips of them fighting together and the 'it's like Bierut' comment) Hmm. Maybe I'm being too picky. 

    • Well I kind of took the "it's like Bierut" gag to be akin to all of the Ocean's Twelve kind of jokes where Damon and Cheadle are listing off a lot of do a Larry David, … and we're just to get it being funny that they have this history together. It's a joke that doesn't always land and I was meh on that particular one. Not quite sure I'd want a Hawkeye/Black Widow mainly because I'd see it going one of two ways in my mind. Either it's another Jason Bourne/Mission Impossible film (which Renner is already doing literally) or it turns into an Electra movie, where the character doesn't seem to warrant a full film.

      The film is a bit top heavy with trying to amalgamate all these egos, it takes them over an hour to get Tony to play well with Cap and Thor, but I guess like a great TV show it was fun enough along the way that I didn't hate the time spent.