“You came here with a mission, sir”
Iâ€™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 Iâ€™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, itâ€™s not hard to say that this couldâ€™ve gone massively wrong. The film clocks in at near two hours and thirty minutes and itâ€™s a wonder at how there werenâ€™t that many dead spots where plot didnâ€™t feel too campy or character development (in this case that of the team) didnâ€™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 letâ€™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 â€“ Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rodgers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and added bonus Thor (Chris Hemsworth) â€“ 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 weâ€™re forced to sit through a lot of bickering and half believed cohabitation here and there. The problem with that is that it isnâ€™t anything Iâ€™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 couldnâ€™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 theyâ€™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 Ruffaloâ€™s portrayal of Bruce Banner/Hulk. I deeply love The Incredible Hulk and Edward Nortonâ€™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 isnâ€™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 donâ€™t think Iâ€™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.