I’ll admit, I was worried that The Avengers was going to flop. The trailers excited me, but I was afraid that comic book fans would love the film, but average moviegoers and critics would condemn it. I was also afraid that Hollywood would dig its claws into the film and eviscerate any child that Joss Whedon bore.
I’m proud to say that The Avengers wasn’t just the best comic book movie, it was one of the most entertaining movies I’ve seen in a long time.
The plot is simple. For a movie with so many big characters sharing the screen, it almost had to be simplified to draw in audiences who weren’t lifelong comic book fans. Loki has an alien army that he is trying to enslave mankind mostly because he’s a dick, and partly because it’s payback against his brother, Thor. Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. has to form a group of superheroes to combat the God of Mischief and prevent the end of the world. Like I said, simple.
The Avengers takes everything you love about a comic book movie and adds Joss Whedon. Action, wit, heart, and a group of actors that make you care about their characters. Seeing Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and the Hulk come together in one film is what drives the movie. Robert Downey Jr. is essentially playing himself as Tony Stark and the charm is never-ending. But Joss Whedon adds such humor and wit to the other characters that he makes them even more likable than they may have been in their own films. I’m not much of a Mark Ruffalo fan, but he pulled off a Bruce Banner that will most definitely be at the forefront of any future plans Marvel has for the Hulk. Sorry Ed Norton, I liked you better than Eric Bana, but Ruffalo won the world over.
And oh yes, Hulk definitely smashes in this film and steals every scene.
With a 2 and 1/2 hour running time, The Avengers had to set up enough character moments to give these characters a chance to learn and grow from one another. There is never a dull scene because every dialogue usually ends with some witty line or sarcastic remark that makes you chuckle if nothing else. Whedon sets these scenes up perfectly to introduce and sometimes smash these characters into one another so that by the end of the film we have a group of people that know and trust one another. We could have probably done without Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, but the actor does get enough one-liners to suggest maybe there’s a good character in there somewhere. We just have to see more of him. The last thirty minutes of the film is nothing but all out war and one of the most satisfying camera sweeps I’ve ever scene showcasing each of these heroes in action.
The Avengers is every comic book fan’s dream and a satisfying summer blockbuster that is worth every penny. It’s dominated the box office so far domestically and internationally, bringing home more bucks than any of the other films have individually. What does this mean for Marvel? It means that Joss Whedon has opened the doorway to making a better quality of comic book film. Whedon also lends more depth and characterization that Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth can use in their future sequels. Steve Rogers in this movie is a man who has finally seen the present world and will be interesting to see moving forward in Captain America 2.
These actors embody these comic book characters, and Tom Hiddleston finally portrayed Loki as the sadistic schemer that I was hoping for, but didn’t really see grow to fruition in Thor. He’s finally the type of villain who will sit by as Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man battle it out while he watches from the sidelines. I see a big future for Hiddleston, and I’ll be seeing more of his other films in the future because anyone who can wear Loki’s costume and still be taken seriously has some serious talent.
If Marvel continues to interweave their stories like they do in the comics, than they will have more and more films introducing new heroes and assembling them in future Avengers movies. This will practically ensure Marvel’s domination of Hollywood and give DC and Warner Bros. something to sweat about.
I know every Batman fan out there is rooting for The Dark Knight Rises, and despite the fact that Christopher Nolan is my favorite director, Joss Whedon’s The Avengers will give it a run for its money. During one particularly gratifying scene involving Hulk and Loki, I looked around at the audience to see their reaction. The theater was packed and every face was smiling and laughing. One guy, an older man who probably read The Avengers comics thirty years ago as a kid, looked like he was that little kid again, clapping and cheering and laughing. That’s what’s special about a movie like this that the Batman movies and many other superhero films are lacking. While they may be cinematographically epic, dark, and have a great director behind them, there’s a certain bit of heart and soul that’s missing. The Avengers may have its silly moments and lose that “grounded in reality” quality that so many people praise these days, but by the end of the film, it all gets lost in this growing superhero cinema-world that Marvel is creating.
The Avengers was a dream-fulflilling spectacle for people everywhere and the level of pure entertainment is what’s going to steal the summer box office from all of the other comic book movies coming out this year. If you haven’t seen The Avengers yet, get on that. You’re missing out on the definitive comic book movie and one hell of a good time.