Okay. I am a geek. I know this. I am proud of it actually. And The Avengers is a geek’s wildest dreams come true. Throughout I found myself saying things like–OMG! That’s awesome!–That was so badass!–That’s so cool!–Holy Shit! Wow! Yeah…it is that good! The best part? Everything. Yet, I am going to say that the master behind this is Joss Whedon, who takes these distinct characters and allows each to shine and then weaves them together to create an outstanding universe. There are tons of quotable lines and memorable scenes and this is the first film of the year that I want to see again and again. Bravo!
Let us also acknowledge that this movie is an accomplishment–four different comic heroes, stars of their own movies, joining forces to save the world. Having that many egos to contend with must have been a daunting task, yet Whedon makes it look easy. He is able to strike the perfect balance between character development and story with badass action and comic book sensibilities. Then in true Whedon style he adds plenty of humor and unexpected depth and heart. The Avengers is a true crowd-pleaser that also maintains the integrity of each superhero, but never forgets to have fun with it.
I enjoyed all the Marvel movies (Iron Man 1& 2, Thor, Captain A, and even The Incredible Hulk) that were building up to this release–some more than others (Captain America was my favorite and I believe the best film of the bunch), but they were all entertaining. The Avengers takes entertainment to the next level. It never forgets what it is and what the fans expect and want–that’s what makes it brilliant!
Robert Downey, Jr takes the helm and delivers some of the best lines in true Tony Stark fashion. Downey is always a pleasure to watch and has his character down to a science. Chris Evans is wonderful as Captain Steve Rogers and is the true leader of the group–he represents what a true hero should be. Chris Hemsworth is a more mature Thor this time around and it works. Thor is on a mission to save his brother, Loki (played perfectly by Tom Hiddleston) who really is just a puppet for a greater evil and threat. But the best surprise is Mark Ruffalo as Dr. Bruce Banner and “the other guy” aka the Hulk. The only actor not proven in the role, Ruffalo was a risk–a risk that paid off! This is the Hulk I’ve been waiting for! He is a shy, nervous genius and yet, there is something behind his eyes that makes him dangerous–perfect. (As an avid Hulk TV show watcher I can say…I’ve missed you Dr.Banner.) And for those that may doubt it–do not underestimate the power of HULK SMASH!!
Let us not forget the straight humans in the bunch–Scarlett Johansson‘s Black Widow is a complete badass! She has some pretty cool moves and no super powers, which is even more impressive. Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye is smooth, commanding and formidable. And of course, there is Mr. Samuel L. Jackson as Fury and well…it’s Samuel L. Jackson! Enough said. Finally, I want to give a shout out to under appreciated Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson (“Phil? His first name is Agent.”) who has been the one connecting character in all the movies. Coulson continues to be one of my favorites and gets some great moments here, especially his interactions with Cap, which are classic.
The special effects are well done and never distracting. We are given some pretty cool aliens and creatures, but I was most taken by the Hulk (yes, again) who finally looked real! The plot is pretty straightforward and there are no surprises about who is going to triumph, but that is not the point of this film. This is a story about how these very different characters become a team. How they learn to trust and respect each other. Bottom line though? The Avengers is meant to be a fantastic escape from our daily lives and guess what? That it is!
Welcome Summer of 2012! Let the ride begin…