The Avengers (2012)
Aquisha on The Avengers
Here it is; my thoughts on Marvel’s The Avengers! Full disclosure, this is not going to be a mind-blowing, eye-opening review. The movie was damn near pitch perfect; everyone’s said it, and I agree. What this IS going to be (said with Nick Fury inflection) is a fan girl’s couple of points about what was particularly awesome to them. Think of it as an opportunity to nod at your computer saying, “I know, right?!”. And really, here at RAMAB, if that’s all we get you to do, then we’re doing our jobs well (if not promptly).
First, I have to thank Joss Whedon for his writing. These characters could so easily have fallen into stock interpretations gleaned from years of comics and kids TV shows but they were far from it. Whedon successfully answered the most basic of fan questions: If these characters were real, what would they do? It so simple but as other live-action incarnations of superheroes have shown, it’s surprisingly hard to do. From Black Widow’s tense meeting inviting Bruce Banner to the team to Tony Stark and Captain America’s near confrontation, these characters are multi-faceted, sharp, and impressively adept at playing the superhero game. The fact that Avengers had so movies lead up to it allowed us to skip the “wide-eyed wonder at our powers” aspect of most comic movies, which was beyond refreshing. By this point, these guys are professionals in their field and Whedon shows us there’s nothing more impressive than watching an expert at work.
That being said, explosions and punching! I had no problem laughing, cheering, and all out freaking out in the movie theater. I mean, I was basically a twelve year old boy watching this movie (which is saying a lot since I’m an adult woman), and I can’t be more grateful for that. There really were some beautiful action scenes as the team finally gets their act together defending the island of Manhattan. With all that I said about realism there was a balance of unabashed awesome as Hawkeye took out aliens without even looking or Thor used the Chrysler building a freaking lightning rod (he did!).
And just a small mention: I didn’t trust Mark Ruffalo with Hulk before this movie. Dexter knows, I gave that man a really hard time. I would like to take this forum to say officially, Mark Ruffalo is a bad-ass who can Hulk-out with the best of them. Thank you sir; I can be added to the list of people who like it when you turn into a green rage monster.
Dexter on The Avengers
My standing with the Avengers movie may go off sounding controversial, bordering on blasphemy, but hear me out for I assure you I too bring great praise. Easily what may be, as the records prove, one of the greatest summer movies of all time, the story of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes definitely delivers the might. After following the progress of the Marvel studio’s cinematic journey toward the Avengers, seeing familiar characters return from their previous films is a very rewarding experience. It feels like a reunion of the coolest friends I never had. Black Widow kicks even more tail than ever, Agent Coulson returns as charming as ever and even more humane, Captain America definitely steps up and becomes the leader the Avengers needs and deserves, Iron Man is in rare and pitch perfect form, and Hulk is used to perfection throughout. I particularly enjoyed the new Jekyll/Hyde-esque dimension added to the character. Unfortunately though, Thor was somehow reduced to over glorified set-dressing with lines for most of the flick. It wasn’t until the third act (and all his action scenes) that Thor really clicked and had meaning and purpose behind his being in this ensemble piece.
The film opens well with a very Bond like action sequence. However, after that, it was a little hard for me to get invested in the story. I found myself just waiting for the moment I would see all my friends again. But there was a very distinctive moment that once the story picked up, the film just became a juggernaut. The second and third acts turn out to be EXACTLY what fans following this franchise have long awaited. Some for nearly 50 years. The visuals are slick, the action is ginormous, and the story, while not air tight, is quite compelling and leads to the greatest comic-book feeling endings I’ve ever encountered.