Posted on May 20, 2012 AT 10:01pm
Starring: Chris Evans, Robery Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Marvel has really been taking it up a notch with the quality of their films in the last few years, taking the notion of comic book movies as being terrible, continuity crushing abominations and completely changing that perception. There is no better example of this than the highly-anticipated team-up film, The Avengers. Taking the stars of the last few major Marvel titles, and adding in famed director Joss Whedon, The Avengers was one of the most hyped movies not only of 2012, but of the last few years, with comic book fans salivating over the concept of seeing their favorite heroes in action, working as a team to save the world.
Put together by Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., the team of Iron Man, The Hulk, Hawkeye, The Black Widow, Captain America and Thor team up to stop Loki, Asgardian god of mischief and adopted brother of Thor from taking over the world. Using this familiar concept to put together a team of super-powered All-Stars, The Avengers takes comic book movies to new heights. Making a film that is so dependent on action unique is a difficult task, but Whedon pulls it off well by adding in serious bits of drama, and a lot of very funny moments throughout.
Just about everything in this movie was exceptionally well done. The entire ensemble cast worked to near perfection, taking a character that would normally star in a film on their own and making them truly seem like a part of something bigger. With star power such as this, that is no easy task, but everything was tied together so well that it worked like a charm. There is rarely a dull moment in the film, and those moments are interrupted almost immediately by either an explosion or something unexpected and hilarious.
The best part about this movie were the characters, not the incredibly expansive plot. Having played all these characters previously (save for Mark Ruffalo, who took over duties for the role of Bruce Banner/The Hulk), no one seemed out-of-place, and ironically, the only truly new face to the franchise was the one who took over the movie.
That’s right, despite the criticisms of the previous standalone films, The Hulk was the surprise star of this movie. As Banner, Mark Ruffalo was remorseful, self-pitying and clever. As The Hulk, he was savage, merciless, and, in the biggest surprise of all, absolutely hysterical. There are moments in the film where Hulk comes out of nowhere and delivers a punchline in a way only an gamma-irradiated rage monster could. This unexpected performance is not meant to downplay any of the other actors, as they were all spectacular in their roles, but Ruffalo was the stand-out, in a film full of truly remarkable characters and cast.
As far as directing goes, only Whedon could pull off a movie of this magnitude, of this scope, with this kind of cast and make it work this well. Everything has a reason, from internal conflicts, to motivations, to the delivery of the dialog. Marvel made what is likely the best decision in the history of their film-making career by giving this movie to him, and letting him take it to a point that no one else could.
The plot, while predictable with this kind of genre, was done extremely well. Loki’s resentment and quest for vengeance combined with finding a device of unlimited power and the use of an army makes for a great conflict, and the resulting battle is action-packed and teeming with conflict (not only against Loki, but the Avengers against one another, before they finally accept the concept of teamwork).
The previous several paragraphs were a longer way of saying that this movie is perhaps the greatest comic book movie of all time. It has everything a fan could want, and leaves very few moments without something incredible. Combining the forces of the Earth’s Mighties Heroes into one film was no easy task, but The Avengers did it perfectly. This movie is a must-see, not only for Marvel fans, but for fans of movies as a whole. A new age of great superhero movies has arrived, and this is the epitome of a truly terrific addition to an already decorated franchise.
The Good: Terrific Story| Great Acting Performances
The Bad: N/A
The Ugly: N/A
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