Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Avengers

Directed by Joss Whedon.

If you’ve paid any attention at all to superhero movies then you know that both Iron Man movies, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger are all setups for The Avengers. Three of them were very good. Only Iron Man 2 was a bit subpar, but I still like it. However, other than the first IM, they all feel incomplete. Well, here is there collective conclusion. Sort of.

Like in the Transformers movies, our heroes must come together to regain possession of an all-powerful thingamajig. This one does all sorts of neat things. Thor’s evil half-brother Loki (Hiddleston) drops into good guy headquarters, steals the thing and takes off.

Never one to take things lying down, Nick Fury (an eye-patched Samuel L. Jackson), the Geppetto to the superpowered Pinocchios, calls in Iron Man (Downey), Thor (Hemsworth) and Captain America (Evans). He also sends for the most volatile of all heroes, Dr. David Bruce Banner (Ruffalo) AKA The Incredible Hulk. Rounding out the crew are Black Widow (Johansson) and Hawkeye (Renner). Well Hawkeye has a change of heart, so to speak, and is working for Loki.

The team trying to come together is enough to hold our interest through the movie’s setup stages. They’re a contentious bunch since they are all used to doing their own thing. There’s also some humor and some action here and there. As a result, the first hour of the movie breezes by despite the fact that it doesn’t really go very far. Nothing has been figured out and Loki still hasn’t made his move. He simply tries to manipulate the situation from within a very special cage our heroes have placed him in.

If the first half of the movie holds our interest, the latter portions excite our senses. Basically, the real fun starts once The Hulk finally shows up. Of course, he does plenty of smashing. Many of the film’s most spectacular special fx sequences involve him. That much is to be expected. What is not is that the big angry green guy also doubles as the comic relief. This is actually a pleasant surprise. Seriously, who knew The Hulk was funny?

Since one funny behemoth wouldn’t be enough to save the movie, the rest of the gang all get their chance to shine. It follows the simple logic of giving people what they want. All of it is shot well with bone-crunching sound, to boot. I have to admit, I could’ve done without the 3-D, though. I just don’t think it added much to the story since the effect didn’t seem to be used nearly as often as it probably should’ve been.

Among this summer’s bajillion dollar blockbusters, The Avengers is going to be hard to top. It makes excellent use of the same tone employed for Thor and both Iron Man movies. Thus, the mixture of action and humor work very well. Other than Captain America’s uniform, it does most things right as far as comic book flicks go. Stop geeking out. I know they used something closer to Cap’s traditional costume so technically they did get it right. I simply prefer the one used in his own movie. It looks much more “super soldier” than the tights, in my very humble opinion. Fashion choices aside, I enjoyed the movie very much. In the pantheon of superhero movies, I’d be hard pressed to keep it out of the top ten, but I’m not among the throngs proclaiming it “The Greatest Thing EVAR!!!”

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