The mightiest movie deserves the mightiest review. Be warned, spoilers ahead.
AND IT IS AH—MA–ZAAAANG!!!IRONMANISLIKEVROOOOOM!PEWPEWPEW!KABLOOIE!ANDTHORISLIKEPOWBAM
…Okay, okay. I think I’m done. Besides this typing really fast with no spaces is messing up the site formant. Thanks for asking nicely, Hulk.
!!!End of Spoilers!!!
By the time this review is ever conceived, written, and posted, Marvel’s The Avengers will already long be a critical and commercial phenomenon. Last year, I believe I went on record saying that my Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 review would be the most pointless review of my career. However, judging by what I have just seen, I’m starting to believe that I may have spoken a year too soon.
So where do we begin? Well, you got Tony Stark: A self pleasuring textbook narcissist, whose playboy antics may cause trouble, but not half as much as his mouth. Opposite of him is Steve Rogers: Golden boy of America’s golden generation, whom despite his pride and arrogance, is selfless, compassionate, and virtuous to a fault. In comes Bruce Banner: Bright, perceptive, with the scariest case of quadro-polar-schizophrenia imaginable, bringing both the voice of reason and the fist of a thousand furies. Observing them all from above, Thor: Prodigal Son of Asgard, unapologetically proud and arrogant, though may be the most emotionally conflicted with the opposition consisting his own family. Speaking of which, his brother Loki: Once a harmless mischief-maker of Asgard, who now feels deceived and cast out by everyone he once loved. A god whose whole life has been about making jokes only to unwearyingly discover his entire life has been the mother of them all, with him as the butt of it.
Placing all these larger-than-life personalities and inner demons into a single confined space together and forcing them to interact with one another creates a chemistry that practically writes itself. It is intense, it is provocative, heart wrenching, tear jerking, and it is some of the funniest stuff you will ever witness on the big screen all year, guaranteed.
Director Joss Whedon has been often claimed as a god among nerds. While he’s had some rough times now and again on several projects, this is the year when he lives up to nearly every definition of that title. Not just for this, but for yet another film that released not a few weeks ago. Cabin in the Woods, also directed by Whedon, has got to be the most brilliant and creative commentary on the horror movie genre I have ever seen. If you have already seen the Avengers enough times by now, do not miss out on that one.
Anyway, back to The Avengers. This is the kind of movie that could have so easily turned out to be, as my colleague put it, “Iron Man and Friends,” however I am so pleased to announce that it is nothing of the sort. Joss Whedon balanced the screen time, action, and dialogue of eight main characters so perfectly, that it felt like none of them got the short end of the stick. Sure you have all the heavy hitters I mentioned above, but even the lesser fighters, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Nick Fury, all had tremendous overhauls of badassery and character development.
Epic is not a uniquely descriptive word in the movie industry, but I must say, the action sequences of The Avengers officially buy the rights to that word. From now on, any other use of it will be arrested by the dictionary police and brought in for questioning, placed side by side this movies action scenes, given a full scan comparison to accurately validate its use. By this, I mean they are real spanking good. As much as I have already joked about how much these bad guys like to blow up cars, the cinematography, CGI, fight choreography, and alien designs are all perfect 10s across the board. This truly feels like seven people fighting an armada, and we have absolutely no clue how in the name of Odin they plan to make it out of this alive. Hell, they DON’T plan to make it out alive, but they’re still going to defend the Earth as long as they humanly can. That’s what’s so Epic about it.
If I were in any kind of mood to be nitpicking, I’d say there were maybe a few mini missteps. For one, I knew going into the movie, the Avengers would clash quite a bit, simply given their personalities, but I didn’t expect them turning on each other to last a whole half of the movie, and that Loki’s early triumphs are less do to with any clever ploy he hatches, and more because our heroes take so long to get their act together. Whatever, it was still fun. The second thing, of all the Hero’s intros, Thor’s arrival back on Earth felt a bit rushed, namely because they made such a big deal at the end of his movie on how the Bifrost was destroyed and he could never go back. Though I can get that plot point being a bit tedious and not worth the time and money it would take to fully realize it.
And that’s it. Those are really the only complaints I can come up with, and they are really not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things.
At this point, with the movies success, Joss Whedon will be golden to do whatever the heck he wants for his future projects. The movie’s first post credit scene already sets up the franchise to have a very promising lead-in for a possible sequel. But for all we know, that could be another five years from now, and in the meantime, Marvel’s got plenty of other prospects to attend to. Iron Man 3 is already underway. A Thor sequel should be soon to follow while you can stream Thor now on Netflix. We’ve finally found a stable Hulk in Mark Ruffalo, so keep an eye out for more of him. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man rumors to bear fruit.
And if I may be so bold. On behalf of my good friends and even bigger Marvel fans than I, Joss Whedon has always done well to create and direct such empowering female characters. Simply seeing how well Ms. Scarlett Johansson was handled here is perfect example of that. To make the absolute most of this, we highly recommend recruiting yet another strong and much anticipated heroine of the Marvel Universe to the Avengers, (after first receiving her own solo movie, of course) and that is Ms. Carol Danvers.
True believers, the Golden Age of comic book movies has been well underway for sometime now, and yet something tells me it is far from over. As fantastic and monumental as The Avengers is, and everyone should do themselves a favor and go see it, I do not think that it isn’t possible to be outdone in the future. Until next time, keep up the good work, and I’ll be watching.