The Avengers Review
Back in 2008 Marvel kinda blew nerds’ minds when they revealed at the end of Iron Man that the Marvel super-team The Avengers would be making its way on to the big screen some time in the future. After that we three fantastic movies, each tying in to one another and all leading up to probably the biggest movie event of 2012. It’s been four long years, but it’s here and it’s fucking awesome.
Following the events of the last four years of Marvel movies, Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. have gotten their hands on the Tessaract and are fucking around with it and doing science to it. From the other side of existence Loki opens a portal with the cube, takes it, and starts enacting a plan to let an army of extra-dimensional bio-robo things through to our dimensions so they can take over everything. Fury pulls together all the heroes who’ve had the big name movies together in order to stop him and save the Earth.
Now probably the biggest concern people have is that if they haven’t seen Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America then they will be completely lost. That since it takes the multi-series continuity from comics that it will be just as impenetrable as they think comics currently are. While having seen the previous four movies will help you understand some of the stuff going on (plus you should see those movies anyway because they’re fucking awesome) you don’t need to have seen them to understand what’s happening. Sure you may not know where the Tessaract comes from or how exactly Captain America got from where he was to our time, but those aren’t exactly important details. You just got to know that Tessaract bad, Cap good, movie awesome.
The performances get sixes across the board. No one has missed a step. Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downie Jr., Scarlett Johannson, Clark Gregg, Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson are all just as great as they were in the movies the were in before. So I’m not really gonna talk about them and focus on the new blood, starting with the Hulk.
Quite a few people, including us, were a bit disappointed that Edward Norton wouldn’t be returning as everyone’s favorite pissed off green giant. He was great in The Incredible Hulk and he would’ve been great in this movie, as well. Instead we got Mark Ruffalo and he’s pretty good, too. He plays the character as a guy who tries to stay out of everyone’s way in fear of losing it and killing everyone. The movie also gets a bit more into the psychology of someone living with the constant fear that at any minute someone could step on your toe or you get too hot and bothered with a lady friend then next thing you know you’ve painted a Jackson Pollock on the wall with their insides. It gets into just how far you could be pushed and it also shows how he eventually gains control. Again, disappointed we didn’t get to see Norton do all this because I prefer him to Ruffalo, but Ruffalo stood his ground and delivered a good performance that I did enjoy.
While he was introduced in Thor, this is the first time that Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye has gotten more than ten seconds of screen time. To be honest, I don’t know that much about Hawkeye as a character. From what little I have seen of him in the comics he was kind of a dick, but he spends a good chunk of the movie under mind control so we don’t really get to see much of his actual character until the last third. But what we do see of him is pretty fucking awesome. Since he only uses a bow and arrow he has to have some tricks up his quiver and boy does he. He manages to almost take down the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier with a single arrow. And it gets better from there. When we do get him back on the good side we get to see a bit of the relationship between Black Widow and Hawkeye. While it isn’t all in your face with it, you can tell there’s something there. The only reason Black Widow even joined the team was because Hawkeye got taken over.
The last newbie in this movie is Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, the second in command of S.H.I.E.L.D. I can’t really explain why but I like this addition. Maria Hill was an interesting character in the comics and I think Smulders did a good job playing her. She didn’t really have that much to do aside from an awesome action scene at the top of the movie, but it was cool that she was there.
Speaking of action, it’s fucking great. While the bigger stuff, like destroying building and leveling a good chunk of forest are all done in CG, a fair bit of the action is practical effects. In the final battle scene there are explosions jumping off left and right and the lower levels of buildings are getting smashed to shit with bio-robo thing corpses and the Hulk, and it all looks awesome. We even get quite a few hero on hero fights which are some of the best scenes in the movie. The fight between Thor and the Hulk in the Helicarrier is probably my favorite out of all the fights.
Of course, credit has to be given to co-writer/director Joss Whedon. Whedon specializes in ensemble casts set in a very nerdy environment, and that is exactly what this is. It is Whedon’s wheelhouse and it shows. The writing is great and quite often funny. There is a fantastic scene with Loki and the Hulk that I won’t spoil but that alone is worth the price of admission.
The Avengers is everything we could have hoped for. It’s an amazing movie and kind of amazing as a thing. Thinking about it, it’s insane that Marvel actually created this kind of cross movie continuity that is very similar to what they have going in the comics. What’s even more insane is that it worked so well. Each movie in the main Marvel film universe stands up great on their own merits and The Avengers is the perfect culmination of the past four years of these movies and with Iron Man 3 set for release next year, it doesn’t look like Marvel Studios is planning on stopping this kind of film making any time soon. The Avengers is a fantastic movie that everyone should go see.
Final Score: 5/5