I finally got to see Avengers and I was completely blown away. I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie like this and was so happy leaving the film. So why was I so impressed with the film?
The film’s director/scriptwriter Joss Whedon did an incredible job tying together five films worth of plot lines and characterizations. The end result is one of the best super hero/comic book adaptation films ever.
The plot is very straight forward; Loki has returned to Earth, allying himself with the alien army the Chitauri in an attempt for him to rule the planet and giving the aliens the Tesseract (cosmic cube) for their help. SHIELD commander Nick Fury has to pull together the best super heroes alongside the top SHIELD agents to stop this. Along the way, Iron Man and company learn that they have to coexist. Can they save the day? Spoilers after the jump…
I have a lot of thoughts about the film, so here are the things that really stuck out at me:
- It seems that Whedon borrowed a lot of concepts from Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s The Ultimates, including the invading aliens the Chitauri (who basically are the Ultimate Skrulls) and changing the source of the Hulk’s powers from an attempt to replicate Captain America’s super soldier serum instead of a gamma ray accident. But for plot purposes, Bruce Banner still is an expert on gamma radiation. They also made Hawkeye a black ops type, as opposed to his circus archer turned villain turned hero story back in the traditional comics. Oh yeah, and the whole Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury thing.
- Speaking of all things Hulk, Mark Ruffalo did an awesome job as Banner as well as the Hulk thanks to some clever use of special effects technology. At the very least, he should get to star in another Hulk movie.
- I love how they set up Thanos as the next big villain for the Avengers. I would have never expected them to use him for a future film.
- They did a great job of having Captain America be a man out of time, with him not understanding a lot of the other characters references, to him not being keen on eating foreign food during the second after the credits clip. Me on the other hand, I want to give shwarma a try.
- Scarlet Johannson’s Black Widow is a very compelling character and I would like to see her in a full length film.
- The way they used 3D in this film was exceptionally well done. They used it to create a bigger sense of depth and scale, as opposed to cheap visual effects like having things pop off-screen.
- Robert Downey Jr. still amazes me in his portrayal of Iron Man.
- All of the principal characters–Cap, Iron Man, Thor and Hulk–all had enough screen time to develop. It really was a well-balanced ensemble cast.
- They effectively used humor throughout the film’s seriousness, the hallmark of Marvel comics throughout its post-Lee and Kirby existence.
In the interest of fairness, there were a couple of things in the movie that I questioned:
- Why the hell did they kill off Agent Coulson? Such a fun character, and he didn’t deserve to be offed. Yes, I know they used it as a way to motivate the Avengers to stop screwing around and cooperate, but still.
- What was up with Hawkeye’s costume? It didn’t look super or practical. Oh well.
That said, Avengers was an amazing film. As of now it’s the best super hero film of the year (let’s face it, the last Ghost Rider film wasn’t much competition). The gauntlet has been thrown down; let’s see how the teams running Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises respond.