A Review Four Years in the Making

Posted: May 4, 2012 in Comics, Movies

Avengers Assemble!

Loki, the Norse God of Mischief, last seen tumbling into the void in the Thor film, has returned with new powers and intent on stealing the Tesseract, an ancient artifact of infinite power and energy.  S.H.I.E.L.D., the world peace keeping organization, managed to pick up this item back in the 40’s thanks to Tony Starks father, Howard, when he was in desperate search for the missing Super Soldier, Steve Rodgers, AKA Captain America.  Making a dramatic assault on a S.H.I.E.L.D. lab, Loki manages to take the Tesseract to fulfill his plan of world domination though the use of an extraterrestrial army known as the Chitauri, but not before S.H.I.E.L.D’s Director, Nick Fury, decides to put his plan into action, calling forth a team of the worlds greatest heroes, banding together for the good of humanity to form the one, the only….

The Avengers.

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!

Back in the summer of 2008, the movie going public was treated to an unexpected hit with Marvel Studio’s freshman film, Iron Man.  The movie was outstanding in many ways and it brought together a winning combination of  fresh story, witty dialogue, and an amazing cast.  Team all that up with some wonderful direction (thanks to Jon Favreau) and we manged to see a glimpse into something incredible.  Those of us who stayed till the end, however, caught a tease for maybe the most ambitious film project ever put together.

This was the first in a series of films that would lead to what most people would continuously say was impossible to put together.  We where going to finally see The Avengers on screen.

Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans do a great job playing off each other as Captain America and Iron Man, going for each other’s throats.

Now, it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of this rise in popularity when it comes to comic book films.  Hell, most of my reviews are ABOUT comic book films…..but what I managed to catch last night was simple.  It was the climax…the cumulation of  every single Marvel Studio film that we have been treated to the last four years….and I’m happy to say that instead of watching what could have been a disaster and the worlds worst cock tease, was, in fact, the most amazing comic book action film I have EVER seen in my entire life.

Now, to clear this up, let’s look at a few elements of the movie and see WHY it managed to meet and exceed all expectations and live up to is illustrious hype.

Tom Hiddleston is, again, brilliant in his portrayal of Loki, the villain destined to bring together The Avengers.

First, let’s talk about the plot.  A good movie usually has it’s groundwork built on a solid story, and while The Avengers plot is good in terms of the world that it spent the last four years building up, it’s not the most amazing script and story I have ever seen (that lofty title still goes to The Dark Knight, of course).  It’s story isn’t so much that it’s bad, just simple….and really, that WORKS for a comic book movie such as this.  Almost the entire time, I kept thinking that if I was watching word bubbles instead of voices, I would of been watching a god damn comic book!  The basic plot, while predictable, was still amazing to watch unfold before us because of one thing.

Dialogue.

Director Joss Whedon is known very well in the fanboy community as the creator of many successful, geek centric series such as Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and when I heard that he was pegged as the director of The Avengers, I was shocked and happy at the same time.  If there is one thing Joss knows how to do, it’s write a witty script or direct people in a humorous, very human way, and this film was DRIPPING with his trademark wit….it simply touched everything and it made the movie come alive for me!  Every time we saw the heroes interacting with each other, it was breathtaking to see.  When Stark and Banner where together in a scene and just shooting the shit, it was perfect.  When Steve and Tony started playing “who has the bigger cock”, it was hilarious and sad at the same time.  When Clint and Natasha sat down to discuss the events unfolding before then, it was believable.  EVERY scene in this film was perfect, and Joss knew just how to work each others flaws in before turning this rag tag group of hot heads into a well oiled machine.  Not once was I ever forced to sit down and say, “man, this isn’t right cause it’s disrespecting the source material” .  Not once did I ever feel the movie was talking down to me.  Every single act, from first to last, was amazing….and that’s honestly hard to pull off in any film, much less one about a team of superheroes (I mean, hell, X-Men gave it a good shot, but it pales in comparison).  In the end, the story was just as human as it was heroic, and I’m happy to say that everyone got their moment in the sun and not ONE of the heroes presented is left feeling pushed aside or unimportant.  THAT’S the sign of a great movie.

Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk steals the show!

The next thing I would like to bring up is the action.  I say this is the best super hero action film for a reason….because it f*$king delivers in EVERY way (once again, plot wise, Batman’s film was better….but I would say The Dark Knight was the best super hero suspense film I have ever seen as it was light on the action which worked that THAT movie…)!  From the opening shot where Loki invades the lab, to the closing battle in New York against the Chitauri, this movie delivers without missing a heartbeat!  We see the heroes fight each other.  We see Iron Man play his smug, asshole demeanor even when he’s blasting aliens.  We see Thor’s power for the first time in REAL action and spy the nobility and honor that defines his character.  We see the conflict within Banner as he tries to control the monster within him and then take GREAT joy in watching him let the leash go as we see just how powerful the Hulk really is.  We see two agents walk the line between the world of espionage that they know and this new, fantastical world of magic and heroes that they have been thrust into.  And finally, we see the man himself, Captain America, step forward and take charge the way he was BORN to as he leads the Avengers into victory!  It was 100% enjoyable and I was not let down….not even once.

As I sit back and dwell on the film….having given it a lot of thought and reflection, I realize that it’s really hard for me to find a flaw without sounding like I’m nitpicking…..and that’s honestly a great feeling!  Sure, the previous films that lead up to this had their flaws and problems….most movies do….but through those flaws and imperfections, we see that it was all leading up to this amazing event and it shows just what a movie project gamble can lead to when put in the right hands.   I would normally say, at this point, how good all of our cast was, but I’ve gushed about everyone in this film in my previous reviews, so I will simply say that no one was slacking.  Everyone had a part to play and they performed perfectly!  I was never taken out of the film’s world for even a second and that really shocked me more than anything else.

Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow join Cap as they make a final stand to protect the people in New York City.

As we come to a close and wrap up this long winded review, I simply wish to state that, while not an honestly perfect film, it certainly lived up to all the hype before it, if not better!  It shows that one can take a risk, roll the dice, and create a lasting legacy that will live on forever.  The future of Marvel Studio films is unknown to anyone at this point, and maybe one day we will see the quality drop….but for now, they took an amazing risk and I’m happy to say that it was one of the most amazing risks I’ve ever seen….I can’t wait to see what Marvel has in store for it’s heroes now, but I know I will be there, watching, waiting, and willing.

I am happy to say that I want the Avengers to Assemble once more…..especially if our next plight involves six little gems….

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