If The Avengers is any indication of how this summer movie season will be, then movie fans will be in a treat like no other. After a few years of establishing the origin and mythos of their beloved superheroes, Marvel Studios have finally unleashed the quintessential film that brings all of them together. What comes together is a film that is so tightly woven in spectacle, wonderful character interaction/dialogue, and direction by beloved director Joss Whedon that it is almost unbelievable how youíre seeing all the Marvel superheroes come together on the big screen, and for it to be so damn good.
Most of the credit could be to Whedon himself, who has been known for some great character writing behind his shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. For The Avengers, itís like heís in his own playground, and heís knows where the rules begin and end on how to bring these characters in a cohesive fashion. The film is truly remarkable on how the minor and major characters in this film get their own time to shine in what feels like a brisk 142 minutes. Whether itís Captain America, Thor, or even Hawkeye, fans of their favorite superheroes will certainly be cheering and smiling at what transpires each heroís given scene.
If there could be some trepidation for newcomers of this film, there could be the argument that you would have to seen all the previous films in order to get a handle of what is going on in The Avengers, and thatís a perfectly viable argument. But, these films have been out for quite some time, and the majority of the movie going public who are seeing these films already know what they are in for. Still, as such, this film will most likely garner enjoyment out of the newcomer regardless, mostly in how engaging, hilarious, and action packed the movie truly is.
Thatís the thing with most summer movie blockbusters, in that the humor and action beats sometimes try way too hard that it simply becomes boring and uninteresting. Not for The Avengers, as Whedon is making a mission to make sure that the viewer is engaged by offering varied action set pieces, as well as some great back-and-forth banter between the superheroes. The film is pure, unadulterated, engagement for the audience, and itís beautiful. Sure, a wee complaint could be that it gets a slight stagnant by the final act, but itís so minor that the positives truly outweigh the negative.
As for the cast in this flick, what more could be said? All the actors are great, bringing their charisma and presence to each role, accompanied by some truly enjoyable dialogue bits. On their own individual journeys, they are good, but itís when they all come together that the film becomes something truly special. Robert Downey Jr. can pretty much play Tony Stark/Iron Man in his sleep at this point. The man just knows how to bring a wave of personality to the character, whether through his sarcastic or determined demeanor. Chris Evans continues to shine as Captain America, bringing the ďgood old boyĒ American hero persona that many fans of the character know and all.
Chris Hemsworth seems to be more of background player as Thor this time around, but he still brings the sheer intensity and anger of the character on screen, and steals a good amount of scenes heís in as well. But, if thereís a background character that steals the stage right from under our noses, itís Mark Ruffalo as his portrayal as Bruce Banner/The Hulk. The previous actors who seem to take on the role of this character have been on two of the different side of the spectrums. Eric Banaís portrayal of Bruce was just trying to hard to make an impression, while Edward Nortonís Bruce doesnít really make an impression at all, as it simply Norton playing Norton playing Bruce Banner. Itís Ruffalo who gets the in between of what makes the character work, playing a wounded, but a still immensely likable Bruce. You feel that heís trying hard not to let the monster out, and Whedon plays that card spectacularly throughout the film, culminating to Hulk scenes that pretty much are the high point of the film.
As for the rest of the supporting cast, they all do an admirable job as well. Samuel Jackson brings his typical swagger and ďSamuel L. JacksonessĒ (I made that up) to Nick Fury. Scarlett Johansson has some solid moments as the Black Widow, and Jeremy Renner is fine as the archer assassin Hawkeye. The real star of the supporting show is certainly Tom Hiddleston as the villain Loki. This actor just seems to being having a gleeful time playing the bad guy, and it shows on screen. He had that sympathetic, yet pathetic turn in the Thor film, but heís all out stupendously evil in this Marvel outing. Heís the villain that viewers will love to hate, with the older crowd enjoying evilness and the younger crowd wishing that one of the superheroes would just take him down.
Thatís the final thing that I want to mention in this review, which is how this film will simply be a pleasure for all audiences. The older crowd will certainly eat this up in their palm of their hand, but for the younger crowd, this will be like a four-course meal. Looking back on my screening, I was thinking to myself on how much my two nephews would be all in their glory from watching this type of film. I know they love The Hulk character, and watching his scenes in the film made me wonder if my nephewsí consciousness would just implode by the sheer amazement that those scenes bring to the table.
Thatís what The Avengers brings to this summer blockbuster table, a film that comes together in spectacular fashion that itís truly remarkable on how it all came to be. Itís amazing that not just four years ago, the movie going public was introduced to what Marvel Studios would be teasing the world in the coming years, resulting in this sheer gem that children and adults have received. An astounding opening act for what is sure to be a glorious summer movie season.
Please sir, Iíd like some more!