The Avengers (2012)

May 05, 2012 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

The Avengers film assembles the dream team of the Marvel universe that comic-book nerds and film buffs have been waiting for since Iron Man jump-started the superhero genre in 2008. Director/Writer Joss Whedon trumped all the previous Marvel films that led up to this one, as it should have, and it doesn’t disappoint for even a second. He rounds up the gang, made up of Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, and carries over and improves upon what made them intriguing in their own  films.

Joss Whedon helps to write an entertaining, hilarious, and engaging script that captures the spirit of each character. The story is in the character interaction and the formation of the Avengers; the whole saving the world from alien creatures is more of an eye-pleasing, Hulk-smashing side dish. Whedon paces the film correctly, as he gets the ball rolling faster and faster as the film goes on, but he always respects the development of the team. As far as the action goes, it delivers the goods. The CGI is used appropriately, and the Hulk has never looked better. The fight scenes are creative and fun, especially because their laced with snarky remarks and one-liners (sometimes in the form of a single action–see Hulk).

Collectively, the actors that fill the shoes, so to speak, of the Avengers do a marvelous job. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man is one of the standouts (when is he not?) as his mouth is the quickest draw of the bunch, and also because his character arc in the film allows him to become a true hero from his own perspective; it’s one thing when others believe that you’re a hero and another thing for you to agree with them. The other standout of the bunch is Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Once again, he’s the villain of the story, but Hiddleston makes Loki so much more than a villain; he’s a lost soul that fell in love with being alone with his own beliefs. At times, Hiddleston is the equivalent to a demi-god version of Hannibal Lecter. The third stand out is Chris Evans as Captain America. Evans carries over his great performance from his individual film, as he brings Steve Rogers/Captain America back to life and plays the “man out of time” role well, with slight smiles here and awkward, for our time, politeness.

Each actor has his/her moments. For example, there’s a clever little scene where Scarlett Johannson, as Black Widow, displays her interrogation talents without anybody noticing. No character really wastes any celluloid.

The Avengers is a film that never forgets to shape its superheroes with humanity. When the different personalities clash is where the film shines, and it shines brighter when those same personalities learn to work together. Sure, there’s going to be that darker comic-book film coming out later this summer, but we need this bright hero entertainment for balance.

Potential Drawbacks:

For some reason, the film starts off slow, but fortunately when it starts going it keeps gaining speed. In addition, the story takes a back seat to the development of the all-star superhero team. The clever dialogue and eye-candy action cover for the mediocre plot.

While all the characters had their moments, it fell like some didn’t get enough to work with, like Hawkeye. *Spoiler* He is taken under the influence of Loki right from the beginning of the film and he doesn’t really say much, let alone join the Avengers until towards the end of the film. Additionally, it felt like Loki could have been a little more of a threat as the villain in the film.

The plot is nothing special, and we all know what’s going to happen. For films like this, its hard to escape that cliche ending, and this film is no different.

Film Recommendations:

X-Men: First Class
Iron Man

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