The Avengers (5/12/12)

AvengersMovie One Hundred Sixteen

The Avengers is the culmination of several Marvel Comics movies from the past several years, bringing Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk and more together on the big screen.

I think at this point every movie blog I follow has had coverage of The Avengers in some form so this may be a partial retread for most of you.

If you have seen either Iron Man film (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), or to a lesser extent, The Incredible Hulk (played by Mark Ruffalo for The Avengers, but Edward Norton in the original film), then you are likely aware of some of the setup for The Avengers. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), head of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is essentially a heavily funded black ops organization, has recruited some of Earth’s mightiest heroes to locate the Tesseract, an all-powerful cube stolen by Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Thor’s brother. The team first has to come together, then has to defeat Loki, who has used the Tesseract to call upon the Chitauri, an alien race that wishes to destroy humanity.

The main draw to The Avengers is the fact that Joss Whedon both wrote and directed it. Whedon is beloved in the nerd community for helming the ill-fated sci-fi drama Firefly as well as Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series. Whedon makes the action tight and the script fun, there is obvious love for the material here. I have two fairly big issues with the film on a whole. First, the run time, which clocks in at just under 2 1/2 hours. There is a lot of material packed into that time frame, which leads me to my second gripe…The pacing of the first half of the film. For awhile there I had completely forgotten about the Tesseract and the Chitauri threat because the plot was idling around the Avengers internal conflicts. It’s necessary to the story, but could have really been trimmed of some fat.

Once the second half picks up the film grabbed me and didn’t let me go until the credits rolled. The nerd in me wanted more as soon as it was over but once the thrill of the theatrical experience wore off I was less enthused about the film. That’s not to say it’s bad, I guess all the hype about how great it is propped me up for a bit of disappointment. However, The Avengers is proof that Marvel Comics films can still be a lot of fun without needing to take a dark edge like Nolan’s Batman films to be good or successful. I will say that I look forward to the inevitable Avengers sequel very much.

I give it 4 many faces of Hulk out of 5.

(In case you are wondering, 1) Avengers 2) Incredible Hulk 3) Hulk 4) Incredible Hulk (TV series))

Links:

Rotten Tomatoes

IMDB

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22 responses to “The Avengers (5/12/12)

  1. Oh man I completely disagree with you. The entire point of this film was bringing those heros together – not the alien invasion. That was just the catalyst to bringing them together. If this were Avengers 2 and it spent that much time with internal conflict, I would completely agree with you. But it’s not – it’s an origin story. And only end the end of an origin story does the hero suit up.

    Just because we know these heroes doesn’t mean that we can just dive right in to the action. We have to see how they all work together. I personally thought it was beautifully paced.

    Still – good review. I just disagree with that point.

    • I think the reason it struck such discord with me was because I think the entire Tesseract plotline could have been sidelined for a sequel. The Avengers could have been entirely about getting the team together and an internal conflict storyline. Something like getting Hulk under control would work, it’s worked before…But perhaps that’s why they didn’t go that route.
      That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the first half, after a while I was just getting frustrated with the pacing.

      Thanks for your thoughts on it, I knew my opinions wouldn’t jibe with everyone that saw it but I did enjoy it.

      • I never thought of that. I actually think that would have made it a better movie if it was just about putting together the team. So I take back what I said.

        But I still LOVED the movie. A movie has made me feel like that in a long, long time.

        • As far as comic book movies go it’s still one of the best ones I’ve ever seen. I’ll probably still end up buying the Blu-Ray and all that but I have a feeling I’m going to forget about it once The Dark Knight Rises comes out…But I’m more of a Batman nerd anyway 🙂

          • Well obviously TDKR is going to blow this out of the water. But the thing is – The Avengers is a great comic book movie. TDKR is going to be a good movie. See the difference?

  2. I give it 3 out of 5. After a while I was looking at my watch saying, “OK, OK… enough of things crashing into things”… and I like things crashing into things. Could have been cut by about 45-minutes in my opinion.

  3. The first half was slow, but the second half picked up quickly and made one of the most enjoyable films so far this year. There some flaws, but it’s easy to overlook them and just enjoy the movie. Good review.

  4. still refuse to watch the movies aimed at the baby boomers. the remakes of 60’s and 70’s tv shows and superheroes and the old horror characters. hey, hollywood, make something new!

  5. Good review Andy. This movie was freakin’ awesome and exactly what I wanted from this superhero team-up that’s taken over 4 years to get made. Hopefully Joss Whedon returns for the sequel and can bring back all that magic that he brought here.

  6. A decent, fair review Andy.

    You already know that I love the movie and I can see your point about the first half of the movie – there’s a lot of fun, Whedon-y fun to be had but it doesn’t really get underway until our Avenger chums assemble in Stuttgart.

    Perhaps the issue with the praise for this movie is that we’re so used to seeing half-assed summer blockbusters that we fall upon a well-executed one as though it were something entirely new and revelatory.

    “The Avengers” isn’t that – I’d have to agree – but it is a genuinely fun summer movie which gets better after one or two viewings and you can enjoy it purely as a film and not the cultural event which the marketing/blogosphere/Twitterati axis have combined to position it as.

    Plus, that green guy. Gotta love that green guy…

    • Hulk definitely stole the show and you’re right, as a summer blockbuster it churns out the excitement. I’m looking forward to seeing it again on Blu-Ray in my own home to see how it fares.

  7. As you know, I didn’t really like this. Wasn’t a fan of the humor. Tom Hiddleston was superb, though. The whole cast was very good, actually. I agree that it was very long.

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