The Avengers

Heh heh heh. WOW! Whoooooo hooo!!

Summer blockbuster entertainment at its absolute finest. A roller coaster ride of action, comedy and great characters. A total blast.

As I’m sure everyone knows by now, The Avengers is the story of Marvel’s movie superheroes banding together to fight a threat to the planet.

Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, and Thor, are all brought together by Nick Fury when the Tesseract (the Cosmic Cube) from “Captain America” is stolen by Loki, who intends to use it to open a portal for an alien invasion. With Black Widow and Hawkeye already members of SHIELD, the parts of The Avengers are all in place… the only problem being that these consummate solo artists aren’t interested in being a part of a team. Between having their own agendas, never having worked with others, not trusting Nick Fury, and having Loki, the God of Mischief around, there are plenty of opportunities for the Avengers to in-fight. Hawkeye is outright turned against the team early on, as he’s put under Loki’s spell. Captain America, Thor and Iron Man all mark their first meeting with a throw down. And of course, having the incredible, irascible Hulk on your team is practically a guarantee that people will get smashed. It’s a comic book fan’s dream to watch these teammates square off against each other on the big screen, and “The Avengers” certainly does not let the opportunity pass.

When they’re not fighting outright, there’s still plenty of bickering amongst the blending. But this is one of the areas where the Avengers truly separates itself from other superhero movies. By having so many characters, each of equal stature, there’s ample opportunities for scenes of import, no matter who you have interacting with each other. Tony Stark forms a bit of a genius admiration society with Bruce Banner, but comes into conflict with the military-minded Steve Rogers. Thor and Loki have operatic worthy conversations about brotherhood and envy. Black Widow and Hawkeye commiserate about being normal people called into a superpowered situation. And a weary, yet determined Nick Fury presides above it all.

Part of the reason that the character interplay works so well is the incredible cast they’ve assembled. Actors and actresses that would otherwise be headlining their own films willingly meld into an ensemble cast where everyone plays a role. There’s no drop-off between star and supporting cast, because there is no star, they’re all the stars. Jeremy Renner is a two-time Oscar nominee and is about to headline his own franchise (The Bourne reboot) in three months… and he’s batting seventh in this lineup! Each member of the cast is excellent in their roles and they all play off of each other so well.

In addition, a huge amount of respect and credit must be paid to Joss Whedon, who cements his place on the Mount Rushmore of geek fandom with this film. The dialogue is crisp and snappy in comedic situations, and epic and full of grandeur at others. Characters seem just as easily equipped to give a sympathetic moment as they are to fire off a witty one liner. Each of them are well written and clearly individuated. They feel like well-rounded people, not simply movie parts. But most of all, and this is a credit to Whedon as director as well, “The Avengers” is brilliantly orchestrated. Plot and characters are given adequate time to develop fully, and then lengthy, extraordinary, epic, exciting action sequences ensue. Liberally mixed in throughout are highly effective comedy beats – outright hysterical, yet perfectly balanced in the mix. They never threaten to turn the movie into a comedy, but they also never let the audience forget that they’re supposed to be having fun while they’re at the movies. Along the way, enough weight is placed on talk of courage, sacrifice, and teamwork that the movie doesn’t feel shallow.

The action sequences are masterpieces of movie making. Powered by the best special effects technology possible, fantastical situations are brought to life before your eyes. The battles are full of different combat styles via each of the characters doing what they do best. Each of the heroes are given ample opportunity to shine. Captain America gives orders, Iron Man provides air support, Thor electrifies enemies, and Hulk smashes. OHH does Hulk Smash. It’s hard to imagine a reasonable fan of any of these characters disapproving of the way they were handled. And Loki is a wonderful enemy, he easily elicits audience animosity. He doesn’t just wish to conquer the world, he wishes to subjugate humanity, and he does it in such a petulant way that it’s nearly impossible not to loathe him.

It’s hard to envision a movie that better exemplifies the term “Summer Blockbuster” than this one. It’s funny and fun, it’s filled with roller coaster ride action sequences and epic battles. It has state of the art, completely believable special effects. It stars an enormous number of colorful characters, each marvelously brought to life by charismatic performers.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your first A++ of the year, let’s hope there’s plenty more.

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119 thoughts on “The Avengers

  1. This was incredibly well written sir, not much more to add
    I have no real complaints about the movie (Coulda been longer lol)
    I never thought this movie would happen … it did and it was glorious

    Tony was the Star of the movie
    The Hulk finally done right … that was the most Hulk looking hulk done on screen
    He got the most laughs in the theater as well
    The BACKSIDE on Black Widow …. YES! and the camera stayed there for like 4 minutes!

    I have a lot more but I don’t want to flood the comments

    Well done … and you got a shout out at the end of the latest #EDP show

    #appreciation

    e.

    • Sweet! Love the shout outs! :D

      Dont worry about flooding comments man, we live for that here. :D

      You’re right about the Hulk. Not only was that the best the character has ever looked in terms of effects, it was also the most “Hulkish” the Hulk has ever been in terms of how it acted. Ruffalo was also easily EASILY EASILY the best Bruce Banner on the big screen.

      I’m not going to comment outright on Scarlet Jo’s ass… well, ok, since you started it, she represented very well I thought. :D

      Good to see you chiming in man, always awesome.

      • Yeah, it was hard not to notice her ass on that lingering camera shot.

        Personally, I thought Edward Norton was the best Bruce Banner, but the Hulk in this movie was the best version so far.

  2. I’m going to have to wait at least 2 weeks to see it(So i can use my fandango bucks for it), but glad to know it will be worth it. I’m hoping this means Whedon will be making more movies now.

    Also i’m guessing this will be a big moneymaker for you in the HDF ;)

    • I HOPE SO!

      I hope Cap doesnt put all my stars as supporting roles. I want FULL POINTS BABY! WHOOO!! :D

      Yeah, its going to be a box office juggernaut, because people – myself included – will rave about it after having seen it. It’s going to have “Legs” like mad. I’m betting when you go see it in two weeks, it’ll still have a large audience in your theatre. No doubt. :D

  3. Wow, what I hear here and with many reviews of this film is talk about parts and bits and pieces. I dont here anything about a great story, empathy with the characters, compelling story flow or any larger meaning at all. It sounds like a video game review where you cant really play the game.

    So what you are saying is this really is a mindless romp that doesnt even rise to the level of Batman, Spiderman or Xmen franchises? To me, with a half dozen films setting this one up, this is unmitigated mediocrity. Damn shame too! Going to have to toss this in the Drum O wasted budgets.

    • Uh…. half suspecting that’s sarcasm, along the lines of my “Avengers SUCKED” tweet last night. LOL. :D

      Maybe I missed saying what you were looking to hear, but I dont recall saying anything of the sort – that the story was missing or anything.

      It’s a pretty straightforward plot, but I wouldnt call it deficient in any way. It’s just a straightforward villain threatens planet type scenario, and then around it, they layer on ten times the character interplay that other movies do. It’s fantastic across the board. I certainly wouldnt have given it my highest rating if I felt otherwise, Ric.

    • And it kicks all those other movies asses, pretty much. The only one I could see standing up to it would be Dark Knight.

      I mean, not if you’re out to mine themes or anything, but if youre just looking to be entertained? And not mindlessly entertained, just entertained… then yeah, this movie “Smashes” those.

  4. Nice writeup with much enthusiasm. A++? Wow that is one helluva rating. I was generally concerned about the multiple hero effect in this movie. I expect great action, banter, spectacle, and effects, but was worried about the conglomeration of egos or the inequality of adequate character screen time. Lets say your a Hulk fan and due to the multitude of heroes, you don’t feel he was represented enough. This could get you hopping mad and smash all your reasons for giving it a good recommendation. But it sounds like no one will be disappointed.

    I’m going tonight to see it and can’t wait.

    • You will NOT be disappointed. And I agree, that was a challenge for them – making sure everyone got adequate screen time. But they answer by a) Having a long movie (2 hr 20 min), and b) Having many many scenes where all the characters or many of the characters are in it together. And then when it comes time to do battle, they find a way to let everyone do their thing.

      You wont be disappointed. When you see it, you’ll understand. Its practically impossible not to leave the theatre grinning from ear to ear!

      • Saw it last night, you were right, I was not disappointed! The pace, the interaction, the development, the comedic injections, just everything about this movie was done exactly how this type of movie should be done. Even my wife who is not a fan, enjoyed the entire movie. I think she was the one who started the entire audience clapping at the end. Great entertaining movie!

      • The audience I saw it with clapped, too. Deservedly so. It was note for note perfect for a summer movie. Glad you both enjoyed it as much as I did! :D

  5. Great review. This movie is exactly what is advertised, a big summer movie blockbuster based on a comic series with all big-name stars. It delivers on all levels. What’s not to like? I really hope if, sorry, when there is a sequel, Joss will be back to direct. It won’t be the same otherwise.

    • Agreed! They’ve got to give him the Nolan treatment and give him the opportunity to do all three films, right? I mean, he did such an incredible job here managing the cast and pacing the film… He’s gotta come back. They have to make him an offer he can’t refuse. LOL.

      This movie is going to make more money than the US mint can print.

      • Yes, I hope so too. :) *fingers crossed* But I have a feeling that Nolan’s film is going to beat Avengers at the box-office in the long run.

      • Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm… I dunnooooooo. LOL

        I have a feeling between the earlier start, the lighter tone and the emphasis on action, this one is gonna be the winner. That would be my bet. Its a close call. I’d hate to lay odds. I mean, it could seriously go either way.

      • In the “Man I Love Films” March Madness bracket, I picked DKR over Avengers in the finals. I’m still sure I got the top two right, but I’m no longer sure about the order.

  6. Totally dug “Avengers.” Nice review! I would say that if I have any complaints, it’s that I was a bit lost at the beginning regarding the Tesseract and the background with Loki/Thor/invading alien hordes, something I’m sure would have been cleared up had I re-watched “Thor” and “Captain America” before seeing this–I’d definitely recommend that for anyone who hasn’t yet seen this movie.

    In addition, I felt like Thor wasn’t given that much to do, a bummer since he’s probably my favorite Avenger of the bunch (although Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner is currently edging him out). It seemed like he didn’t really identify with any of the rest of the team, and he probably wouldn’t even have been there had it not been Loki who was the source of all the trouble. If there are future Avengers movies, and I’m sure there will be, he’ll be the one whose character needs the most work.

    But for the most part, good work done by all, and a great script! Whedon also made fantastic use of character actors in cameos. Anyone notice Victor from Dollhouse?

    • Thanks for the compliment Abbyo!

      I never watched “Dollhouse” so I cant say that I did. :(

      Meanwhile though, I thought they made pretty good use of Thor… you didnt? If anything, I thought they made some concessions to Captain America by having the ground troops land LOL. Its hard though. There’s a lot of butt kicking going around… trying to make sure everyone gets their fair share isnt easy!

      I totally agree with you on the script. It was awesome. I should have name dropp Zak Penn too, since he was in on it. Just an incredible job though.

      Glad you agreed! Thanks for joining in!

  7. As a Hulk fan, I have to admit that I was really worried about this movie. But damn it was good! Great comic book plot, awesome comedy, good character interactions, stellar action/effects, and Hulk got to smash the living hell out of anything and everything!

    I was kind of expect a Transformers like movie where there was just too many explosions and overstimulation, but I have to say that The Avengers was pretty much perfect — for what’s supposed to be. It has surpassed Spiderman 2 as my favorite comic book film, easily! The only one that could be better is The Dark Knight, but one could easily argue that they can’t be compared because of The Dark Knights crime saga take on the genra.

    I can’t stop talking about how good it was!

    Let’s hope the same goes for Promethius.

    • Yeahhhh Prometheus. Almost forgot about that in all this madness.

      Dude. Hulk was off the chain. LOL. He ran amok. Line of the movie for me was when Cap was handing out directions to everyone.:D And then Hulk immediately started busting shit up. And of course, his confrontation with Loki will never ever be topped in a million years. I thought my appendix was gonna burst from laughing.

      What a fantastic movie. I seriously cant believe what a tape measure home run it was

    • I had one tiny nitpick that seemed just super petty to even mention. When a movie is so awesome that you dont even want to bring up a part you didnt care for because it would make you feel like a jerk? Thats a sign that the movie was freaking awesome.

  8. AMEN. What a fantastic movie. Great action. Great laughs. (Someone tell Thor not to stand next to the Hulk) Even the film after the end credits was great. I will definitely get this one on BD. What a way to start the summer at the movies.

    • LOL. Can I get a WITNESS?! :D

      It was great. And yeah, Someone should tell Loki that too. I think he got used to mouthing off to people :D

      This was a hell of a kick off to the summer. Its going to be hard to imagine them beating this.

  9. Great review for an awesome movie, Fogs. I was hoping for a good movie… got one much, much better than I was expecting. It’s going to be hard for future Marvel movies to live up to this one, really.

    I think my only real “complaint” about it is that I want “more” of various awesome things in it. And that’s a pretty nice complaint to have.

    • Absolutely, right? Its the first movie in a long time that I wanted to watch it again the very next day. Cant wait to see it again, cant wait for sequels… its going to be awesome.

      Thanks for the kind words about the review, too! :D

      • Absolutely. I’ve already got it marked down as a movie I want to get on DVD when it’s available.

        Pretty clear it’s going to be a big, big blockbuster too. Could not believe the lines at my theatre. There are two first-run theatres in the Eugene/Springfield area (and while people in each town will most likely go to the one in their city, they’re both so close to the town edges that it’s not exactly a hardship to go to the other.) The one in Eugene had, I think, three Real3D showings, two regular showings, and 1 IMAX 3D showing. The Springfield one had three Real3D showings and two regular. I went to the one in Springfield an hour early, simply because I wasn’t sure what the situation would be like and I needed to pick up the 3D glasses (can’t print those, after all.) There were already over 100 people in line. Not for tickets, not for all the shows combined. Just for people that already had tickets to the same screen I was attending. Just absolutely nuts. Tells me what it’s likely to be like for DKR though.

      • Like we were saying on Twitter, I couldnt believe how early people got there who had ALREADY had their tickets. I got there tickets in hand, 45 minutes early and was at the back of a huge line just to wait to be seated!

  10. It was GLORIOUS and Epic! I’ve only seen Iron Man and half of Captain America and still understood what was going on. I loved how comical and action packed it was and wasn’t Stan Lee’s cameo great! LOL

    • I know right? LOL. Totally sends up everything he’s done. That WAS great.

      There were a lot of great laughs, this was a movie with an AWESOME sense of humor. I was cracking up frequently!

  11. So are you saying you liked it?? I couldn’t tell.

    I’m gonna be one of the few to miss opening weekend. As much as I want to see it…as much as I hate sitting armpit to armpit in a theater. Choose to subject my two boys to Free Comic Book day instead.

    Anyone got a good excuse for missing two hours on a workday afternoon????????

  12. To 3D or not to 3D? That is the question! Whether it is nobler –aw shit. So big screen experience and not DVD. OK, I’ll bite.

    • Definitely big screen, I dont know on the 3d. If you’re a person who that’s a touch and go call for I’d say no, just because you probably dont need it anyways, its a great movie with or without or whatever.

      For me, IMAX 3D was totally worth the extra couple bucks. Loved it.

      • I was concerned that with all 3D effects being put in post would hurt it.

        It didn’t.

  13. Still speechless after seeing this. DKR has its work cut out. I think Avengers has set the bar for the summer — and the bar is HIGH.

    Hulk. ’nuff said.

    • Hulk Smash.

      Seriously, I know there’s a lot of Batman fans out there, and I LOVE TDK, I do. But I cant imagine TDKR topping this. I dont know. I mean, I know its more “Realistic” more serious… but I think that may actually work against it. Because this movie was just so much god damn FUN. I cant get over it, it was seriously awesome.

  14. Is A++ your highest rating, because it better be! :D

    I love this movie too… I agree that all the characters are well-written and compelling in their own ways…

      • Orly? What other movies have gotten your max rating?

        I gave Avengers my max rating, and only one movie from last year got it… Transformers Dark of the Moon!

      • HAAA!! You and your transformers! LOL :D

        Uhm, off the top of my head, I think Black Swan, The Descendants, The Muppets and The Artist.

        I dont think there were any others, but I could be wrong

  15. Glad you also loved it Dan! I saw this Thursday night and this really infused with hope that there might be some life left in the comic book movie genre (after TDKR). Given that I was terribly disappointed by every Marvel movie since Iron Man, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from The Avengers. But this got everything you would want from a comic book movie. Great humor, actually comprehensible big action set pieces, enough character moments for everyone involved, a witty script, strong direction. Yeah!!!

    I don’t want to hype it too much because at the end of the day, it is still just a pop corn summer movie but wow, I had a lot of fun and hope to see it again in a week or two.

    • Yes, it’s really only a pop corn movie, But its a GREAT popcorn movie. Maybe one of the best ever. As you point out, its full of humor, and the set pieces are phenomenal (Bonus points for being able to follow them LOL isnt it sad we have to point that out nowadays?)

      Sucks though that you were disappointed in every Marvel movie since Iron Man… maybe your expectations were too high. LOL. Seeing this one isnt going to help that problem going forward. :)

  16. LOVED IT!! It was truly brilliant! I too agree that one of the best aspects is Whedon’s ability to mix character development–action–story–depth–humor–heart and BADASSery! He is a genius and it does help that the cast is top notch and perfect.

    And yeah…finally we get the Hulk we’ve been waiting for! HULK…SMASH!! :D

    • Yesssss!! HULK SMASH!! :D Ha!!

      It has seemed like we would never get a decent Hulk movie… who would have thought it would happen in “The Avengers”?

      Glad you were pumped up by it too. I still cant get over how good it was.

  17. You managed to convey such a great enthusiasm through this post! Which, actually, is the most adequate feeling to describe this film.
    While watching it, I was having fun like a child. But at the same time my “scholar-side” was enjoying a great entertainment masterpiece. As you said, the characters’ interplay was just perfect, which was the most difficult thing to do in such a huge and diversified franchise. But in this case the Team was the leading character, as everyone was just supporting each other. And the final battle… God, the final battle!!! That proved that Joss Whedon definitely knows how to use a camera. It could have been very easy to mess everything up. But this doesn’t happen in The Avengers: though the action is so dense and fast-paced, it is never chaotic and overwhelming. Joss Whedon is always on great control of the camera… Bravo!
    And the irony, well… just LOL!

    Just one quick thing I didn’t like about the cast: Scarlett Johansonn is not the Natasha Romanoff!!! But nevermind, I LOVE this film :)

    • Jersey, I’m glad you got to see this! this would have been a bad one to have to wait for. I could barely make it through the week lag of overseas and then early screenings and midnight showings… it was rough! :)

      I am enthusiastic. I’m super enthusiastic for this movie. It’s top notch entertainment… Like you said, a Masterpiece of entertainment!

      That final battle WAS something, wasn’t it? It was spectacular. :D

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