Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Avengers: Summer at Last

Hello all. I have been away for a while. Safe to say, my life is chaos. I'm getting ready to move back across the country to New Mexico, and I have had little time to devote to my blog. That being said, I haven't forgotten about all you amazing people who take the time to read my posts. I am hoping that I can be more present from now on.

Directed By: Josh Whedon 

Today, I am here to talk about The Avengers. Yes, I know I am super late, but I am still going to review it because it marks the beginning of my favorite season, both weather wise, and film wise.

Some say the summer movie season is just for teenage boys. Well, I disagree. I think summer marks the time when we discover, again, why we love movies. It is a time to be swept away into fantastic worlds and go on amazing adventures. There is no room for stuffy castles, british accents or historical dramas. Now is the time for movies designed specifically for our entertainment, and it's a great time to be an audience.

I have been anticipating The Avengers for a long time. I saw Thor, Iron Man 1 & 2, Captain America and the past few Hulk movies, so I was well prepared for this film. I think many people had high expectations (myself included), and despite suffering from the obvious flaws, this film will satisfy those with an invested interest in Marvel characters. If you have no interest in superheroes, I don't know why you would bother buying a ticket and this review is not for you. In fact, if you haven't seen this film, the rest of this review will make no sense.

It must be said, this film has an irresistible charm that makes you want to see it again and again. That charm comes, undeniably, from the great cast. The biggest stand outs are pretty predictable. Robert Downey Jr, has, and always will be, the perfect Tony Stark. Samuel L. Jackson got more screen time as Nick Fury, after cameo appearances in several of the prequels. Jackson is one of the greats, he draws the eye, and he brought a level of  intensity to this film, which suffers from a bit of juvenile humor. And, we cannot forget the always sexy, Scarlett Johansen as Black Widow. Not only is her character a knock out in that skin tight super-suit, she's also pretty bad-ass and a borderline sociopath.

The other big names rounding out this star studded cast included Chris Hemsworth, the Australian hottie who also starred in the revamped Snow White and the Huntsman. The awkwardly handsome Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, and boy-next-door, Chris Evans as Captain America. There is also Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, but the real stand out, for me, is Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson. Though not a superhero, Gregg has some of the most compelling scenes in the film.

The story of The Avengers takes quite a few Hollywood liberties, which means the story makes no sense at all. So, I'm not going to waste time going through the plot. But if you can set aside the glaring plot holes, you will see that the strength of the film comes from all of the great little moments. Like when Iron Man and Thor battle in the woods while throwing cheeky insults at each other, or when Agent Coulson, after being mortally wounded, urges Nick Fury to carry on the fight. But, the best moments, and the biggest crowd pleasers, are the scenes with the Hulk.

There is some debate as to the merits of Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner. Some say that Ruffalo is just an empty shell, and does nothing to make Banner an interesting character. But, Ruffalo is my favorite Bruce Banner. His unassuming nature lends itself perfectly to the way I have always pictured Banner and the softer side of the beast.

But as much as there is to love about this film there is, no doubt, a lot of room for improvement. The biggest weakness of the film comes from the fact that there are so many scenes that make no sense or are completely superfluous.

One of the stand out awkward scenes comes after Loki (Tom Hiddleston) crashes a fancy party and scares all the rich people into the streets. He then begins to lecture a group of maybe 150 old, over dressed people about freedom and servitude until an old man stands up and makes a reference to the oppressive nature of man. This might have worked, if it didn't look like the filmmakers couldn't find enough extras. It looks like Loki is lecturing random people on the street, which, given the fact that he is an all-powerful god, makes the whole scene idiotic.

Another stand out awkward scene comes right at the climax of the film. When, Bruce Banner drives up on a crappy motorcycle, in tattered clothes, in the middle of a battle field. What makes it weird is the fact that the Hulk fell out of an airplane into an abandoned building on some island over the ocean. Yet, he is some how able to commandeer a motorcycle, traverse the distance to the city, and find the other heroes just in time to save the day. It doesn't work, even in a film that defies reality at every step.

But despite some of the awkward scenes, there is no denying that it is still a lot of fun. The combination of great actors and nostalgia come together perfectly to make this one of the better Marvel films. I loved it, and I can't wait to see the inevitable sequels.

B+ : It's everything you expect, but still a good time.

(Pictures from Google) 

1 comment:

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