Earth’s Mightiest Movie?
Since 2008, Marvel has been teasing nerds and geeks with the promise of an Avengers movie, slowly building toward the most ambitious superhero flick to date. So, in an ever-growing catalog of films featuring tights-sporting protagonist, how does The Avengers stack up?
The short answer is from here on out, the bar has been raised for all superhero movies. There might be a slight bias here, but as a fan not only of cinema but of comics as well, there was nothing more I could have wanted from this movie. It truly is the blockbuster event of the season, and there’s little doubt it will give The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises a run for their money.
Aliens invading? Haha, yeah, we got a few minutes.
Nerds can let out a high-pitched scream of pleasure as the world faces a menace that calls for not one, not two, but six superheroes. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) faces an unprecedented threat when demigod Loki (Tom Hiddleston) returns with an alien invasion in tow. Backed into a corner, he moves forward with the Avengers Initiative, a plan to gather a group of individuals with the skills and abilities needed to protect the planet. So, Fury turns to the likes of Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and even Loki’s brother, the Asgardian Thor (Chris Hemsworth). The only problem is that the heroes don’t seem to want to play nice at first. But when the chips are down, there isn’t a force better-equipped to show baddies why they shouldn’t mess with Earth.
There was perhaps no better person than Joss Whedon (who also wrote the script with a little help from Zak Penn) to have been at the helm for this project. Not only does his experience working in comics and television/film make The Avengers such a great fit (geeks will remember him fondly for Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer), but he also knows exactly what the audience wants. He finds a way to take modern mythological characters that are larger than life (and perhaps even too big for the silver screen) and humanize them making them accessible and a group that it’s easy to root for. The Avengers is truly an example of a film that is greater than the sum of its parts. Whedon takes each persona and brings out the very best in it, and while some performances might be a little louder than others, every hero gets his or her time to shine and fans will not be disappointed.
Clash of the titans... Well, two of them. The Avengers has a lot those.
Despite clocking in at just over two hours, The Avengers doesn’t waste a second of screen time and delivers more eye-popping action than the audience can shake a stick at. At some points it relies a little too heavily on all the movies that lead up to it, but with a grand undertaking like this, there’s really no reason not to expect that. This film has been four years in the making, and it would be a waste to rehash origin stories when there’s an alien invasion to fight.
Even for those who haven’t had a chance to sit through the preceding five flicks, The Avengers isn’t really a difficult movie to follow. After all, anyone who has absolutely no idea what this movie is about before walking in probably doesn’t have a movie theater readily available anyway, and as I said before, it’s not really a hard movie to follow. Just remember to root for the ones that look like humans. Well, and the Hulk (who definitely threatens to steal the show in the third act).
While it’s still early in the year, if The Avengers is any indication of the quality to expect this summer, it might be one of the best years we’ve had in a long time at the cinema. It’s going to be hard to see individual superhero flicks after this one, and there’s a lot for future films to live up to. It’s driven by a strong story, solid performances and plenty of humor in between amazing fight scenes. Whedon captures the spirit of the comics, and the result is everything fans could have hoped for. The average moviegoer will find something to love about this movie, and with the incredible visuals, it’s worth seeing in at least 3D.
And it might go without saying, but stay until the very end of the credits for not only one, but two special treats. You won’t regret it.
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