Thank you for being everything I hoped you would be and more.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Kaiderman
P.S. Joss Whedon – XOXOXOXOX
You may notice this is actually the second Avengers review here on the site. In fact, it’s the third post about the film in the last week. As co-founders of the site, we (Dylan and myself) take great pride in not directing our writers in any way and NEVER editing any of their content. However, at the end of the day, it is our site. So, after reading Brian’s review and Mike’s opinion on the state of comic book films, I felt compelled to throw my voice out there because I just couldn’t disagree more. Therefore, I present you with my thoughts on this film…
Now, I would typically start a review with a breakdown of the film we’re talking about but it seems like a waste of time here. If you don’t know what this film is about, you’re probably imprisoned in a North Korean jail or live such a sheltered life that you don’t even know what the internet is. Either way, it’s a big waste of time. Hell, reviewing this might even be a waste of time considering, based on the box office take, it looks as though everyone and their grandmother saw this film opening weekend. What we can talk about is what this was… which was a huge experiment that paid off greatly and may just change the way the genre (of comic book films) is handled going forward.
Marvel decided to venture into a ginormous 10 picture (plus) project. Starting slowly with individual films chronicling/introducing some of their greatest character properties (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk). The idea being to introduce them all individually and then bring them together into an epic all-star movie where they converge to fight the forces of evil. Now this was a gamble that could’ve failed miserably and been scrapped right out of the gates. Luckily, I would say, a solid script and the casting of Robert Downey Jr. lead to success that put Marvel all in from the start. Six pictures later, I sit here, having just seen The Avengers and pondering the whole thing. As a comic book nerd since I was a boy (not the kind people pretend to be now but the real thing), I sit here feeling very happy… very satisfied!
That feeling is all the more satisfying considering all of the concerns going into the film. I’m not just talking about high expectations. Hell, I had this over The Dark Knight Rises on my list of most anticipated films of 2012. It might’ve made my most anticipated films of my life list. Expectations being high was a given. No, I’m talking about the other concerns. Like, could a director of Joss Whedon’s ability handle a film of this scale? Could this many properties be brought together without creating another Spiderman 3 fiasco? Could Loki be a suitable foe to the superheroes when he all ready got whipped by his brother alone? The questions go on and on but the answer is the same: YES!
This film delivers on so many levels. It’s great to look at. It’s everything a summer blockbuster should be. It’s everything a comic book movie should be. It’s everything that the casual moviegoer would hope to see as well as the seasoned fanboy. Oh, and I should speak to that…
The great thing about this movie is, even with the string of films that lead up to it, it does stand on it’s own two feet. A person, having never seen the previous films, can walk right in, sit down and follow everything that’s going on in this story. Though, I wouldn’t recommend doing it that way. The flipside to that is people like myself. The die hard fanboys who know even more than the movies can offer up. Someone said to me on a recent podcast I appeared on that I shouldn’t review this film from the viewpoint of a die hard fan. That it in some ways diminishes my opinion of the film because I love everything about it going in. I can’t help but disagree. The way I see it, I have been on this Earth for 34 years waiting for this film to happen. If anyone is going to be critical of any flaws, it’s going to be me. My expectations were so high that it would take a hail mary play of the day to win me over and you know what? It did.
Not to say I couldn’t nit pick. Not to say this film doesn’t have minor flaws. I thought Hawkeye was a bit wasted through half of the storyline. I thought it was a shame that you don’t see Thor until about 45 to 60 minutes into the film. I could even say that until Thor shows up, the film is actually kind of slow. Though, when Thor shows up, it’s a pretty sweet entrance. Hawkeye manages to fully make up for his early lack of involvement in the last half hour of the film. And the first part of this film is laying the groundwork. We forgive individual comic properties for taking time to establish their characters. I mean, how long does it take for Batman to swoop into Batman Begins? While all of these characters have been given their origins within this film universe this is still an origin story for a group dynamic. An Avengers origin story that deserves that same respect and gets that same care.
I also have to give props to Joss Whedon for crafting this story. I’m fine with the man’s directing but I’m also not an authority so I certainly won’t speak to his strengths and weaknesses in that department. I felt as though the film looked fine. Ultimately, I’m concerned with the story. In this case, it was crafted with great care for each of the characters and the overall storyline. We get great little nods to fans throughout the film. Regardless of having seen it in the trailer, I still got chills in the theater when Captain America called out to Hulk and said, “Smash!” We got a pissing match resolved with fists between the big three of the group. We also got a final 30 minutes that could be it’s own movie entitled Avengers Assemble. You should see the movie for this alone. And then, there was the Hulk…
The Hulk has always bothered me in films the same way Superman does. He’s just so invincible that it’s hard to depict him in a way that would make any audience all that interested. I mean, who worries that anybody is going to take down the Hulk? The only way to make it moderately interesting, to this point, was to pit him against the Abomination which is essentially another Hulk. Geez! That’s not a problem here though thanks to Whedon who injects everything about the Hulk that makes him an awesome character. I won’t expound too much because you should see it for yourself but I will say two things. (1) Whedon uses Hulk as a beast that is not only scary to the foes of the film but to the Avengers as well. Making him the giant wild card of this whole story. (2) Hulk flat out steals the show in this movie! End of story. Quite a feat considering he was probably my least favorite character of the main four going in.
In the end, I feel like this review meanders a bit. I feel so excited that I jump from thought to thought. Unable to to speak coherently about any particular thing because I’m so excited about the whole. In a way, that itself is a testimony to this film. I fell like an eight year old boy who just had his mind blown by the worl’d mightiest heroes. For that reason, I should probably just stop while I’m ahead.
I’m tempted to do that thing where I give this film just under a perfect score for the couple of things that could’ve have been tinkered with or tweaked but screw that madness. I had a blast watching this film and don’t want it to be anything other than what it was. Which was amazing!!!
—–SPOLIER FOR CLOSING CREDITS SEQUENCE BELOW—–
For those of you that stuck around halfway through the closing credits, for the scene that sets up Avengers 2, and were wondering who that alien dude was… well, that was Thanos. You should google him. Or go and read a fucking comic book, you bloody savages!