WARNING: What you are about to read may come across as biased.
It’s not my fault, really. You can’t tease and talk to me about a movie for over four years, linking it to almost all of the great comic book book movies that have happened within that space of time and then put Joss Whedon at the helm and expect any different from me. It’s as though my critical eye was obliterated before The Avengers even began.
In short, The Avengers was so amazing that I am concerned that it will be my favorite movie of the 2012 movie season before the season even gets going.
But, before you dismiss me as a fan-girl gone googly, I’d like to defend myself.
The Avengers offers everything a comic book, super hero movie should offer: there is action, extraordinary battles, seamless special effects to enhance the setting(s) and action, a sense of fun and depth of character. It is this final point that I believe separates the good comic book movies from the great ones. In terms of The Avengers this depth of character was not only demonstrated with one main-stage hero, but, rather, a team of them, four of which had previously had the silver screen all to themselves. No opportunity was missed within the 142 minute film to showcase who each of these characters were – whether it was through a witty remark, a look, a perfectly timed punch or even an amusing recognition of one’s place out of time – even if you hadn’t been reading their comic books all your life, or if you had somehow missed the last five years of blockbuster Marvel movies, you could have a full scope of who each of these characters were from this film alone.
While I could write about the character development and presentation of each of the Avengers, I will only take the time to mention the one who has been given a second chance in this film: the Hulk. For all those who have waited for it, in The Avengers you will finally see the Hulk done right. Perhaps it is the nature of the story – the fact that he has powerful enough beings to contend with – but I think credit should be given to Mark Ruffalo and the writing team for making this character believable and one to root for. After watching the film I can fully understand where the confidence to sign the Ruffalo-six-movie deal with Marvel came from, and I can’t wait to see where the Hulk ends up next.
To speak to the action of the film, well, let’s just say the Earth – represented by one bad-ass eye patch, trench coat wearing, Nick Fury – pulls together a group of beings with powers beyond our human scope of understanding to defend against a seemingly unstoppable offensive force brought to ground by one very misguided Loki, and, once again, my city is torn asunder. That’s right, Nerds, you are in for some major New York City SMASH in the ultimate battle on the screen. However, that is hardly the first battle in this film. Do not be late to this movie, because, in true Whedon style, the action and forward momentum of the story begins before you even get your straw in your soda! And if you happen to be blessed with as active an audience as I was, this means raucous applause and cheers every step of the way.
One other thing you may notice from the audience, whether they are raucous or not, is an inordinate amount of laughter. Remember I said this movie was fun? Well, part of that fun can be found in the funny. This is isn’t your typical, “Oh-ho! If you knew Tony Stark, you’d get how funny that is!” type of funny where a fraction of the audience is left nervously giggling in confusion. What you’ll find in The Avengers are honest-to-goodness funny lines and situations understood by everyone in attendance. As I said, it’s fun.
So that you know my critical eye was not completely obliterated as I might have once feared, I will tell you my two issues with the film, minor though they are. My first point is, while the action began at step one, I felt a sense of unease about the film in the first two or three scenes. To be honest, I will have to see the film again to pinpoint what might have been missing there, but something was amiss. However, this turns into a minor fact as it is quickly forgotten by all the wonder that follows. The second reservation is that I did shell out the extra bucks for the 3D version of the film and I am not sure I needed to. This could be due to the showing of The Amazing Spiderman trailer in 3D, after which I’m not sure anything else could measure up to that swinging fun!
To wrap it all up, I already told you not be late to this movie, now I have to warn you: don’t leave. You will, in true Marvel fashion be treated to that teaser scene we’ve all come to love and adore. However, in this film, you will get two. One is a teaser and another is full of that fun I spoke of, but both are worth sitting through the credits.
So, get out there Nerds! Assemble! Get to the movies and don’t miss out on the buzzing excitement of the opening weekend crowds… but don’t forget to come back to let me know what you thought of the movie!