Monday, May 21, 2012
The Avengers Review
Odds are you've already seen The Avengers by now, and if so, then you already know it's awesome. The culmination of several films Marvel Comics has released over the last few years, The Avengers brings together the heroes from the different franchises, tying their stories all together and creating the team the world desperately needs.
The action begins right away as we learn S.H.I.E.L.D. is researching the Tesseract and that it's being triggered to open a portal, a portal in which Loki (Tom Hiddleston) steps through. Killing the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents on hand, enslaving a few, and wounding Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Loki escapes with the Tesseract for his own purposes. Thus, Fury has no choice but to proceed with the Avengers Initiative.
Since they already have their own films, everyone already knows who Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is, they know how the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) came to be, and they know who Captain America (Chris Evans) is, etc., so while time is spent focusing on forming the team and having each member learn to trust the other, time is not wasted on any real origin stories for each team member. While it certainly helps to have seen all the previous films, this also isn't required and The Avengers stands on its own as a great film.
Joss Whedon is known for extremely character driven pieces with exceptional character interaction, and The Avengers has this in spades. Filled with humour from such characters as Iron Man, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and the Hulk, it also features some very serious and touching moments that help to provide solid pacing to the film's action and battles. Make no mistake, while The Avengers is a superhero thrill ride filled with amazing conflict and special effects, at its core, it truly is a marvelous character driven piece. There's also a strong bit of nostalgia factored in as it's simply great to see all of these comic book heroes that I enjoyed as a child come to life in a way I've not yet seen before on the silver screen.
And I confess, I loved watching Loki in action. So manipulative, so conniving, and so petty, he is a villain you loved to hate. Just the arrogance of the man, and the banter between him and Iron Man, how he'd continually trick Thor, or how he goes on at Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson); Loki truly has some of my favourite writing and dialogue in the film.
For true comic book fans, make sure you stick around through the credits, and for true Joss Whedon fans, make sure you stick around to the end of the credits. Seriously, a wonderful and completely Joss way to have a post-credit sequence and well worth it.
The Avengers is a great start to the summer blockbuster season, there's no doubt about that. Entertaining, effects heavy, and more importantly, character driven all the way. If you haven't seen this movie yet then please stop reading this and go now, it's completely worth it. If you have already seen it, than really, I haven't told you anything you didn't already know.