Last week I saw The Avengers. I had been waiting to see this movie since I saw Captain America, and it didn’t disappoint.
Here are my impressions.
6. Joss Whedon pulled it off
Like I said, the movie didn’t disappoint when it very well could have. Crossover films are notoriously difficult to manage, which is why many of them end up in disaster.
I’m looking at you Aliens Vs. Predator.
Even with all the moving parts involved (including a pretty preposterous demigod, space demon earth takeover), Avengers was entertaining throughout.
5. It’s funny
Whedon and the producers were smart enough not to go the dark, gritty route. Avengers isn’t The Dark Knight, and it never could be.
Batman is a sociopath who saw his parents murdered in cold blood as a child. He just happens to also be a millionaire martial arts enthusiast. The Avengers are for all intents and purposes a superhero boy band (plus Black Widow).
So in a way, Avengers is the superhero movie antithesis to TDK. It’s lighthearted, it’s bright, it’s funny.
In what will be no surprise to anyone who has seen Iron Man or Iron Man 2, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark really steals the show. But Samuel L. Jackson playing Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury was also good, and some peripheral characters get great one-liners.
The Hulk is also used as effective comic relief in several scenes. It’s like someone finally realized a scientist (who apparently invented recipe for infinitely stretchable pants) who turns into a giant green rage monster when his feelings are hurt is inherently ridiculous.
Speaking of the Hulk…
4. For once the Hulk didn’t suck
This will probably be news to 75 percent of you, but before Avengers, Marvel made two Hulk movies with two different actors and one homeless-looking Nick Nolte.
Not to be harsh (but I’m about to), but they sucked. Both movies about Jersey Shore Shrek were too serious for their own good and proved the character can’t stand on its own.
Avengers did a great job of using him precisely at the right moments; I completely agree with Sam at 11points when he says the Hulk is best used sparingly.
3. Black Widow and Hawkeye were just kinda there
I’m fully aware that with a movie like Avengers there needs to be a certain amount of pandering to fanboys, hence the inclusion of Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow and Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye.
That being said, I was disappointed that such a talented actor in Renner was wasted on what amounted to a hat tip to Marvel die-hards. His “power” isn’t even explained in passing. Frankly, I just assumed his parent didn’t love him, and he spent a lot of time on the archery range at day camp as a kid.
As for ScarJo, well, I can say that she was in a black leather unitard for most of the film. So that’s something.
2. The final battle is epic
The final confrontation between the Avengers and Loki (and his space minions) takes place in New York City, and I wish I had a more verbose word to use, but it’s just awesome.
I’m not sure that it’s as epic as the Helms Deep scene in The Two Towers, but it’s damn close.
It does an excellent job of showcasing each member’s powers in an engaging fashion. Despite all the action, it also keeps the movie’s sense of humor and adds an element of suspense toward the end.
The movie really could have gone off the rails right before pulling into the station, say with a Green Lantern style poorly rendered space cloud posing as a villain, but it didn’t. Everything really came together.
1. Marvel’s best post-credits scene
Avengers features my favorite post-credits scene of any Marvel movie to date.
I won’t spoil it, but I will say it’s a callback to a reference earlier in the film. It’s simple, funny and a perfect ending to a movie Marvel has been working toward for years.