Monday, May 7, 2012

Avengers Movie Review

So, anyone see any movies last weekend? MINOR SPOILERS BELOW

Like the rest of the world, I watched and loved Joss Whedon’s Avengers film. I came in with extremely high expectations, and yet I found myself delighted through the entire film. The running time was long, but with so many characters and so many built-in conflicts, the movie needed all those minutes.

Going in, I was hoping there would be some way to get a Thor/Hulk fight in there. I knew Loki was the villain, but man, Hulk needs to hit his friends, too, right? That’s what Hulk does! And boy, did the movie deliver. The battle on the helicarrier was amazing; those opening shots clearly established that neither Hulk nor Thor had ever been hit like that before. And was anyone else as amazed as I was at how Thor handled the hammer? It seemed so light in his hand, but with good sound effects and a few special effects, it still seemed to carry a weight on screen. Masterfully done.

Captain America and Iron Man always have tension in the comics; they have very different outlooks. Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. brought that to a new level on screen. The two of them seemed like alpha males trying to lead the pack from the moment they first met. Thor adds to it, of course, but Chris Hemsworth seems to be above it all half the time. That’s why the conclusion of the film (and the second bonus scene!) works so well. The Avengers started off as individuals, but they make a hell of a team.

The Hulk stole the show, no doubt about it. I don’t want to give away any of his moments, but wow, I’m floored at how perfectly the big green guy was portrayed. Mark Ruffalo played Bruce Banner a bit more playful than I imagine, but it totally worked.

Loki. Wow. That dude delivers some of the best vainglorious villain speeches I’ve ever seen on screen. He dresses down just about every member of the cast, repeatedly, and it works every single time. It speaks to Tom Hiddleston’s acting abilities that every time he and Thor shared a moment, I found myself hoping that maybe, just maybe, Loki would listen to reason this time. (Even though I knew he wouldn’t.)

Hawkeye and Black Widow really held their own, didn’t they? A lot of people question how a guy with a bow and a chick with guns can get by on a team with Thor and Iron Man. This movie delivers the answer. The Widow in particular was extremely effective and got a lot to do throughout the movie. Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, and Maria Hill also prove to be invaluable human allies too.

There was a lot of speculation about the villains in the film, other than Loki. The aliens (I don’t even remember their name) looked like something out of Gears of War to me, so my bro and I immediately started calling them the Locust. The weapons, armor, and ships were all well designed, making what could have been boring crowd shots into neat action set-pieces. I especially enjoyed the way the ground troops looked for cover as they moved up the street.

As for the tease? Oh my goodness. Avengers 2 is going to be sweet. (My daughter recognized that villain. That’s how I know I’m raising her right!)


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