Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Avengers (First Impressions) (Movie Review)

       Ever sense I can remember, one of my biggest fan boy dreams was that all of my favorite super heroes would all come together in a single film, and while there have been animated movies and TV shows that have brought together a tone of famous super heroes, there had never been a live action film of this kind. Now at long last, my dream has come to life with the 2012 movie “The Avengers” and best of all, this is a collection of hero’s from the Marvel comics, which I’m a huge fan of (far more than DC comics) so it’s the perfect universe to bring together a group of hero’s. This team of hero’s is comprised of Iron Man (played again by Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (played again by Chris Evans), Thor (played again by Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (played again by the beautiful Scarlett Johansson), Hawk eye (played again by Jeremy Renner) and the Incredible Hulk (who now is played by Mark Ruffalo instead of Edward H. Norton, that’s kind of distracting). The only other big Marvel hero’s missing are Wolverine, Spider-Man, Dare Devil, the Fantastic Four and other members of the X-Men. Okay so it didn’t have every single character from the Marvel universe involved but it was still more then satisfying. Now this film has been hyped ever sense it was first hinted at the end of the first “Iron Man” movie back in 2008, and I feel very safe in saying that it completely lived up to its hype. The film was already a novel experience just for seeing all these classic super heroes in the same film but the writers and directors do an excellent job remembering that a good movie still comes first and all these characters are given their proper amount of attention and honest character development. There’s never a moment when it feels like one hero is over shadowing the other, it’s really a movie that belongs to all of these characters.
     I love that all these characters had their individual movies come out before this film because now I feel like I know these people and understand who there are. I love their simple interactions with each other, there fun comments and it’s great how the film sets up this team’s relationship. At first their having trouble getting along but by the end they learn to work as a team and I really admire how the action scenes complement them as both skilled fighters and as hero’s. Some will be fighting the enemies while others will be protecting the civilians, it’s great. The action scenes by the way are really big spectacles (as you’d expect), there’s no shaky camera, lots of high stakes and the climax is without a doubt, one of the greatest, most explosive, action packed climaxes I’ve ever seen. There’s also a lot of comedy that works really well in the film, it manages to be genuinely funny (actually I got some really hard laughs while watching this film) without ever feeling too stupid. I especially like that they didn’t try to shoe horn a relationship in there between Captain America and Black Widow, that would have been too much, too soon, best saved for the sequel. Now the film isn’t trying to hide the fact that it’s just a superhero movie, it’s very self aware and it’s just swimming in all this clichéd goodness. The plot is a basic story of the villain trying to take over the world and the hero’s save the day, but it’s handled so well.  

    Admittedly, I really wish there could have been more classic Marvel villains in this film as opposed to just one, but never the less Loki holds his own just fine and manages to be this really commanding and sinister villain in the film. Samuel L. Jackson finally gets his big shining performance as Nick Furry and as you’d expect, he has no problems bringing this character to life. Scarlett Johansson is also really cool as the Black Widow, honestly I think she’s the best female character to come from a Marvel movie (well, certainly on par with Storm from the X-Men series). It was also a real treat to finally see Shields flying fortress on the big screen. Stan Lee get’s another fun little cameo and there are two clips that play during and after the end credits, most notably a quick gimps of the Red Skull, who’ll undoubtedly be returning as the villain in the next film. Overall, the film manages to balance these massive and extremely entertaining action scenes with a good script, honest character depth and character focus. So in other words, this is an A+ superhero film and manages to surpass both its hype and its novelty. Simply one of the greatest comic book adapted movies of all time, normally I’d give a film like this 4 or 4 ½ stars but it did everything so well while staying so entertaining that I can’t help but give “The Avengers” nothing less than 5 Stars.

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