Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Avengers review; the most ambitious film of all time

It's been years in the making.  Something so big, so ambitious, fanboys across the world couldn't help but geek out at the mere thought of it.  Five individual films (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America), all with intersecting story lines, lead to this mega event.  Six superheros in one movie.  This is, The Avengers.  Let's go.

What I liked about the film:
Our Heroes
One of the problems with superhero films that flop is, there are too many characters, and not all of those characters get a their fair share of material.  That is not the case in The Avengers.  Samuel L. Jackson plays Nick Fury, a mysterious man with his own agenda and ways of doing things.  Jackson gets to shine by keeping the audience guessing.

Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark/Iron Man.  And of course, he is given the best dialogue in the film.  Downey exudes wit and charm in the character we have all come to know and love.  Chris Evans delicately plays Steve Rodgers/Captain America.  He is the "fish out of water", who's returned to America after being frozen for 70 years.  Evans stays true to his character's beginnings in the military and plays the hero with a sense of honor and respect.  The rest of the team is made up of Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye.  There are also great supporting characters played by Clark Gregg and Stellan Skarsgard.  The cast is wonderful and demand our attention on the screen.

You thought I left out one of the heroes didn't you?  No way.  It took a few tries, but the Hulk is finally "done right" in this movie!  Mark Ruffalo plays a wonderful Bruce Banner.  He must have been the most difficult character for the film makers, in more ways than one, but it superbly done.  Ensemble films like this usually wait until the third act to give every character something to do, that is not the case here.  Every character is an important piece of the puzzle.

The Conflict
Our heroes are by no means perfect.  By bringing all these characters together, there was bound to be conflict.  Everything from egos to ideals, the movie portrays conflict among the gang perfectly.  Check out the forest scene, where three of our heroes go at it, awesome!

The Special Effects
Bar none, the best special effects of any superhero film ever made.  Marvel spared no expense.  The movie is a spectacle to be enjoyed by all.  What I find amazing is the animators had to recreate characters that other companies have already used in previous films; all while making us believe the continuity.  The third act is non-stop, amazing action.  The best part is, it is all to serve the story; it never gets repetitive or boring.

Joss Whedon
The script by Writer/Director Joss Whedon is phenomenal. His talent shines through every minute of the film.  He was literally the best man for the job.  Whedon has created, and directed, amazing sci fi movies and television shows.  He's written comic book stories as well.  His script gave every character a fair chance to shine.  His choice in almost every aspect of the movie is perfect.  The tone of the film is great, reminiscent of the Iron Man films.  The editing and pacing are spot on, never leaving a dull moment for the audience.  The character arcs are treated with care, to ensure we can relate to these super humans, and not just view them as Gods, with no humanity.  I can only hope he is hired back to direct the sequels.

What I didn't like about the film:
The Villain
Let me be clear.  I loved Tom Hiddleston in this movie, but I didn't fear the threat of world domination by his character.  Loki is of course the God of mischief, but come one.  These are the Avengers.  Loki was already taken down by his brother Thor once before; now you're talking about six superheroes.

The Score
A memorable movie needs a memorable score.  I remember sitting in the theater waiting for the explosion of music to come, and it never did.  Alan Silvestri is a two-time Oscar nominee, but he missed the target on this one in my opinion.

The Verdict:
Simply Amazing
That's the word, amazing.  Marvel President Kevin Feige had a vision that began in 2007, during the filming of the first Iron Man.  What if there was a scene at the end of the film credits, teasing an Avengers film?  After all the characters in the team returned in-house from other studios, it would become a reality.  I mentioned it in the title, and it is no over exaggeration...  The Avengers is the most ambitious film of all time.  To bring six characters, from five previous films together; and do it with the care and style that Whedon has done, is unbelievable.

The latest news this morning is that the film has the biggest box office opening of all time.  $200 millions dollars.  That tops 2011's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at approx. $169 million dollars, and 2008's The Dark Knight with approx. $158 million dollars.  After watching the film, it does not surprise me at all.  The film will appeal to young and old, male and female.  And THAT, is the sign of a great movie.  Congratulations to all the players in this amazing journey.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good review Tony. For the past 4 years, Marvel has been building and building this movie up and it finally lives up to every promise ever made. It's fun, hilarious, action-packed, and filled with all of our favorite characters and superheros from these stories.