Review: The Avengers
Things We Liked:Everyone Joins the Fun
Things We Hated:Inaccessible to Non-Fans I No time for Bathroom Breaks
The only thing that could be conceived as a drawback to the summers first real Blow-the-Doors-Off-the-Theater Blockbuster is that The Avengers lacks the same heart of its combined predecessors. Thankfully, even in 2 and a half hours of run time, that never take away from what is on the screen. I don’t necessarily mean that [...]
The only thing that could be conceived as a drawback to the summers first real Blow-the-Doors-Off-the-Theater Blockbuster is that The Avengers lacks the same heart of its combined predecessors. Thankfully, even in 2 and a half hours of run time, that never take away from what is on the screen. I don’t necessarily mean that as a dig, Avengers simply does not have the time. It is far to busy for such things as over-explanation, and base-line character development, which is great. I’m sure if you want that all you need do is wait for the upcoming Spider-man reboot.
Instead what Joss Whedon has done here is give the fans nearly exactly what they want. He gathers up his cast like wild dogs, lets them bark and gnash at one another until they tire, see reason, and understand. Then he looses them on the (formidable) Loki, who for most of the movie, spends his time quietly contemplating and making the separate pieces of the Avengers puzzle feel stupid.
The intelligence of Whedon is shown through the clever use of dialogue. Loki says what he needs to say, when he needs to say it, and that is worth far more than your usual babbling idiot of a villain or the stoic silent type. There is a scene where he thinks that he is in control, talking with Black Widow about what debt she may owe society. He allows her to say what she wants to say and then unloads in a very precise and calculated manner, one that actually represents the character. The movie is loaded with subtle social character insights, most in the form of quips from Tony Stark or misunderstandings by Captain America. As it should be each one of the cast members takes their turn, and the alchemy of the overall great casting by Marvel Studios shows through.
Now, I understand that The Avengers is about a group of heroes with magical and technological super-powers trying to save the world from domination from an as yet unseen alien force. I get that I should check my disbelief at the door but, I still look for human interaction, something I can relate to. Whedon’s script for the most part does a great job of this. Having Robert Downey Junior as Iron man makes interjecting humor seem almost effortless.
The only character in the movie that is not Agent Coulson, and is relatable on a human level is Bruce Banner. I may be biased because I’ve pretty much always thought that he was the most accessible human hero, but part of that sentiment is valid. The only other hero that comes close is Captain America. Perhaps here they are meant to be two sides of the same coin. Both are smart, not on the same levels of course, but, Banner is the intelligent depressive where Captain America is the guiding force, the perseverance to continue on. Banner knows what he can become and I think this movie expertly uses his built up fear of what his other half can do against him and the rest of the team.
This film is full of transitions. Each character is given time to work through and develop their reason as to why they come to believe in the vision that Avengers director Nick Fury sets before them. The best transition in the film comes as we near the end, as Banner arrives mid-interstellar war, the balance in power shifts as he goes from something we understand to something not even the Avengers can control all while maintaining his poise. “I’m always angry.” he says as he transforms seamlessly into The Hulk and plunges his fist into the soft mushy bits of what amounts to an alien locomotive’s head.
Predictably, and wonderfully by the end of the film the team is in perfect concert. This is where the money invested into special effects shines as the entire last battle scene of the movie is pitch perfect with Whedon developing conflict upon conflict, creating an entire world of scenarios in about 20 blocks of Manhattan. Really, if the movie was only that battle, it would have been worth the price of admission. Thankfully, it was so much more.