Hey, gang! I have been absent from writing reviews–but not on watching movies–as of late, so I better start catching up by beginning with one of this year’s most anticipated movies that was recently released earlier this month. Ahem…
The Avengers is an American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. It is written and directed by (Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator) Joss Whedon, and features an ensemble cast that includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson. Produced by Kevin Feige with music by Alan Silvestri. (Running Time: 143 minutes)(Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence throughout, including a mild drug reference)
As the films end titles suddenly flashed across the screen and the bring-a-smile-to-your-face-with-anticipation-ending finished, I was left waiting for more. (This anticipation was slightly quenched by two post-credits that following the beginning end credits and the final end credits, so be sure to stick through the end, those that watch this film. I promise I won’t give them away).
I was very impressed.
Marvel Comics over the years has created some of the most unique and unexpected but iconic and familiar superheros of the modern age. Sure, everyone knows Superman and Batman, but honestly, we have to have a little mix of different heroes in the equation, eh? Marvel has born several of these individuals, who are shown in The Avengers. I am personally a huge fan of Thor (and the 2011 movie) and the classic comics and of Captain America. All in all, they handled all the heroes quite well, and when they stretched some of their backstory or origin, it was for the better, I felt.
And in the Avengers, I could see the trouble with the filmmakers accidentally focusing on only one superhero in particular. And thankfully, that never happened. I feel by Marvel choosing a different director, instead of digging in the pile of directors of previous team members’ films (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America), they decided to pick someone who would capture a big picture idea of the entire team. If there was any special attention on one hero, it was on Iron Man, but even then, it wasn’t exercised poorly; it moved the story forward.
The choice is the villain was a good pick too, I felt. Loki is one of my favorite Marvel villains, and it fit into the films quite nicely. The casting of Tom Hiddleston in Thor and now in the Avengers was an excellent choice. He brings the power and life to the performance, and I look exceedingly forward–(now to quote Star Wars: The Phantom Menace:)–“…we’ll be watching your career with great interest.” And the conflict of the story was not a terrible pick, as I have read critics and audience members point out. Without giving any spoiler points of the story away, it isn’t a normal alien attack from outer space. All in all, it works. I can’t think of a way off the top of my head to make it better. It fit the Avengers’ first assembly together.
A very quick point: I like how the filmmakers decided to brave the odds and shoot in full screen. Quite courageous of them, seeing as all tapes and dvds you can find nowadays are in widescreen format, which “heightens” the quality of the film. Not that I have anything against widescreen, mind you. Full screen just suits me better, and on the big screen, makes the scene feel more panoramic.
Great movie! Definitely going to buy it shortly after its released on DVD. I have seen it three times in theaters thus far and am tempting to go see it again. It was awesome up on the big screen! I would encourage those considering to go see the Avengers who are unfamiliar with the comics to see the heroes’ individual movies before seeing this one. It will make more sense in the end, truly!
The Avengers broke opening day box office records and is still grossing millions at movie theaters around the country. As of today, it has grossed over $1,300,000,000 internationally. It was applauded with the highest praises from critics and welcomed warmly by audiences.
All in all, 5 out of 7 stars.