The Avengers (2012)
Directed by Joss Whedon
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson
Joss Whedon’s career has grown from shows likeBuffy the Vampire Slayer to big name films like Thor. This time he brings Thor back to the big screen along with a few superhero friends. This movie includes an all-star cast of heroes from movies like Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, and Captain America. In addition to these films, we’re also introduced to a few new faces including Hawkeye and Black Widow. This has all the elements of a movie that comic book fans should be lining up for, and they did. The box offices have been raking in the dough with incredible speed. Perhaps with five movies leading up to this one the anticipation has paid off.
The Avengers are a government program, a chance to use remarkable people in defense of the United States. At their head is Nick Fury (Jackson), the one-eyed boss who is trying to bring them together. With the different personalities he’s working with it isn’t easy. It takes an attack from Thor’s (Hemsworth) brother Loki (Hiddleston) and an extra-terrestrial army to put this group to the test. Now each of these heroes needs to set aside their differences and seek common ground in their fight to save the world. Each of their skills will be needed to repel Loki and his army.
This was a really really fun movie to watch. The action sequences, the drama, and even the comedy blend together well to make this a movie for more than just the comic book fans out there. Whedon does a good job of bringing together the characters with all their personalities and skills. He also managed to write a script that didn’t make any of the main characters feel secondary to one another. With the exception of Ruffalo, it was also nice to see the cast made up of the same people who had initially performed the role in the five films leading up to this.
The acting in the film was pretty good. With a movie like this I expected things to be a bit cheesy and overdone, which they were. Still this didn’t hurt the movie since it’s exactly what comic books do. The movie was also able to incorporate comedy into the script in ways that didn’t take away from the seriousness of the story line.
Robert Downey Jr. should take a lot of the credit for lightening up the movie. He delivered a great performance that ranges from funny to intense. He’s joined by a lot of other good performances as well. Hiddleston took Loki and turned him into the comic book version of Hannibal Lector, perhaps just a little less creepy for the kids. Samuel L. Jackson also did a great job, finally able to use the role that has been only hinted at in the other films.
I also need to take a moment to credit all of the other stars in this movie. Jeremy Renner does a great job with this role. It shouldn’t be a surprise after great performances in his other action films, most recently his role in Mission: Impossible 4. Chris Hemsworth brings back his role as Thor wonderfully as well. Even Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson do well with their parts in this huge cast.
The movie also is a visual treat, with the action scenes done with style. Somewhere a million computers must have been used to create the stunning visuals show in the film. The movie even has great costuming which adds to the world being created. It was nice to see the same quality and skill being used as in the other films before it.
There isn’t much to find fault with, except for a few holes in the plot. It’s easy to see how you couldn’t cover every hole since most people won’t sit through a four-hour movie. I would have just hoped for a little more attention to detail when it came to the heart of the story and the abilities of some of the characters. Still, this didn’t really hurt the movie since it has so much to offer in terms of story and performances.
I would recommend this one for anyone who has loved the other movies in the series. It’s also nice to know that you don’t need to have seen them all to enjoy this film since it doesn’t reach too far back in terms of prior story lines. Sure, some of the old faces are back, bu not in a way that requires an explanation. I give this one 4.7 out of 5 stars.