Saying that The Avengers is the highly anticipated film of 2012 is likely an understatement (though I would say that The Dark Knight Rises rivals in extreme anticipation). But does it live up to all the hype?
Yes, and then some.
I knew I was going to enjoy this film as a whole but I had expected to need to look past a few aspects, characters and/or actors to be able to give it both thumbs up. Let’s say that I was proven way wrong.
This tweet from Seth Green says it all:
Here is a break down of what components made The Avengers double plus awesome, and some were pleasantly suprising.
Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/ The Hulk
I have never be fond of anything Hulk. From any comic or cartoon to the
2003 Ang Lee Hulk disaster (which has been erased from our minds) and even the Ed Norton revamp with Avengers tie-in never spoke to me. With that being said, I am also not a fan of actor-swapping either. Even though I thought Norton made an awful Hulk, having another actor play him in what is supposed to be a direct link-movie to “The Incredible Hulk” further rubbed me the wrong way.
Mark Ruffalo’s performance as Bruce Banner and Hulk won me over! He is exactly what was needed and I loved every second of him on screen.
Nick Fury (Jackson) has Agent Romanoff (Johansson) bring in Bruce Banner from hiding in the slums of Calcutta because of his work with gama radiation, they need him to help find the stolen tesseract (an ancient Asgardian artifact of unimaginable power). This is what ties many of the previous films together, specifically “Thor” and “Captain America”. The entire time Bruce is among all the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and other heros he is persistent about not letting himself become the other guy as he referes to it.
His calm and reserved demeanor with the bottled up rage/other guy inside can not be an easy feat to pull off, but he nailed it. Not only are his Hulking out scenes bad-ass and intense, there is quite a bit of humor when paired with the other characters. His initial Hulk out scene and battle with Black Widow and Thor (even the Hulk can’t lift Thor’s hammer), to the epic battle against Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his Chitauri army. See a Hulk featured trailer at the bottom of this post for some teaser Hulk smash action.
Johansson’s vindicating performance
Scarlett Johnsson has a gotten pretty bad reputation, lots of people think she is horrible despite how gorgeous she is and how many big films she has been in. I have never had a problem with her, but I also wouldn’t be able to defend her by saying that any one of her performances was award worthy or even mentionable (truth be known she actually has a few Golden Globe nominations). In my mind she has been a pretty face and an mediocre actor who has happened to be in several great movies, just hasn’t had many stand our performances. I really did not care for her in Iron Man 2 but sooner or later she was going to have to walk the walk (like the recent Hollywood Walk of Fame) and actually earn everyones attention.
After The Avengers, everyone should be in full attention. She kicks ass, she deceives and she even shows some emotion! (Whoa?!) One of the early scenes in the film she is being interrogated and she receives a phone call being brought in by S.H.I.E.L.D and busts out some sweet moves to kick her captors asses then gracefully picks up her high heels and strut out.
She has two other great acting moments, one scene between her and Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner as she is bringing him in from Calcutta and then her scene with the imprisoned Loki, which I think is likely the best one. The only thing lacking is any sort of a Russian accent, since the character or Black Widow is Russian and they even mention it in the film.
Whedon wrote a delicately balanced story
All four of the super hero’s have already told their story. We have watched them all battle their demons and save the world, so why are we watching them do it again?
The whole story is so well balanced and focused on the conflict at hand I found myself in disbelieve that the film was actually two hours and twenty two minutes. The pace was quick but not forced along, and it slowed down to allow for tying up loose ends with all of the characters and giving all parties involved a fairly equal share of screen time.
The Avengers isn’t about Captain America, Thor, Iron Man or The Hulk or even S.H.I.E.L.D., it’s about all of them coming together to achieve a common goal, or rather defeat a common enemy.
They might not work well together in other circumstances, and they all have their moments fighting to in this film. The steps taken in the story for these individuals to become a team is done in a way that makes it believable and realistic. We never have to wonder why or ask why a character is behaving a certain way or saying a certain thing. We already connected with them in their previous films and we can relate and understand.
The chemistry between the characters, the story and the conflict is explosive. Thank you Jos Whedon.
Don’t forget about extra scenes after the credits
This film was set up over the past few years by the extra scenes following the credits of “The Incredible Hulk”, “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2″, “Thor”, and “Captain America” (see links to the recaps of these movies at the bottom of this post) so it would seem incomplete if there wasn’t one (or two… hint hint) at the end of The Avengers.
Also, we want something to go off so we can all fantasize about the next film. Because there has to be more.
The wrap up and the trailer
The Avengers is released everywhere on Firday, May 4th and is a MUST SEE for all types of movie goers. I like to describe how much I like a film by sating if it was even worth seeing in theaters or if it is something you should rent or watch when it makes its way onto TV. ”The Avengers” is something I will be seeing one or two more times in theaters and later purchasing when it comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray.
And that is why “The Avengers” is (once again repeating Seth Green) double plus awesome.
Get to know the Avengers’ other films*: Captain America | Iron Man & Iron Man 2 | The Incredible Hulk | Thor | Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ Gives Us a Lesson on Where Real Power Comes From
*Black Widow and Hawkeye, while a part of the Avengers team, do not currently have their own movies.