The Avengers (2012)

Summer season here we gooooooo!!!!

When an unexpected enemy emerges threatening global safety and security, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Director of the International Peacekeeping Agency (known as SHIELD), finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Ever since 2008 swung by with ‘Iron Man’ on its shoulders, Marvel Studios has pretty much been patiently waiting and building up to this moment. And needless to say (however still said), the wait was worth it.

The best thing about this flick is how Marvel was able to get a director/writer like Joss Whedon. Whedon knocked it out of the park last month with ‘The Cabin in the Woods’, and he pretty much does the same thing here; but instead of focusing on the horror genre, he focuses on the superheros that we all know, love, and hope to be someday. Maybe I’m alone with that last one, and maybe I snuck it in so quick you didn’t even notice, but basically what I’m trying to say is that these are superheros that deserve the right treatment with everything they get. Whedon gives them all that, and much, much more. I mean after all, Whedon is a fanboy at heart but he is also a film-maker, and that is something he’ll always live up to. He knows what comic ban fans expect to see from this type of material, and he absolutely delivers.

Whedon’s great attribute to this flick is that he is able to stage so many excellent action sequences that are some of the best I have seen lately. Of course, the special effects and CGI are perfect. And the IMAX 3-D does makes this film look so cool it seems like you’re right there along for the ride, but when it comes down to some awesome, kick-ass throw downs, Whedon knows how to do it; and even better, do it right. They’re all breath-taking because they have so much intensity, but a lot of it’s because plenty of the action scenes consist of superheros fighting superheros. We get to see Thor versus Iron Man, Captain America versus Thor, Iron Man versus The Incredible Hulk, and so on and so forth. If any of you out there love these superheros and want to see what they would be like stacked up against another superhero, then definitely see this flick because almost every fight shows these heroes pulling just about everything they have out of their arsenal. It’s like King Kong vs. Godzilla, Lincoln vs. Washington, or even  Backstreet Boys vs. N’Sync. It’s the battle between two opposing forces that can almost never be stopped, and it’s just pure fun. It’s as easy as that.

The strangest but most awesome thing about this movie is that it’s turns out bring one of the funnier comedies of the past couple of years. Whedon shows that he’s even better when it comes to writing witty scripts, and pinpoints perfection here with this cast of characters. I mean all of these superheros are pretty much egotistical freaks who think they’re superior to others because of their freakishly powerful skills they inherited; and that’s exactly what Whedon touches on here. There are plenty of scenes where it’s just a one-on-one outrageous verbal battle between two characters and it’s probably some of the funniest dialogue you’ll hear this whole summer. But it’s not just these verbal battles that are funny, everything else here is too, and it doesn’t even seem like Whedon is trying to write funny dialogue just to be funny and cool; it comes naturally. Even better is that it’s not just one character who gets a chance to be funny, EVERYBODY here does. There will definitely be moments where you come close to rolling out of your seat. My buddy next to me was on the brink a couple times there and I couldn’t blame him.

I honestly think that the reason this film does work so well the way that it does here is because that we’ve had all this time (4 years to be exact) to get to see, know, love and understand these characters in their own movies; and it’s just awesome to finally see them all together in the same room doing exactly what it is they do best: be freakin’ awesome. Robert Downey Jr. obviously is the star of the show and gives off a whole bunch of hilarious one-liners as Tony Stark/Iron Man (remember when people thought that movie was going to blow?); Chris Evans is THE MAN as everybody’s favorite red, white, and blue superhero, Captain America; Chris Hemsworth is once again likable and charming as the Olde English speaker/Norse God, Thor; Mark Ruffalo does a great job of replacing Edward Norton here as Bruce Banner/Hulk, and gives him this scruffy, worn-out look that coexists well especially when he gets angry and turns green; Scarlett Johansson is pretty cool as Black Widow even though it didn’t really seem like she was going to be around here much, but surprisingly, she is also great and doesn’t let us down; Jeremy Renner is pretty much cool and tough as Hawkeye; and Samuel L. Jackson‘s performance here as Nick Fury is basically him playing the Samuel L. Jackson we always see him play, but this time with an eye-patch. Is that a bad thing? Not at all people, not at all.

A superhero film like this is usually made or broken by the villains, and I think they chose right with Tom Hiddleston as Loki. To be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Loki in ‘Thor’ and I actually found him to be a somewhat weak villain no matter, despite how entertaining the flick was. However, Whedon gives Loki just enough time to show how evil and dangerous of a villain he is when he allows this guy to cut a villainous monologue every time he is around one of these heroes. It sounds a bit tiring, but thankfully, Whedon keeps all of these speeches interesting simply while showing  how incredibly powerful Loki can be. Also have to give a lot of credit to Hiddleston who shows that he’s definitely able to carry one villain role all by himself, but also exercise a bit of his comedic chops here as well. A lot of the funnier scenes in this movie revolve around Loki and just how ridiculous this damn dude can be.

Actually, it’s not just Loki who gets the special treatment from Whedon here, come to think of it, everybody does and that’s what’s did it for this flick. There are so many characters/superheros here, but Whedon’s still able to keep them all relevant by showing how all of their powers, skills, and elements as heroes can change the situation that they’re in while simultaneously reminding us why and how we fell in love with these characters in the first place. For example, Black Widow is definitely a character that you would expect to be forgettable in this huge cast of characters. But Whedon shows her as being a kick-ass spy and assassin that actually adds a lot more to the team than you would expect. You think a lot differently of her and what she can do with those nice, strong legs. It’s just great that Whedon lets every character have their time to shine and not have any of them get over-shadowed by one in particular. Hell, even Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson gets to have a couple of memorable moments! Joss surely does know how to share the love.

If I had to be a total dickhead here and nit-pick, it would have to be that sometimes, the film did seem to hit a lull in its pace. And not only did it seem to take a bit away from the final product, but it also made me want more action up on the screen. The scenes with Hawkeye and Black Widow were a little lame and didn’t do much for me, but then again, it didn’t matter because when it got to them kicking ass, that’s exactly what they did.

Consensus: The Avengers is pretty much everything you could expect it to be with fun action, great performances from this ensemble cast of characters that we all know and love, very funny screenplay, and just a reminder as to why nerds rule, and will never, ever go away. Best film of the year so far and a totally kick-ass ride from start to finish. Long live Marvel!

9/10=Full Price!!

BTW: If you guys get a chance to, check out a website called GuysNation. It’s a pretty far-out site I’ve been writing for, for quite some time and just go on by, show me some love, and check out some of the other non-related movie stuff that’s on there as well. Have a good Friday night everybody!

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  1. Agree on the funny, I loved that scene where Iron Man says “Im bringing the party to you” meaning his bringing this big ass alien creature with him and when Black Widow sees the monster she says “I dont see how that’s a party”

  2. Loved The Avengers and definitely plan to see it again. I agree on just about everything you have to say about the film. For me the greatest things that the film did under Whedon’s leadership was to make Loki much more menacing as a villain AND to finally do The Hulk properly. Mark Ruffalo is an excellent choice, but it’s great to see The Hulk finally go on the offensive instead of defending himself against the scared humans who misunderstand him. By the end you really start to feel like Banner has harnessed control of the beast’s power.

  3. I was really entertained, but had a couple of issues with it I couldn’t really ignore (which you can read in my review). Either way, I can definitely see why everyone loves it so. Good review, Dan.

    • I checked it out and I see what you’re saying dude but you can’t let that get to you too much. It’s just so much damn fun! Thanks Vik!

  4. I wasn’t too sure whether to see this or not, as I was worried that too many superheroes in a movie would make the film fall apart. But after reading your review, I’m definitely going to watch it.

  5. There are a few points that are exactly my thoughts about the film. It was definitely cool that good superheroes fought against each other, and it made action scenes look even more exciting. And yes, it’s SO funny! I’m surprised that IMDb doesn’t have a comedy among its genres.

    The movie is totally awesome.

  6. I loved seeing this opening night. Only downside was that I missed out on some dialogue as people were still laughing and clapping from the first joke. The humour really helped keep the moving along and Whedon did a great job in general in sharing the love with everyone. I mean, this film has a heal of a cast and no one really feels left out.

  7. Whedon absolutely nailed it! This was a absolute dream for fans in what could have been a disaster, but in Whedon’s capable hands turned into magic.

    The cast looked like they were having a blast and that really came through. Even the supporting characters got their moments. Like you, I didn’t think Hiddleston was all that good in Thor, but I thought he was chewing up scenery this time.

    Great review, Dan!

  8. I couldn’t agree more. Everyone in the film got his/her moment. Whedon sure deserves credit for this wonderful job!

    And who would forget that scene with Loki and Hulk? One of the highlights I guess!

    Great review, as always!

  9. Thanks for commenting on my review of The Avengers Dan! I really enjoyed your review also. Being a massive Marvel fanboy I am glad that this film lived up to my 4 years of anticipation. A film I am sure will be handed down through generations to come!

  10. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that we had four years to get and know these characters, I think that’s exactly (one of the many reasons) why this is so successful. Assuming you’ve seen the previous movies (with the exception of maybe Hulk because of the casting change, although I prefer Ruffalo to Norton’s Banner) then you know these characters and their stories so they aren’t having to hash those out in this film and drag it on (Hawkeye and Black Widow being the exceptions obviously but Whedon did a good job of giving us enough of their backgrounds to get it). And I love that you got different combinations of characters when they weren’t in a big group so you got all the different dynamics. And then when they all came together it was a great big butt-kicking family reunion.

  11. Dan-Great review! I agree that it is one of the best of the year so far along with The Cabin in the Woods. It was so refreshing to see that each character was given terrific moments, dialogue, and full shines to shine it. Thanks for commenting on my review!

  12. I’ve always been more of a fan of Joss’ writing more than his direction. Don’t get me wrong, he’s great behind the camera. But, his scripts are some of the wittiest and cleverest things I have ever seen.

    He’s done a spectacular job. Arguably one of the hardest things to do in the comic book world. So insanely happy he pulled it off.

  13. I love this movie too! Now that you mentioned it, a lot of the jokes does revolve round Loki and the type of guy he is…grinning and all…

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