If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Five years. All fan boys, geeks, comic readers, and film buffs have been waiting for this moment for five long, anticipated, years. It's been talked about and discussed with both positive and negative belief that a film like The Avengers could be done and well. This film makes history, folks. If you believe me or think I'm full of Chitauri, that is exactly what The Avengers does. For the first time in film history we have six main heroes from five different films that come together as a team in one giant, giddy, gut-busting, fantastic, super-hero film that starts this summer off with a bang! The good news is that it's almost perfect. Every character has enough time of their own to have multiple scenes for themselves (especially the Hulk). It has many laughs, is well directed and written, and has so much action that you don't want it to stop. The bad news? The first third of this film isn't too good. With that one negative side of this film, we get both Marvel's best film ever and one of the best team movies of all time.
The story isn't that hard to follow. We open with Thor's brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who has made a deal with the alien race, Chitauri, to receive their cosmic cube, which they call: The Tesseract; in exchange for an army to help Loki take over earth. All hope is lost for mankind except for one man, who believes a group of extraordinary people can save our world. That man is Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the team he speaks for is: The Avengers. Captain America (Chris Evans), a super soldier with strength and agility, has been frozen in ice for over 70 years. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) a billionaire, playboy who has a self-designed high-tech suit he wears to fight crime. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is a god and stuck in his world, Asgard; waiting to be summoned upon to help earth. Bruce Banner or the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) is medically assisting people in India. Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) is S.H.I.E.L.D.'s scout and the best archer in the world. While finally, the beautiful, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is in Russia taking care of her own missions. This is the team that must come together and yes they do.
It's a lot of characters to go through with their personalities as well as their journey to meet each other and eventually become a team. This is where the genius, fan boy loved, writer/director comes into play. Joss Whedon has created such television series like, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly. He is an incredible writer and has a unique, but hilarious sense of humor about him. With him being perfectly hired by Marvel for this job, you can't help but think that anyone else couldn't have done it as well as him. Whedon is almost the star of the film as he takes comedic wit and blends it perfectly with action and character development. This is his film and he wants everyone to know it. This might as well be Whedon's year with his produced Comic-Con documentary, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope and his brilliantly co-written and produced film, The Cabin in the Woods. We have Christopher Nolan who has done The Dark Knight trilogy and most people call him the best in Hollywood. Whedon is not far behind. Nolan has a darker sense of story-telling. While Whedon is more funny and light-hearted. The perfect opposites for two different comic and film companies.
All the characters are perfect, but that is due heavily to the films prior to The Avengers. We know these characters already and how they act; we can see certain conflicting personality matches and that is what this film does best. We see Captain America and Iron Man fighting over leadership. We see the chemistry between Black Widow and Hawkeye. This works so well and when those conflicting ideals kick in, the film speeds up and never stops. That is around the second-third of the film. Before that there is straight filler, but not in the way it should have been. We want to see these characters recruited and how they meet, but when they finally do, which is what the film is building toward... nothing. We get a cool scene and a laugh but we never get the heart-pounding, jaw-dropping, eye opening scene we have been waiting for these five years. You are just waiting anxiously for Captain America and Iron Man to meet and what you get is an AC/DC gag and a one-liner, then cut. There was a point I thought it was over. Whedon was blowing it, but he manages to pull it around in the second-third and makes the last two acts of the film so absolutely outstanding, we get the heart-pounding, jaw-dropping, eye opening scene... it was just in the wrong place.
One last piece that should be touched on is, Mark Ruffalo. I've always thought he was a good actor, but needed a big-break. This is that big-break. What he brings to Bruce Banner is a more calm and collected as well as enjoyable character. I loved Edward Notron's Banner, but Ruffalo is so much better and now after a six-movie Hulk deal, I think he is going to be okay. The visual effects for the Hulk are outstanding as well as the rest of the film. It's beautiful and Whedon makes sure you see enough. We see the Helicarrier in all it's glory and it's kind of the feeling you get when you see the space-station and Enterprise in the new Star Trek (2009) film. Whedon borrows a lot from that film, because it is one of the best "team" movies of all time and it completely pays off here. With those influences, we get cool action set-pieces, hilarious comedy, and character conflicts that work so well on-screen you just want to watch the second half over again.
Most of the film is great, don't get me wrong. I just wanted a complete and perfect film and this is so close but makes you frustrated that it's not. On a scale of Whedon's The Avengers to Nolan's The Dark Knight (2008), I would have to say Nolan's film is better. However, Whedon's is more fun and achieves more heights. It seems almost impossible for DC to release a Justice League film after this. If I were them I would hold off for a while. That's because we have what we wanted. A fun, fast-paced, amazing feat of a summer blockbuster. Besides the forty-five minutes, this film is perfect for the fan boys. We have gotten all we wanted and even more with Whedon's brilliant writing and direction. The Avengers is a Full Price! To sign off, there is nothing better than to go out with a piece of Whedon.
And there came a day, a day unlike any other,
when Earth's mightiest heroes found
themselves united against a common threat.
To fight the foes no single super-hero can withstand.