Monday, May 7, 2012

Marvel's The Avengers: Reviewed

A day late and a dollar short. I had intended to see this movie at its release on Friday night so I could have a review as soon as possible. Because, why would anyone read a review of a movie everyone has seen already? But I got sick and had to put it off till Sunday evening, returning home and passing out in bed immediately. But, better late then never, right?

This multi-franchise monolith made new box office records last  weekend. According to the New York Times it made $200.3 million in North America alone.

So...yeah, people seem to think it's a pretty good movie. I think it's pretty good too. Speaking as a red blooded, American male, I like me some explosions and I like me some awesome fight scenes.  The Avengers has these things in spades. To it's credit it also has a coherent plot and some very good writing. I was a little unsure about the movie, even up to the point where I sat my butt down in the theater with a bag of popcorn. I just couldn't see four different franchises being meshed together into one film effectively.

But they did.

Don't get me wrong, the movie starts out on wobbly feet and for the first twenty minutes or so I couldn't decide if I thought it was going to flop or not.
First the movie has to do all the standard blockbuster stuff, establish the threat, introduce all the characters, get them together ect. ect. But once the movie gets all that out of the way it really picks up speed.

Naturally, every character gets their own fight scene, but in addition every character gets a moment that is all about them. We get to see who Thor is, what he's about and more importantly why he's trying to save the world. This is a big deal if you want anyone other than fanboys like me to watch the movie. These scenes are all well written, though it was kind of annoying that all these "character moments" are set up in one big block so that by the time we get to Black Widow it's staring to feel a little corny. But then we get back into the swing of things. The film does a good job of putting it's heroes in situations that challenge them, cranking up the tension by highlighting their vulnerabilities and pointing out that they are not invincible.
And of course,the movie ends with a massive action sequence that can only be described as pure,unfiltered awesome.

Were there flaws? Sure. For the first half of the movie Loki felt a little off to me. The great thing about Loki is that he is one of those smart villains. So when he just sort of shows up and starts blasting people it seemed very out of character and kind of cartoonishly evil. But this is explained later on and eventually Loki gets a chance to really let his trickster side shine.
Likewise, Black Widow didn't really connect with me. I'm sure Scarlet Johansson is a talented actress but I don't think she plays a very convincing hard ass. As the character loosens up a little, though, the actress actually seems like she starts to have fun with the role so that by the end I warmed up to the character.
The villains could be more fleshed out. Why do they want to conquer Earth?Are they bugs or robots? What is they're species called again?

Still, considering the obstacles standing in it's way The Avengers movie gets way more right than it gets wrong. The movie is a whole lot of fun and well worth the price of admission.If you haven't see it already, you should go. If you have seen it then you should tell me what you thought in the comments section below.

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