After seven years, five films and 220 million dollars the Avengers finally assembled into theaters with a bang. That bang being an impressive 140 million dollars in box-office revenues outside of North America. But will the movie live up to the heroic expectations or just suck like Ghost Rider/Fantastic Four/Wolverine/X-men 3 and so on?
Co-writer and director Joss Whedon opens the film with something we end up seeing very little of in the film; plot. With the first half hour feeling a great deal like a comic we get the basic idea of the film:
Loki is back and he’s brought a staff that can control people’s mind. He’s coming to earth to find the alien power source called the Tesseract, which we first saw in the Captain America film. He isn’t alone, as he commands an army of Chitauri (Skrulls) a race of evil aliens (you know they’re evil cause they’re ugly).
Nick Fury, played once again by Samuel Jackson, must unite the group of heroes to fight this new threat to mankind. The team, made up of Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Dr. Banner/Hulk (new comer Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hensworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) must assemble and defeat them.
The rest of the movie is more or less explosions.
While the idea of watching the Hulk smash things for two hours is cool, it can get tiring. Whedon tries to break this up with his wit, as the movie is at times laugh out loud funny. Despite this the movie also has some dialogue that was seemly ripped from a script writing 101 manual which can drive the air out of scenes.
The special effects are good, which is important because the last hour of the film features CGI in a heavy amounts.
While the computer generated moments are good Whedon and his second unit do a fine job with the practical effects as we see interesting angles of destruction. A prime example of this comes near the end of the film when the aliens attack an a car, with a camera mounted in the car, flies through the air.
When it comes to the films cast, there isn’t a lot to say aside from it’s fantastic. Every character gets there moment to shine during the film and all of the actors are good enough to make these moments mean something. The real stand out in the film is the new Banner, Mark Ruffalo.
Ruffalo displays a real dry sense of humor during the film. He’s a monster and he knows it but he seems to take it in stride. The moments that the Hulk is on screen are just as good as Whedon’s script shows off the funny side of smashing things into the ground.
The ending of the film seems like a good send off, as the characters make friends seemly prepared for their next respective adventure.
The post credit scene, the first one, gives the audience an idea of where the plot will go next. The second is just a funny little send off for the audience and seemed kind of out of place, aside from couple of lines in the film (you’ll understand when you see it, just stick around after the first post credits).
Avengers is a great action movie, it features some great action scenes and has a good sense of humor. The flipside to the coin is it’s 2 and a half hour running time feels drawn out in places (apparently Whedon cut out about half an hour of footage. What did he cut, a jazzercising scene?) and it’s lack of major story. And for a comic book movie, a good story is important.
If your 16 and your looking for a film to watch with your bro’s this will keep you high fiveing all the way home. Some comic book fans (like me) will be a bit disappointed in the lack of a great story, but will be impressed by the overall package. If you’re a Whedon fan…who am I kidding? You’ll already scene it.