Perhaps in order to be precise and more exact, I should label this post, the-movie-everyone-but-me-has-seen or the-review-everyone-but-me-has-already-written… but yeah, we’ll go with the professional one and leave it at that.
Ever since filmmakers started teasing us with this movie, I was completely in “awe” of it. (It is best to just admit that.) Ironically, about the time the teaser promos were airing was the same time that I was really getting into super hero films, and were there one that ruled above all the rest, this would be it.
S.H.I.E.L.D is encountering risk to American safety. The energy source they protect is not reacting as it should – their scientist isn’t sure how to handle its uncontrollable power source and the director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is having the facility evacuated. Knowing the cube – a type of doorway that the agency was going to use to produce powerful weapons was not anything to mess with, Fury put his best on it but Clint “Hawkeye” Barton (Jeremy Renner) reports no one tampered with it. Without much warning, the Asgard king Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is standing among them having entered the modern world with the intent to destroy it. He walks away with the cube, Selvig (Stellan Skargard)… and Hawkeye, corrupting their minds. Fury now has a disaster to contend with. As a result he pulls one of his best agents out of her op. Natasha Romonoff (Scarlett Johansson) has a past but an attitude that makes her one of the best patriots the agency has. She owes Hawkeye and is tasked with bringing in Dr. Banner (Mark Ruffalo). His uncontrollable rage is something everyone fears but they need him.
After sleeping for 70 years following a crash landing, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is also asked to assist. A WWII super solider, Captain Rogers is not finding the modern world to his liking but he is first and foremost a protector of American lives and that doesn’t stop with a new millennium. Also read in is the arrogant but intelligent billionaire Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) whose alter-ego is Iron Man. Parting with his girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Stark reads up on the information before reporting to S.H.I.E.L.D’s HQ. Catching him in a weak moment, Iron Man and Captain Rogers manage to capture Loki but then lose him to his brother, Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Anger fueling his quest for justice, Thor sees nothing but Loki’s betrayal but when confronted, Thor sees that he will have to work with fellow agents to bring down Loki’s plans. Everything they think they know is only the beginning.
Would it be okay if I gush about this movie? Yes? Good because I am going to: This movie was awesome. And epic. And heroic… and awesome! Despite being the only one in my family who really likes superhero flicks, I had this one on my radar from the beginning because this seemed a must-see on the big-screen. Turns out, I was right. I know none of you need to be told this because you’ve already seen it, but gosh is this terrific on the big-screen. The sound reverberates (you can feel it) and is at times a tad too loud but as an action film with some grand sequences, this film embodies the true sense of what patriotism is all about – even if it is merely a movie that pits superheroes (in tights, no less) against one another.
Last summer we saw Thor and Captain America both of which had followers and those who found them disposable forms of escapism. I liked both for different reasons. The first was merely a fun time and the second gave us a hero we’d have to be daft not to realize his worth –he was a selfless patriot who didn’t let us down. Learning Marvel was going to reunite so many of its heroes was almost too good to be true – how could we not like this fun fest? For those few skeptical souls let me assure you, The Avengers isn’t just a fun outing, it also features some fabulous special effects and unforgettable heroics. To some viewers, it may be important to know that the “good guys” don’t always win. They are put up against losses but what matters is that they never stop. They don’t pause to give their own life a thought – were they real heroes, I’d be proud knowing they had America’s back. I can recall reading a mainstream review in which the reviewer said this about the Avengers, “they might not be the heroes we deserve, but they are the ones we need.” Were nothing else in the review helpful, that one line alone made me all the more anxious to see this. At the movies, it is becoming rare to encounter a hero who is above reproach. Here we have half-a-dozen.
Character development is basically non-existent because we were given opportunity to meet all of them in their own film franchises. With so many primary characters, adding to their back-story would have been problematic. I loved seeing them all together and being introduced to Tony Stark (note to self: must rent Iron Man) plus the new kid on the block, Hawkeye was a well-needed and liked addition. He and Natasha have some great scenes; his character leaves us begging to know more about him. (Just try to tell me you don’t love him valiantly shooting his awesome bow and arrow off the top of a skyscraper – incredibly accurate shots to boot.) Special effects are actually pretty cool although the climax could have been shaved. Its importance is noted but I think its impact would have been the same had it been a tad shorter. What most surprised was the humor – it was timed just when we needed it and was actually comedic not some cheap shots or crudities. (The best one being when a certain character is tossed around like a rag doll.) These writers know their trade and were on top of it. Don’t expect everyone to walk away as a recurring character dies and there are some sacrifices made.
My dad is not the kind of person who likes movies in which the heroes have super powers, he prefers spy thrillers or an intelligent Dickens story but he took me to see this one over Memorial Day weekend after a family cook-out and I have to say, despite being in a showing in which kids decided to kick the back of my seat (really, parents?) and adults apparently couldn’t watch the movie once their popcorn bucket emptied, the audience that I saw it with seemed to understand the deeper impact the movie was really trying to make. I think I can honestly say this is the only movie in which the showing elected both laughter and spontaneous applause during the run time. I have been in movies in which the ending demanded applause but not the same as this. The Avengers may not be the most intelligent film of this year but it is the most meaningful. Kudos to it for taking the box office number one spot for weeks!
(Here ends my gushing.)
(Here ends my gushing.)
(Content concerns: Rated PG13¸there are plenty of violent scenes in which men are shot or stabbed. The climax has ugly space creatures invading NYC. There are about three intense hand-to-hand combat scenes; at least three men are re-programmed to mindlessly fight with Loki’s army. Language is rare but there are a few profanities. One scene shows a nude Banner lying in a pile of rumble [we barely miss a full frontal shot when he is dressing] and female agents wear form fitting uniforms.)