May 5, 2012

The Avengers: Review

This movie seriously makes me torn. It isn't perfect, by any means. But it is a perfect adaption of what a comic book story arc would look like if it was jammed into a two and a half hour film. The action and the writing come right off the pages and onto the silver screen.

That being said, the first thirty minutes of the movie are extremely slow. They simply fill the void of catching up on Marvel Universe events for the few people who haven't seen all five of the previous films, which is probably why I feel that the scenes are completely unnecessary, save for a few key plot set ups.

The scene in which Loki is shown discussing his deal with the Chitauri is the weakest scene in the movie, but that is typically how planning plotting and brooding goes in standard comic books anyway. The mysterious evil force is shrouded and never really defined until the last page of an issue, hooking you into the next issue seamlessly. That mentality is present in the scene, down to the frustrating bit where the audience is completely lost.

After we get to see the Helicarrier rise up out of the ocean though, everything really starts to pick up pace. The scoring of Captain America suiting up for the first time since being unfrozen was priceless and extremely well picked. After that moment the film really starts to find its voice, especially once Thor makes his grand entrance.

Once the second act starts up the beauty of the writing really starts to kick in and we get to the meat and the bones of the characters. The constant banter between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers really gets my comic nerd going too, because one minute they are trying to figure out who is the better man of the two, and then they are off working together. I absolutely hope that Marvel presses on with a Civil War story line before Robert Downey Jr. retires the mantle of Iron Man. Joss is also not to be outdone without of course fleshing out a female character, giving Black Widow the treatment she deserves instead of being turned into just a hottie in a catsuit. Her 'interrogation' with Loki is also probably one of the best written monologues I have heard in a while.

The last hour of the film runs on pure adrenaline in what is probably the most set piece filled climax I have ever witnessed. The pacing is damn near perfect for the final act and is actually highly logical, especially once Captain America starts ordering the other Avengers through the chaos. You feel like these guys are literally making it up as they go along which gives the climax a very life like feel of being overwhelmed and adapting a strategy on the fly. The Hulk is with out a doubt the one hero who steals the spot light though. All of the characters get their moments of course, but Hawkeye and The Hulk shine the brightest as far as awesome character moments go.

Despite having a lackluster first act, the Avengers is truly the perfect comic book movie. The screen time is shared well between all the characters and no one really feels like they are playing second fiddle to anyone else. Samuel L. Jackson actually gets to do something this time, and subtle hints from the supporting cast make me want a S.H.I.E.L.D. movie more than ever. Right after I get done trying to convince Marvel that they need to make another Hulk movie with Ruffalo at the helm of that ship.