So, how do I non-spoiler talk about this movie? It’s hard to say. Basically, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) returns to claim the Tesseract cube (the plot device from Captain America: The First Avenger) and ends up forcing Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to bring together Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) to stop him and whatever he’s planning.
So, what can I say about the movie even I thought was impossible to make? Well, they proved me wrong for one. Probably the strongest thing about this movie is that each of the major heroes have had solo films, so audiences have already gotten to know them and this film can focus on developing the group dynamics that is essential for a super hero team. Conversely, that could be seen as a weak point for this film, because there are a lot of characters beyond the big four that appeared in previous films that appear here that, if you don’t know them, you won’t get much explanation for who they are or why they’re here.
Director Joss Whedon has a good history for writing groups, particularly writing them as a dysfunctional family, and he brings that to this film. Every few moments, the Avengers have some awesome interaction that can be both touching and humorous. And it’s good that a sizable chunk of the movie is dedicated to building these relationship. Thankfully, each member of the team gets to shine, pulling off awesome moments throughout the whole film that had me cheering, with one of the greatest climax battles I’ve seen in an action film in years. And unlike other superhero team movies like X-Men, which tended to focus on a minority of the team, no one gets more focus in both characterization and awesome than each other.
The funny thing is the one actor who surprised me: Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/the Hulk. Removed from the typical plots of movies featuring the Hulk (being on the run), seeing Banner simply sitting with other heroes and helping out is fun, particularly his interactions with Tony Stark. And when we get the Hulk… well, let’s just say that this is the best depiction of the Hulk I’ve seen in film ever, as we finally get to see the Hulk as I always saw him: an awesome hero that may not get along well with others but will fight for those that he considers friends. If they don’t give Hulk another movie with Ruffalo, they’re idiots.
The Avengers is not the greatest superhero movie ever, mostly because it has a lot of required viewing with the prequel films in order to truly appreciate it, but it’s definitely in the top five, and also the blueprint for how to make a movie about a superhero team with lots of beloved characters.
|One of the best superhero movies ever, the direction that superhero team films must follow, and the best depiction of the Hulk ever.||Only that it really requires you watch the other films that have been released in the build-up to this one.|