Running Time: 144 minutes
Starring: Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johnasson, Cobie Smulders, Tom Hiddlesworth, Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L Jackson, Jeremey Renner, Mark Ruffalo
Directed By: Joss Whedon
Rating: 9 out of 10
OutlineA group of superheroes must band together to protect the Earth from a menacing Alien presence.
Move over Aliens, Die Hard, Bad Boys 2, Star Trek, 300, and even The Dark Knight. You have a new film that takes its rightful place amongst you and arguably at the top of the awesome action genre pyramid. I can just easily review this film in six words YOU NEED TO SEE THIS FILM! Alas, that is not how the movie review game works so here it goes. The Avengers has been in works for many years and literally had nerds drooling in anticipation. It was up to brilliant director Joss Whedon to bring this all together in a coherent presentation and he didn’t disappoint. The Avengers is based on the comic of the same name and has many superheroes working together to fight the common cause of evil. Because of the sheer magnitude of this film my review will be broken down into each character and participants so I can cover all angles.
Captain America/Steve Rogers played by Chris Evans is the natural leader of this group and I found at times to be lacking in this film. It is not to say Chris Evans is a bad Captain America it is just in the room of strong personalities his star seemed to fade a bit. His straight man routine was pure entertainment when bickering with Tony Stark though. He holds his own in the action sequences and his rah rah good guy routine was an effortless fit into the film. I just wanted a little more from the role. It is noted that this character seems to be getting better and hopefully the second Captain America movie will bring him up to a level of coolness everyone wants.
Iron Man /Tony Stark played by Robert Downey Jr. is the star of this film. The most recognized actor from this movie outside of Samuel L Jackson maybe. He shone at all the right moments be it dramatic or action. It is a good sign as the second Iron Man movie was not a shining moment in this character’s history. Tony Stark with his quick wit and cool gadgets always led the scenes in the right direction. His fighting scenes were crisp and explosive and his presence on film is undeniable. All in all Iron Man was the best character of the film bar none.
Thor played by Chris Hemsworth lost a little bit of momentum from his awesome self titled stand alone movie. Thor is a god and needs to dominate the screen time and he never really hits his stride in this film. He is awesome during the fight scenes but his dialogue is not as intriguing as his introductory movie. Hemsworth has the look down and the personality he just needed some better lines to show how cool this character can be. I am guessing the next Thor film will restore my faith in this character.
Bruce Banner/Hulk played by Mark Ruffalo was a surprise smash hit. The Hulk is a character that we have seen before and has left a bitter taste in our mouths. Eric Bana played Hulk in Ang Lee’s disaster of a film that shook our faith in the character. Edward Norton’s portrayal of Hulk then confirmed our fears that the Hulk is good idea on paper but will never pan out on film. I have to admit I still believe a Hulk stand alone movie will always suck but Ruffalo left me wondering. It was his quiet almost passive portrayal of Bruce Banner that won me over. He also doesn’t have a lot of screen time as the Hulk character so when he is smashing things you appreciate it all the better. Kudos to Ruffalo for bringing out the best in such a limited character and who knows where this will lead.
Nick Fury played by Samuel L Jackson is a needed but almost a useless character to this film in my mind. He is tasked to bring the Avengers squad together but really anyone could have done this role. He does direct the movie in the right way however and that is a good thing. His plotting and faith in this ragtag team allows the film some actual dramatic moments instead of mindless action which at times were needed. Jackson was solid as Fury but unremarkable.
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow played by Scarlett Johansson was another surprise hit for me. Her character was introduced to us in the second Iron Man film and she was mediocre at best in that film. Johansson more than held her own in this film and in a genre dominated by men. Her dialogue is average but when the fighting starts she does not take a backseat and I compliment her on a job very well done.
Clint Barton/Hawkeye is played by Jeremy Renner. Renner is one of my favorite actors and while having said that he seems to be left behind in this film. People have picked on Hawkeye and I can see why but Renner still did a good job with the character. At the end of the day he is just a dude with a bow and arrow while his teammates are blowing up stuff with crazy abilities and technology all around him. He was an okay character and if critics hated Hawkeye I cannot wait for Antman to arrive on the scene. Yes there is character called Antman whose power is controlling ants that has not been introduced yet.
Loki played by Tom Hiddleston was great. Every great film needs a great bad guy and Hiddleston delivers the goods. Loki felt he was slighted in the Thor movie and vows to take his revenge out on the little old planet Earth with the help of an alien army. His pale complexion coupled with his menacing demeanor is exactly what you wanted from this bad guy. You loathed and felt sorry for Loki at the same time and Hiddleston just made this film a treat to watch.
Worthy mention goes to Colby Smulders playing Agent Maria Hill. Smulders best known for her role as Robin Scherbatsky on television’s How I Met Your Mother was another solid female presence and was above average in a role I thought she would be terrible at.
Last but not least to the man of the hour director Joss Whedon. Whedon is a brilliant man and it is great he is finally getting his recognition outside of his small but very loyal fan base. He is the man behind arguably the best Sci Fi show ever made in Firefly. He has done such things as Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog as well as television’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Now he will be most known for this but he has been a genius in the industry for a long time. He had a Herculean task of bringing all these actors together and putting together a film of staggering proportions. He did it with style and grace and that is hard to do when so many of the stand alone films leading up to the Avengers were below par. He combined a staggering amount of great action scenes with a perfect amount of humor and intrigue. Take a bow mister Whedon this film has set a new standard of greatness.
By now you are probably cursing my name for such a long review but it was surely needed for a film that was so amazing in every capacity. This film had like 6 action sequences that would be considered great ending scenes for most films. The CGI was well put together and while the camera work was not perfect at times it was certainly way above average. I also liked it was not just a feel good everyone gets along type of film. The bickering and internal fighting within the Avengers crew was as entertaining as when they were fighting Loki. You will laugh, you will be amazed, you will smile, and you will be upset you have to wait for the next one. I recommend this film to everyone as I loved it from start to finish.
T Factor + If you don’t need graphic/bloody fight scenes this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you didn’t watch the stand alone films leading up to the Avengers than this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: X-Men series, Batman series