Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
Plot: When the Asgardian Loki (Tom Hiddleston) steals the Tesseract Cube, S.H.I.E.L.D. calls together a group of heroes to get it back, and to stop the impending alien invasion Loki has threatened.
The best way I can describe the Avengers is that it’s an awesome Transformers movie. It has action where you can actually tell what’s going on. It has much better acting. And the humor is actually funny, as opposed to the Jar Jar Binks level comedy of Michael Bay. While I prefer my superhero movies to be in the vein of the Dark Knight, I’d be lying if I didn’t say this put a big smile on my face. There isn’t anything in this film that blew me away, but there aren’t many flaws either. The cast is pretty damn good all around. Robert Downey Jr. is Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner does a lot with a little as Hawkeye, and even know my favorite Avenger Thor gets a little short changed, Chris Hemsworth gets a lot of meat in terms of his conflict with Loki, a role in which Tom Hiddleston knocks out of the park once again, and who was a perfect villain for this movie. While I liked Black Widow’s story, Scarlett Johansson just can’t hold a candle to these other actors. A better actress could have really taken this part to better places, but she’s okay. The two standout performances though were Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, and Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner (Hulk). I liked Evans a lot in Captain America: the First Avenger, but I got even more on board with him in this film. Evans just has this aura around him that makes it so easy to get emotionally invested in his character, and you totally buy why he’s the leader of the team. And even though I would have preferred to see Edward Norton back as Bruce Banner, Ruffalo is no slouch. Even though his character is a walking time bomb, you easily believe this guy can get along with everybody on the team. While everyone bickers throughout the team, Banner just wants to focus on the task at hand, even more so then Rogers. But as great as the cast is, the MVP goes to director Joss Whedon. This was a tough movie to pull off, but Whedon really does give everyone their moment. Even in a giant action fest such as this, the movie still has great character moments, and that’s what really surprised me about the Avengers. One of my biggest problems with the film though is that it’s just kind of a blur. When thinking about what my favorite scene was, everything just kind of ran together. I can’t pinpoint that one ‘wow’ moment, even though Hulk was pretty bad ass. And as good as the humor is, the film’s biggest flaw is that it gets way too jokey. Whedon had a major hand in the script, and he comes dangerously close to making this a comedy. Every scene has to have a clever quip. And it’s not that the humor is bad, ala a Peter Parker Jazz Club dance, or an Iron Man spinning records/drunken brawl scene, but the comedy really needed to be trimmed down. As much as I like this movie, the jokes almost make it a parody of itself, and that really keeps it from reaching the upper echelon films of this genre. Oh, and the aliens who invade Earth, and the ones who show up at the beginning of the film are terrible. I’m sorry, but this was Power Rangers level voice acting and aesthetics. Yea, I said it. The Avengers: it’s a great movie…but let’s calm down.
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Great)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):
Best Performance: Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
-From the first moment we see him boxing quietly in a gym, there’s just something about Evans’ laser like demeanor where you instantly sympathize with him. And even though he’s not the Hulk, or has Thor’s hammer, or Iron Man’s weaponry, I found him the most compelling in terms of the action scenes. He also had the best moment in the film, but more on that later.
Worst Performance: Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
-It’s not that her performance is bad, it’s just frustrating because there is actually some really good stuff written for her, and Johansson just can’t deliver. If this was somebody like Anne Hathaway, it could have significantly elevated the movie.
Best Line: “That’s my secret Cap…I’m always angry.” –Bruce Banner
-Bruce Banner/Hulk has been in three movies now, and this is the best thing he’s ever said. I love that he says this as he’s transforming into the Hulk, and Ruffalo nails the delivery. We are all salivating to see what the Hulk was going to do in this last action scene, and this line was the perfect way to transition into that.
Worst Line: “I don’t think we should be focusing on Loki. That guy’s brain is a bag full of cats. You can smell crazy on him.” –Bruce Banner
-This line just doesn’t work. Maybe it’s because I can only think of the crazy cat lady from the Simpsons when I hear it, but regardless, it’s a dumb line.
-Well, there are about 20 to choose from, but I got to go with Thor Vs Hulk, because if for nothing else, watching Thor strike Hulk for the first time with his hammer was just glorious. The complexion on Hulk’s face was damn good CG, and I’m not one to compliment CG a lot.
-I may be the only person on the face of the Earth who hates this moment, but I did not like when Hulk punched Thor after they destroy a bunch of aliens. Maybe it’s because Thor is my favorite Avenger, so I didn’t like him getting humiliated, but the real reason is because we are at the final action scene of the movie, and we just saw Thor and Hulk tear apart this room, posing in bad ass fashion. I just think this punching moment cheapened it…WTF.
-Cop to Captain America: “Why should we take orders from you?” Captain America’s answer to that question is the best moment of the film.
-One joke that I just hated is when Agent Coulson calls Black Widow, but he has to hold the line while she takes out some bad guys. Watching Coulson wait on hold during this scene, you can almost hear the elevator music playing. These are the types of things I can’t stand in superhero movies, because it takes away a level of seriousness that these movies should have, and almost turns it into a Bugs Bunny cartoon. In fact, a lot of the humor with Coulson just didn’t vibe with me in this movie.
-It’s obviously a Tony Stark line, and I choose this one: “Phil? Uh, his first name is Agent.”
Best Bad Ass Moment:
-Hulk smashes Loki…the end.