CRITIQUED: THE AVENGERS (PART 2)

This film is a comic lover’s playground.
Action, drama, comedy, heroics, aliens, monsters, and oh, that Robert Downey, Jr. This movie has everything you need for a blockbuster, and a few things you thought you didn’t (but will love nonetheless).
To say The Avengers was an ambitious project would be like saying the Burj Khalifa is just another Sheraton. Director Joss Whedon weaved a beautiful quilt out of five 300-thread count sheets—those sheets being strong enough on their own with great franchises in Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk and twin assassins Black Widow and Hawkeye—with just enough left out to whet your appetite for another thrill. Alone, these superior actors shine and encompass their alter egos without fail, their personalities jumping out of the comics and onto the silver screen. But together? Man, it is truly like nothing you’ve ever seen.
The Avengers definitely took advantage of the advancements in technology and computer graphics we pointed out in Part 1 of our Critique by creating a world that’s worthy of any Avengers issue. Lavish locales, grand sets, vehicles and transports galore, and the action sequences make this film an epic indeed. The action is relentless, carefully crafted and allows all members of the group to shine in their element.  There’s nonstop stuff going on in this movie, from start to finish, even when they’re getting plot out of the way! It is a crisp 140 minutes of roller-coaster ride that’s sure to leave you more than satisfied.
The aforementioned Downey sees a bit of a breakthrough as Tony Stark/Iron Man in this one, but not before giving us classic one-liners and comic relief as only he can deliver. Chris Evans is great as Steve Rogers/Capt. America, portraying the natural born leader with aplomb and credibility. Chris Hemsworth is still a fine choice for Thor and his back story with brother and featured villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) makes the necessary dramatic arc both a chilling and logical starting point in the Avengers mythology.
We think Marvel has finally found their Bruce Banner in the calculating and mesmerizing Mark Ruffalo, and the CG rendition of Hulk is a strong and subtle mix to Ruffalo’s portrayal; not so much oil and vinegar, but more pop rocks and soda. Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson are inseparable as Hawkeye and Black Widow, just like in the comics, and the passive/aggressive puppet master in Nick Fury isn’t a trait you’d normally attribute to Samuel L. Jackson, but it works well here with the lion’s share of egos that already inflate the atmosphere. What’s great about this film is that with so many players and so much plot, you don’t for one second feel bogged down with any filler or useless tie-in (we’re talking to you, Transformers: Dark of the Moon). All we get is an immense, splendid journey.
Don’t even think we’d do any such thing as give away plot here. You must see this unfold for yourself and truly get the experience we’d love to have again. Word to the wise: if you haven’t seen them yet, go out and rent the films that precede The Avengers, affectionately called the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron ManThe Incredible HulkIron Man 2Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger) and watch it in that order before hitting the multiplexes. It’s certainly not a necessity to enjoy this film, but trust that you’ll thank us if you do.

Note: As promised, this was Part 2 of our review of The Avengers. Check out Part 1 of our review.

Update: It looks like Ant Man, Thor 2, Iron Man 3 have all been slated for release in 2013 and 2014. Considering how open ended The Avengers film was left, it makes sense to see a Part 2 once the characters have been developed further.

Leave a Reply