The Avengers (2012)
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Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Paul Bettany, Amanda Righetti, Gwyneth Paltrow, Stellan Skarsgård, Tom Hiddleston, Lou Ferrigno, Clark Gregg, Jenny Agutter, Bob Kaye, Darren Kendrick, Frank Powers, Alicia Sixtos
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The Comic Book Movie We've All Waited For
Favorite Movie Quote: "Hulk....smash."
Spoiler: The Avengers win.
When Earth is threatened by an alien force, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, looking and acting impossibly cool) and S.H.I.E.L.D. gather Earth's Mightiest Heroes to face a force, the likes no one has ever seen. They face the god of Mischief, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), and the hordes of alien invaders, bent on the destruction of Earth.
From that simplistic storyline comes the superhero movie that then-Marvel-editor-in-chief Stan Lee promised us when the first Spider-Man TV movie was introduced. Director/Writer Joss Whedon, whose pedigree includes "Firefly," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and "Angel" takes his experience with working with paranormal humans with contemporary issues, and creates a story, that, under normal conditions, would pass as a "slice of life" film. Lucky for us, these are not normal conditions. Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner, the only character not previously in a movie), and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), five square pegs looking for a round hole, are at odds with each other until it was time for the Avengers to Assemble (which was a minus - no one yells, "Avengers Assemble!" in the entire movie).
Everyone got to do stuff and showcase their powers. Heroes paired off, squared off, work with and against each other in a way only previously seen the print. We got to see the full power of the Thunder god (another nitpick - Thor is a god, not a demi-god. He was born of two gods, unlike Hercules, who was born of a god and a human), Iron Man shredded some serious hardware, The Black Widow was never but for single second a wilting damsel-in-distress, and in this one instance, I'll give her a "bye," Hawkeye, a relative newcomer to the Marvel Movie Universe, showed what a "glorified Robin Hood" could really do, and the Hulk was the Hulk that should have been on screen since his first movie. Even the famed S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier was present in all its beauty shot glory. It was a glorious sight to see. One additional plus, was that the distributor, the Disney Corporation, has a very bad habit of giving away the entire movie in the trailers - they didn't. Also, with the number of trailers shown since Comic-Con, you would think you know this movie - YOU-DO-NOT - not by a long shot. They saved all the real good stuff for you to discover when you plop down in your favorite theater. But one last caution - HANG ON!
But it wasn't just explosions, fist fights, and "Hulk Smash." The story, which for a comic book movie had impressive depth, showed the human foibles behind the armor, the shield, the bow, the revolver, and the green. Each character has screen time to bare their souls, to give a little backstory to their present. But it never gets to BRIDGES of MADISON COUNTY angst. And in that is the true entertainment value of the movie. It was action-packed without being all explosions, and had character development without putting you to sleep. One small critique - although everyone - and mean everyone, even some of the supporting characters from other franchises got their moment in the sun, it seemed that Downey did a tad more heavy lifting than the others. In fact, in an early scene, he quips to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow, in a totally throwaway part - maybe they already paid her), "After all, I did most of the heavy lifting. No, really, I lifted all the heavy things." This is kind of expected, since IRON MAN is the only movie so far that has had a sequel, and Jon Favereau, director of both movies, was one of the producers of this movie. Still, you get to see the superheroes in ALL their Comic Book superhero glory. One other critique: the alien hordes, whom they called the T'Challa, something else equally silly, looked very suspiciously like the Skrull race from the "Fantastic Four" and "Captain Marvel" comic series.
But when all the dust clears, if you are a sci-fi fan, if you are a comic book movie fan, heck, if you like action, this is a movie you must see. Never has this writer gotten goosebumps watching a movie since the climatic scene from RETURN of the JEDI.
On my personal rating scale of with "5" being drop everything and see the movie now; if you're female, bear the producers' children and "0" being burn down the theater, murder the movie staff, and violate their dog, this movie earns a "5," no, a "5.5!" Stan Lee (who by the way, made his obligatory cameo as himself), in an early interview, once said that the reason the early superhero movies were so bad was that the technology hadn't caught up with the imagination. This reviewer is very happy to report that not only has ILM surpassed any visuals you might have seen earlier, but the writers got all the canons right, no one had a different backstory, no one developed new powers, in short - they got it right! The AVENGERS is the comic book movie we're waited forty years to see. It had the action, it had the drama, it had humor, danger, a tragic death, and a b-i-t-c-h slap to end all b-i-t-c-h slaps, that is reminiscent of "The Flintstones." A prize goes to the person who figures out where that comes in. Drop everything, go see the movie now; if you're female, bear the producers' children, but go. Heck if I could, i would bear Joss' children (in the most masculine way, of course.)
Oh, and don't run out of the theater when the credits roll. As typical with most Marvel movies, there are not just one, but TWO teaser clips, one during the credits that announces the next villain, and I promise you, Loki is a piker compared to this guy, and silly clip at the end, that, as a spoiler, is something you and I would do after a satisfying victory. Do your potty breaks before the movie, and hold it in after this two and a half hour marathon.
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May 6, 2012 3:29 PM
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Hawkeye actually appeared in Thor.
"Spoiler: The Avengers win." Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
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