MOVIE REVIEW: The Avengers


Here’s a promo still for The Avengers.

I didn’t get to The Avengers opening night like I wanted.   So it sort of built in my head with each positive review I heard.  When I finally got to it Sunday, I had decided to set aside all of my expectations and just try to enjoy it.  And holy shit, did I enjoy it!

I’m not going to waste my time trying to draw parallels, or break down all the characters and their flaws, because frankly, I saw a pretty cohesive unit from the get go.  It was apparent from the beginning that Sam Jackson’s only real role in this film was to play up how different all of these ‘big egos’ are, and I hope he was hourly and not salaried because he put in overtime trying to drive the point home.  That was the only part I found annoying, and frankly, compared to a lot of the other super hero movies, including Ironman 2, it was easy to look past the constant overselling, and thoroughly enjoy the good part(s).

I can watch Robert Downey, Jr. play the billionaire playboy all day long.  His quick comebacks, rambunctious japes and cocksuredness are a a delight, and even in the utterly boring Ironman 2, Downey still brought almost enough big swingin’ dick to make it mostly entertaining.

It’s “obvious” once Downey’s Tony Stark meets Bruce Banner, played to perfection by Mark Ruffalo, that Stark is the aggressive egger-on and Banner is the submissive.  This serves as a slow and delicious tension builder, until we finally get to see the Hulk turn.  AND WHAT A TURN!

I would watch ten movies about Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk.  Whereas the previous movies were worse than even one terrible episode of The Incredible Hulk TV show on Retro TV, (what with the tortured intellectual Ed Norton pouting about getting mad and ruining an excellent Tim Roth performance in The Incredible Hulk movie, and a lackluster performance from Eric Bana and even more lackluster direction from Ang Lee in Hulk), the just-under 8 minutes of screen time we get in Avengers is enough to set one’s mouth to watering, and it leaves you wanting more.

With Ironman 3 slated as the next movie in the ‘series’, I have high hopes that we will get a dose of Bruce Banner and The Hulk as they continue to marry the story lines.  And because I love the Hulk so much, I don’t want it to take away from Ruffalo’s portrayal of Banner.  He was perfectly reserved as he simmered, just below a boil.

Even Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow and Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye served their purpose in this movie, despite what other critics may say.  Someone has to drive the bus, so to speak.  Also, this is a good introduction to Renner, a man we will see a lot of this summer as he dons the Bourne identity.  I do think it’s clear that Johansson is there mostly for eye candy.  Her one plot line could have been filled by almost anyone else already on cast, but few of the other actors have as nice an ass as her, which the director constantly showed.  In fact, most of the time Black Widow is on the screen, we only see her from behind or from the side, with the occasional coy look over her shoulder at the boys.  Oh well, a little sex appeal never hurt anyone.  At least no one occupying a theater seat.

I’m excited for the potential in this series.  I truly hope they go more in a direction of some of the darker sequels out there in lieu of the same old sugary, over the top super hero movie.  This was a great introduction, but with careful nurturing this series could legitimately be amazing.  In the end, viewers are going to go to the second movie in droves, so if it’s a payday the studio wants, it’s all but in the bank.  Let’s hope for our sake that because of the guaranteed payday, execs push the envelope and put out something risky, but amazing, akin to when Banner loses his cool.

Go see this movie.

~ by maxaverage on May 14, 2012.

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