I saw The Avengers a few nights ago (finally) and I have to say, I really liked it.
Even days later, thinking about it, I really liked it a lot. In fact, I probably like it more now that I’ve thought back over it.
Instead of rehashing all of the praise it’s gotten already, I think it’s a fascinating departure from the more realistic Batman movies as helmed by Christopher Nolan.
I don’t mean in the sense of “better” or “worse.” I mean it in the sense that there is positively no concern with rooting these characters in the real world. Whereas Nolan wants his Batman to live where we live, the Avengers live on Comic Book Earth.
The basic agreement is, you are willing to believe that someone figured out how to make a sentient robot suit that plugs into their heart machine, someone from the 1940s had Super Soldier serum injected into their body and they survived rudimentary carbon freezing and that gamma radiation can cause someone to turn into the world’s most invincible neanderthal.
So why the Hell make it something that seems like it could occur in the real world? Just put it in a world that looks and acts just like ours, and let’s make believe like kids again.
In Praise of Joss Whedon
I laughed a lot during The Avengers, and it only went further to prove my earlier comments about Joss Whedon being better at what Kevin Smith tries to do. You can tell the movie was made by someone that loves the source material as much as we do, but never once does he “talk down” to us. He knows why we’re there, we know why we’re there, so let’s just have a great time.
So I have to give a lot of credit for someone not trying to imitate Nolan, which in the past would have been the default method for Hollywood to try to mimic his success. Nolan is selling apples, Whedon has no trouble selling oranges. And we, the audience, get the great treat of being able to have both.
Also to speak to what I feel is a testament to his directing ability, he got the better performance out of Chris Evans as Captain America than what was given in the actual Captain America movie. It’s not a knock on the actor; it’s just apparent he got really useful notes from the director on this one in terms of motivation.
And I enjoyed Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in this more than I did in Iron Man 2; I haven’t seen the first one in a long enough time to compare honestly. I even liked Gwyneth Paltrow (at all), which is saying a lot.
And Then There’s Hulk
The Real scene–stealer is the Hulk.I won’t go into spoilers except to say, he takes over the show at one point. Not literally and not as team leader or anything, but just as the most interesting character on the screen. This CGI behemoth (pretty fantastically realized, at that) is true to everything that makes Hulk wonderful in the modern era.
He even has two of the funniest—if not the funniest—moments on the screen.
As far as Mark Ruffalo, he gave a great Banner performance and must feel like he won the lottery. I can only imagine what a supreme dope Edward Norton must feel like to have gotten canned from this cash cow.
I mean, really. This is an industry full of ass hat egos, and you blow a gig like this because you’re too much of a jackass for others to want to work with you?
Idiot. Or as someone else might say, “Clownshoes.”
So Yes, I’m On the Avengers Bandwagon
Sue me. I got more than what I expected to get, I’d be willing to go see a sequel already, and the effects were amazing. And the after–credits scene was the best one of these codas they’ve done.
The mid–credits one was one of the most exciting nods to real comics fans I could imagine. They’re already setting up one of the best plot lines ever in Marvel’s universe to play on screen.
If they pull this off by building through the next phase of sequels…well, I don’t want to get my expectations up too high.