JK Reviews: The Avengers

The Avengers


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I'll go ahead and get this out of the way first and foremost; The Avengers has everything we've all be waiting for, and then some. It's the end result of five films worth of continuity put into action by a great cast, fantastic direction and a surprisingly in-depth screenplay that even the most faithful of acolytes couldn't refute. It does everything everyone's wanted to see from a comic book adaption by basically taking every little, yet wonderful detail of the best comic series and throws them together and a stupendous spectacle on the big screen and I simply cannot praise it enough.

With mindless nerd fueled praise out of the way, The Avengers follows the continuation and eventual team up of the past Marvel film's primary heroes. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow and the Hulk come together against odds and each other to battle an ominous force led by Loki in an attempt to rule the world. That's honestly it. But what writer/director Joss Whedon and the phenomenal cast manage out of such a cliche plot is what truly excels here. The plot is merely functional and the beauty of it lies in its simplicity. A film of this stature needs not an overly convoluted plot and everyone on-board knows it. But by collaborating such well developed characters with the help of the five previous films, it becomes something more and with flashy special effects of everything being blown to hell to back it up. Think Transformers with... you know, intellect and people you actually give a fuck about.

As seen in his previous outings in the director's chair, Joss Whedon manages to flesh out all characters perfectly, never forgetting their humanity, letting no one member of the team hog the spotlight for too long. This leads to really the only gripe in the entire film. With so many iconic characters comes a fleeting sense of rushed pacing and often times feels too short when dealing with the Avengers themselves on a personal level, despite the film's 2 and a half hour run time. I've read that the original cut was over the three hour mark with more development for what went on in between films, so hopefully this issue will be resolved with a director's cut.

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Okay, on three.... DRAW!

Even with this however, the mix of engaging and the often sentimental streak Whedon is known for with a more than capable hand at immense action sequences is nothing short of outstanding. With a talent for filming and writing superbly realistic and human characters comes fluid and cerebral dialogue that drives the slower parts of the film forward. Some of the most enjoyable scenes to be had come from simply listening to the natural banter between such giant personality types and inflated egos. The back and forth between the entire team and the interesting alliances they form and roles they fill only make these scenes that much more entertaining. Oddly enough, making The Avengers a fascinating view into social chemistry. This works to an even further extent by the brilliant cast.

We've seen them all before and they're just as perfectly cast as ever, but newcomers like Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk are as well cast as anyone else. Particular mention should be noted to Ruffalo for playing Bruce Banner in a likable way faithful to the comics, easily becoming the best portrayal of the character yet as a socially awkward, twitchy scientist. This includes Hulk himself where the CG team must be praised for their amazing motion capture work, finally getting the scale of destruction down perfectly, serving as a heart for the hyperbolic climax.

Special notice should go to Tom Hiddleston as well, reprising his role as Thor's adopted brother and god of mischief, Loki, who rather than coming off as a pettily jealous sibling filled with whiny bitchiness instead comes off as genuinely terrifying in some scenes. Hiddleston certainly seems to be channeling a bit of Heath Ledger's Joker in his plot of chaotic control but it works for the character so well that any connoisseur of villainy would be impressed. The only weak link to the cast would be Scarlet Johansson as Black Widow who just seems to be kinda... there. Her character doesn't really do much, nor does she have notable abilities differentiating her from an average assassin (if that terminology even makes sense). Granted, I've never been a fan of Johansson in general but her emotional range always seemed nonexistent to me and this is no exception.

When the film decides to pick up the pace, it goes all out by cranking up any action from previous installments to 11. As I mentioned before, Whedon is no strange to full scale battles in epic proportions but with The Avengers, he truly cements status as one of the best to grace cinema.The entire third act of the film is one giant battle through the streets and skies of New York City and its simply mesmerising to witness.

The seamless transitions from hero to hero as they fight an alien horde, both individually and cooperatively is some of the best sequences in action I've ever seen. Watching everything you've read from the comics come to life on screen, from Thor and Hulk playing catch with enemies to Hawkeye effortlessly sniping groups off Iron Man's tail mid-flight. It was like being a 12 year old again, giddy with excitement watching your heroes all battle it out before you and its direction, cinematography and choreography can only be showered with praise.

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Your alien weaponry is no match for my tiny pistol!

It seems a rarity nowadays for me to exude such a level of positive enthusiasm as I currently am for The Avengers. It manages to not only meet, but exceed every expectation made by both fans and those made by the previous films leading to this ultimate culmination. It's what I envisioned when picturing the perfect blockbuster of this caliber, with every major Marvel superhero rolled up into a sparkly, exciting package. Simply put; go see The Avengers. Right now. If you're a fan of film, a fan of comics or just a fan of fun, go see this movie. Without a doubt, The Avengers is easily one of the best, if not the best comic book film ever released. It knows what it is and nothing more, leaving the cynical drama to The Dark Knight Rises later this summer. This film is about fun. No depressing drama, no nihilistic undertones but pure comic book lovin' entertainment.

Whedon has placed the Marvel series right where it needs to be for it to continue on down its currently superb road. With most loose ends tied up nicely, taking all continuity issues with care and the prospect of a legendary threat looming in the horizon teased in the end credits, I can't wait to see what more can be brought to this series and if it can top the two and a half hour orgasm of a film The Avengers already is.

Remember that I am now taking requests for reviews, so any suggestions for future reviews or lists you may have, please let me know via PM or in the replies to this review.

Scarecrow 8:
Excellent review. I saw this movie a while ago, not really knowing anything about it, and it blew me away. I was even more suprised that it was written by Joss Whendon, since I've disliked everything else he's done. So yeah, it was a very pleasent suprise for me. Keep up the good work!

Wow, this is weird. The first day I come back here after a nearly 4 month absence and this has its first post.
I'm quite amazed at this.

Anyway, uh... not sure why you got a warning for that post but thank you ^_^

Julianking93:

Scarecrow 8:
Excellent review. I saw this movie a while ago, not really knowing anything about it, and it blew me away. I was even more suprised that it was written by Joss Whendon, since I've disliked everything else he's done. So yeah, it was a very pleasent suprise for me. Keep up the good work!

Wow, this is weird. The first day I come back here after a nearly 4 month absence and this has its first post.
I'm quite amazed at this.

Anyway, uh... not sure why you got a warning for that post but thank you ^_^

Well I unno... but of course the Escapist has formed quite the fixation with Joss Whedon... so it was probably that... and he spelled his name wrong, how could they not give him a warning?

OT: I read this review when you first posted it, before I saw the movie... it still rings true... and of course you make good reviews...

Julianking93:

Wow, this is weird. The first day I come back here after a nearly 4 month absence and this has its first post.
I'm quite amazed at this.

Anyway, uh... not sure why you got a warning for that post but thank you ^_^

It was the necromancy of your review.
Only allowed to post on reviews younger than a month, so other reviews can get time.

OT: Anyways, after 4 hours sleep, all I can say is good review, good movie and why the hell did I receive a quote notification for your reply to Scarecrow? XD

Sassafrass:

It was the necromancy of your review.
Only allowed to post on reviews younger than a month, so other reviews can get time.

OT: Anyways, after 4 hours sleep, all I can say is good review, good movie and why the hell did I receive a quote notification for your reply to Scarecrow? XD

You did? HA! No idea why but that's funny. At least I got to see you again XD

Sacman:

Well I unno... but of course the Escapist has formed quite the fixation with Joss Whedon... so it was probably that... and he spelled his name wrong, how could they not give him a warning?

OT: I read this review when you first posted it, before I saw the movie... it still rings true... and of course you make good reviews...

Good point, I hadn't noticed though in my absence. >.>

And thank you :D
I'll stop this now though >.<

Julianking93:

You did? HA! No idea why but that's funny. At least I got to see you again XD

Yep, and the post that you quoted actually links back to your Arkham City and my post there. So...I dunno how the fuck that happened. XD

Anyways, I'll catch up with ya tomorrow, need to sleep now. XD

 

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