Marter to the Movies: The Avengers

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Marter to the Movies

The Avengers

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The Avengers is now out -- something that seemed impossible a decade ago -- and it is pretty much exactly what you will have expected. It should; after all, it has had four years and five movies of build-up to satisfy. I'm not sure whether that amount of time is a good thing or not, as hype has been a killer in the past, but in this case, I wasn't exactly buying in. I liked the two Iron Man films (especially the first one), and Captain America was a lot of fun, but Thor was underwhelming and I really disliked The Incredible Hulk, so I came in with tempered expectations -- expectations that were promptly blown away once The Avengers started.

Hulk. Smash.
Hulk. Smash.

The very first scene sets the tone. In it, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the villain from Thor, manages to reappear, this time on Earth. He steals a big energy cube that S.H.I.E.L.D. had been using, much to the chagrin of super spy Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Knowing that this could be the end of the world as we know it, Fury, along with another Agent, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), begin to call up the rest of the Avengers, a group of superheroes who have been individually recruited for the last few films. While the main goal is just to locate the cube, we know that soon enough, there will be a massive battle. There just has to be.

You know and presumably love almost all of the superheroes scattered throughout this film. We have Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Bruce Banner AKA The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo, replacing Edward Norton), and Captain America (Chris Evans). Natasha, who goes by the name "Black Widow," is just a human, although she's strong in hand-to-hand combat. The only unknown is Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who had a cameo in Thor, and here begins under Loki's mind control. He shoots arrows really well, and is therefore worthy of being in The Avengers.

Essentially, the film is going to play in three stages. The first involves the recruitment of the heroes. Second, we have their agreements and disagreements while establishing the villain and how big of a threat he is. Finally, we have an all-out war, this time taking place in New York City, which takes our final hour of running time. You'll notice when each section ends, as one of the action scenes will come to a close, signifying the transition to the next act.

It looks so silly out of context.
It looks so silly out of context.

Considering that the final act is just an extended action scene, you know you're in for a very enjoyable film. The director here is Joss Whedon, a man who understands superheroes, action scenes, and balancing a multitude of characters. Here, he makes sure that everyone gets their time to shine, and makes each hero seem like they're needed. Well, everyone except Black Widow, whose purpose seemed written in specifically for her. It's like you can actually see that Whedon didn't know what to have her do, so he just wrote something in late in the process to keep her busy. Whedon also avoids falling into one of the problems of the X-Men flicks, not ever focusing too heavily on one character (Wolverine in Fox's movie franchise).

The most surprising thing about The Avengers -- after The Hulk actually being fun to watch, that is -- is that it's hilarious. Iron Man was pretty funny in its own right, but Whedon's dialogue and character interactions are always fun to listen to and watch. The actors get the timing down -- I was quite surprised how well Hemsworth played the straight man -- but the dialogue itself is just so funny. You go see this movie, and you will laugh more than you expect going in.

Actually, this is the first time I've ever liked The Hulk in a movie. There have been two attempts at a solo movie involving the character over the last decade, and neither worked for me, in large part because he's only fun to watch when he's in Hulk-mode. Making a movie about him trying to stop that from happening is dull. Here, especially in the final act, he's allowed to go as crazy as possible. If this Hulk got his own movie, I would be okay with it. And yes, Ruffalo is good in the role, taking over seamlessly from Edward Norton.

Thor's pretty funny in this.
Thor's pretty funny in this.

Another thing that's seamless is the integration of the special effects, which never actually seem like they're not real. This universe has been established -- we have magic, fantastical technology, and so on -- and with the largest budget of a Marvel movie to date, these characters and their abilities have never looked better. I bought in completely -- even though they're sometimes facing entirely-CGI creatures which will always look a little off -- and just took in the spectacle. It was a treat.

The Avengers does have a couple of minor problems. It's too long, for one, even though it rarely drags. There are only two major locations that it takes place in, and it would have been nice for a little more variety. The battle of New York, while certainly impressive from a visual standpoint, feels kind of empty. There are only a couple of times when you actually see citizens, while most of the time the city feels like a ghost town that superheroes and villains chose as a battle ground. These are minor, though, and do not significantly hamper the final product or your enjoyment of it.

The Avengers is a spectacle. It didn't seem like it could be done, but Marvel Studios has done it. The result is a one-of-a-kind movie, one that had five two-hour experiences to build up to it, and one that works not only as a continuation of that build-up, but as a single movie as well. It's hilarious, action-packed, looks amazing, and is absolutely satisfying. If you liked any of the previous movies in this series, you owe it to yourself to see The Avengers.

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The Hulk really did shine in the Avengers. Mark Ruffalo is a great Bruce Banner and all the Hulk's scenes were perfect.

Especially his "Puny god" duel with Loki

Yup I loved it too couldn't stop laughing at the bit where Hulk punches Thor.One of my favourite movie moments for quite some time

Marter:
Snip

Must say, I couldn't resist reading this review. Saw the movie twice and really- I wasn't disappointed in the least. Loved this movie, it's probably my favorite superhero movie out there if not action thriller overall. What's even cooler is that you saw the other heroes have their own movies so seeing all of them in this one was a led up expectation of epicness.

OT: Only thing I disagree with you on is this:

Marter:
It's too long, for one, even though it rarely drags.

Despite seeing the movie twice and not being able to get enough on the movie.. I felt the first half hour or more dragged on to long. Not talking about recruiting the heroes of course, but once they are on the S.H.I.E.L.D boat plane, it seemed pretty dull. Yeah the humor was good, the action heroes gave their input on Loki's plans, ect. but it took to long for anything to happen. I only gotten really interested after-

Before that, I just wanted things to really get started. Least it wasn't boring, I really liked some of the jokes and the other half or hour of the movie made up for the beginning. Overall I give this movie a 9/10 stars, almost perfect score if it wasn't for the dragged out moments. No matter, and this was a fine read indeed. Glad to see you really enjoyed the movie as well along with liking the Hulk too. I didn't think they'd make him fun to watch but they pulled it off at the end.

Caramel Frappe:

Marter:
Snip

Must say, I couldn't resist reading this review. Saw the movie twice and really- I wasn't disappointed in the least. Loved this movie, it's probably my favorite superhero movie out there if not action thriller overall. What's even cooler is that you saw the other heroes have their own movies so seeing all of them in this one was a led up expectation of epicness.

OT: Only thing I disagree with you on is this:

Marter:
It's too long, for one, even though it rarely drags.

Despite seeing the movie twice and not being able to get enough on the movie.. I felt the first half hour or more dragged on to long. Not talking about recruiting the heroes of course, but once they are on the S.H.I.E.L.D boat plane, it seemed pretty dull. Yeah the humor was good, the action heroes gave their input on Loki's plans, ect. but it took to long for anything to happen. I only gotten really interested after-

Before that, I just wanted things to really get started. Least it wasn't boring, I really liked some of the jokes and the other half or hour of the movie made up for the beginning. Overall I give this movie a 9/10 stars, almost perfect score if it wasn't for the dragged out moments. No matter, and this was a fine read indeed. Glad to see you really enjoyed the movie as well along with liking the Hulk too. I didn't think they'd make him fun to watch but they pulled it off at the end.

I'd also like to put that whenever Loki was talking to that alien guy, it felt like a really bad episode of Power Rangers. It felt out of place and was like really cheesy, I couldn't take them seriously as a villain. Everyone was like "wtf are they saying and doing?"

I think I would have enjoyed the experience of going to the movies to see this if the people in the theatre weren't assholes but apart from that. I love this film. I saw Thor 3 times just for Hawkeye. My only complaint is Hawkeye needs his eye cover helmet thing! Dang it. Otherwise full enjoyable movie.

Me, a 17 year old, and a 10 year old saw this together. Our combined experience: Little long, little talky, but dang, so much whoop butt scenes. The $250 million are on the screen. I personally was worried I wouldn't get to see enough of my favorites on the screen. Jos Wheadon makes sure all the major characters get the amount of screen time you demand.

Good review Marter, as always.

Me personally, I loved this movie, and I love that the public is going to love this movie. Nerd vindication!

Hulk was easily the best part of his movie, especially his "fight" (if you can even call it that) with Loki.

I don't like Jeremy Renner that much, but he did a pretty good job in this movie.

Overall, the movie ruled.

Whedon is a great director. I've always known that. That does not surprise me.

His writing I'm not a fan of. (If you want to discuss it with me, send me a pm. I'm not interested in derailing this thread because you take offense to this statement)

I saw "Previous review: Candy" and momentarily thought it was "Previous Review: Hard Candy".

"Marter is traumatized for life".

Loved Hulks reaction when he met Loki and smashed him. Great, just great XD.

BloatedGuppy:
I saw "Previous review: Candy" and momentarily thought it was "Previous Review: Hard Candy".

"Marter is traumatized for life".

Already did Hard Candy. ;)

One of my first reviews.

I was impressed overall with The Avengers. Whedon managed a good balance between the characters, and while Downey Jr. basically steals each scene he's in, he doesn't do it in an overbearing sort of way, as the other actors could mostly hold their own with him. I also thought Ruffalo was a far more interesting Banner than Eric Bana or Ed Norton (who I am sick to death of at this point). Banner trolling Black Widow during her "recruitment" of him was great.

 

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