Hey folks, Valkor here. My friends, we gather here today to witness an event of epic proportions; the release of a film so grand that in order for it to even be made, five films had to come before it. It is then and only then could this particular film, of which I have bore witness to today, could be seen. And now that it is upon us, unleashed to the masses if you will, I can give my testimony and say without a doubt, Marvel's The Avengers (directed by Joss Whedon), is by far the best superhero movie to date. Spoilers ahead.
Marvel's The Avengers is the culmination of five films – Iron Man 1 and 2, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America and Thor, mending them together with one single character – Nick Fury (Sam Jackson) and his plan for the "Avenger Initiative". The world during the time of the five films has seen a change; an increase of characters with extraordinary abilities. So if you have goood characters with super talents then of course you'd have bad ones as well. And keeping that in mind, it was Fury's idea to bring together an eclectic group of heroes whose job is to eliminate that threat, should it endanger the safety of the planet.
And that moment is now as Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has amassed an army called the Chitauri, who exist in another realm. And in order to bring them to earth, he'll need the cosmic cube, which is locked away in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s headquarters. The film opens with that attack attacked and Loki is able to successfully retrieve the Tesseract (the cosmic cube) and key players within the organization, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard), whom are able to retrieve items and put together the components necessary to make the cube work. Once all the pieces are place, Loki would use the cube to open a gate, allowing the Chitauri to pass through and a takeover of earth would commence.
That's where the Avengers come in. Much like Loki, Nick Fury has gathered his group that he or Agent Coulson have initiated contact with in the prior films, and have brought them together to defend earth against this new threat that could harm humanity. On his side he has the eccentric Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). Getting them together? That was the easy part. Getting them to work together as a team? That has proven to be most difficult. But in order for this team to work, they have to put aside any and all of their differences and work together with a single goal in mind – to stop Loki at all cost.
Everything in between the two groups forming together and the final battle completes the package, which is action on top of action, on top of colossal action. I remember when Marvel Entertainment first announced The Avenger movie and the process it would go through to get to this point; I thought that if it was going to be done with such iconic characters, then it would have to be big. And that's exactly what you're gonna get.
- The battle between Thor and Iron Man
- Black Widow using her "special skills" to get Loki to reveal his true plan on the S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Helicarrier
- ANYTHING with the Hulk (which doesn't kick in towards the end), especially when Cap gives him the order to "smash".
- Cap and Iron Man working together to fix a Helicarrier engine – now that's teamwork (though Iron man did the dangerous stuff).
- Banner referring to his Hulk persona as "the other guy". I thought that was pretty funny.
- Thor hitting Iron Man with his hammer, lightning courses through his metal suit and charges it up 400%. Lulz!
- A major character dies!
After such a huge build up, I really thought The Avengers would be a letdown; yes I had doubts that such a film could be made - successfully. I mean look at what DC tried to do with the Justice League movie (though I still think they should have made it). But after all was said and done I walked away from the movie theater smiling from ear to ear, proud of what I just witnessed. It wasn't perfect, but the film with all its players achieved what it set out to do and that's to make one hell of a movie. The film doesn't waste time backtracking the previous films or the events that set up this one; instead it throw you right into the thick of it, starting with the attack on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s HQ. The set up for The Avengers to actually form together as a team isn't rushed; rather time is given to flesh out the characters and for them to settle on their differences such as Cap trusting Fury a little too much, though Stark (who doesn't trust Fury) has a hard time convincing anyone that Fury and his crew are up to "something". Banner does what he can to contain the beast within, while still using his own smarts to help figure out where the cube is and Fury is such a bad ass, what more needs to be said about that? We get a look into the Black Widow's past as well as her connection to Hawkeye, and Thor? He still has some respect for Loki, even though he's done all this bad shit. The film is loaded with dialogue, but the balance between that and the action is even. There are times when I'd think "hmmm… this has gone on for too long" and then BAM we're tossed into a fight. I loved it! The film is visually impressive with the most stunning being the Helicarrier during takeoff, vanishing amongst the clouds and the final battle with the Chitauri, which was big, loud, and exciting. I won't say much on the acting because I think everyone did a great job, with no one being a stand out. No one character overshadows the other (though I'm sure you'll find arguments that state otherwise), but in the end you have a cohesive unit of actors who who do an amazing job sharing screen time. Finally, The ending wraps things up in a nice comic book fashion filled with panels, reactions to the events and Fury and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) standing at the bridge of the Helicarrier staring off into the skies below. Overall… it was awesome.
Again the film isn't perfect. For starters, it felt a bit choppy – at times it doesn't flow well from scene to scene. I'm sure a lot was cut for time and pacing, however I hope beyond hope there's a director's cut that smoothes things over. I didn't like Thor's return to Earth; I mean we all knew it was going to happen, but how he's able to return to earth with the Bifrost bridge destroyed was rushed over with a quick explanation. Finally the film could have used a few cameos. Not a lot, just a couple; at least Hank Pym could have been tossed in or Wyatt Wingfoot flying a Quinjet – someone who doesn't truly stand out, just additional fan service.
The Avengers is pure win in my book with the perfect blend of action and storytelling. I'm sure Marvel and those involved are giving themselves much deserved pats on the backs and with good reason. And given events at the end (make sure you stick around until after the credits), I'm looking forward to seeing how the next Avengers film pans out. You can check out The Avengers in 2D, 3D, and in 3D IMAX – either way you'll be in for a treat. And out of TOV 5 stars, taking into account overall entertainment value, I'm giving The Avengers 5 stars of pure awesome.