Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

The Avengers

“The Avengers, that’s what we call ourselves.  We’re sort of a team.”

My thoughts on The Avengers will echo the majority of those who have seen this great movie already. This was one fantastic superhero film, one of the best ever made and certainly the best Marvel film ever made.

I still wouldn’t say its better than Dark Knight, but at the same time Dark Knight and Avengers had very different goals and set out to do different things. Dark Knight was meant to ground Batman into reality as much as possible and made a serious, introspective superhero film. The Avengers is most about taking the characters and action straight from the pages of the comics and putting it on screen to come alive. And does it ever succeed.

The only other time I saw comic book action come to life on film so well was Sam Raimi’s train scene in Spider-man 2. But The Avengers takes that model and expands it ten fold. The last third of the film in particular- Whoa! Get ready for mind-blowing, fist-pumping action. That last battle is truly what comic book superheroes coming to life looks like.

One of the concerns I had was that packing this many star characters into one film would simply be too much, but those concerns turned out to be all for naught. Joss Whedon was able to balance these characters wonderfully, giving us a healthy dose of Iron Man, Thor, Cap, and Hulk. More importantly, he and the actors created wonderful interactions between these characters, both through dialogue and fighting. Hell, the first half of the film is the Avengers fighting each other!

Tony Stark is just as witty as he was in his own films, and Downey really is the center of the film, yet without drawing the spotlight from the others. I really liked Thor in this movie since we actually see the results of his character growth from his movie. Loki grows as a villain as well, and is both maniacal yet believable. Captain America is okay, but wow, The Hulk is amazing. This is by far the best Hulk that has been on screen, both with the complexity of Bruce Banner and with how great he looked through visual effects and design. The only weaknesses in the cast were Black Widow and Hawkeye who were both rather boring. Every time they were on screen I thought “bah, get back to the interesting characters.”

Marvel Studios set out to make the blockbuster of all blockbusters, packing four years and five previous movies’ worth of hype into 2 1/2 hours. And somehow they managed to succeed beyond expectations. The bar for Superhero movies has just been raised again. 9.5/10

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10 Responses to “The Avengers”

  1. I loved the movie as well.

    I personally think that Captain America was one of the better characters. I’ve never been a big Capt. fan, but I loved the way he took command of the Avengers and directed the final battle. Also, the way he kept acting like it was the 1940’s and made it evident that he’d missed the last 70 years, while not making it blatantly obvious.

    I do agree that Black Widow and Hawkeye weren’t the best, I do think they did a great job with Hawkeye’s character. He was at least interesting and not just “that guy with the bow”. Really, with all the greatness in the rest of the cast, saying that they were the weakest doesn’t really mean much. 😀

  2. You really thought that Black Widow and Hawkeye were boring? I thought it was brilliant the way they incorporated them and gave them value as team members and superheroes. They shone as much as you’d hope for them to in a film such as this and ended up being rather necessary to the plot.

    Interesting.

    But a great review! and I am glad you enjoyed the film so much!

  3. Great review, Ian. Glad you enjoyed it. You’re right about how this is great in a different way than The Dark Knight; both are great superhero films, but genre and quality are about all they have in common.

  4. I love this movie too… but I think that Black Widow and Hawkeye are interesting and colourful additions to this superhero line-up. Since Hunger Games is supposedly the next big thing, you gotta have your own archer in there somewhere… so Black Widow is a female so yeah…

  5. Nice review. Marvel has set a new standard for itself.

  6. Spot on review, Ian. But I didn’t see Hawkeye and Black Widow as boring, they just have a different set of skills and characteristics that are less flamboyant.


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