Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Avengers (2012)

 Directed by Joss Whedon

After all of the introductory character films that hinted towards this film’s creation beginning with Iron Man in 2007, the long-awaited Avengers film has finally arrived. Nick Fury’s Avengers Initiative has been initiated just in time to kick off the slew of summer blockbusters heading our way and might just be the best of them all!

Fallen from grace, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) enacts revenge against his brother Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) guardian planet Earth by enlisting the support of the alien race Chitauri and using the Tesseract energy source as a way to open a portal for them to attack the unsuspecting planet. When Loki compromises agent Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and a scientist (Stellan Skarsgaard) needed to put his plan into action, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) of S.H.I.E.L.D. realizes the only way to combat this enormous threat is to re-activate the abandoned Avengers Initiative. This includes the collaboration of Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor, Black Widow/Agent Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johannson), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), and The Hulk/Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo replacing Edward Norton – bad move, Ed!) required to save Earth. 

The initiative had the plugged pull on it some time back since the many individuals could not act as a cohesive unit due to highly conflicting personalities as well as ideologies and be the unstoppable force imagined by Fury. Now with no other reasonable option, the band is put together and the in-fighting quickly immediately re-establishes itself as the team’s Achilles Heel. The selfish Stark clashes with All-American diehard Rogers, demi-god Thor believes himself as an army of one, Romanoff is too worried about bringing Hawkeye back from under Loki’s power, and Banner is skeptical of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s true intentions for the Tesseract’s power as well as his unwillingness to ever unleash The Hulk again in fear of hurting others. Aware of the group’s division and refusal to be united, Loki allows himself to be captured by the group and imprisoned on their flying Helicarrier in order to engage the second phase of his master plan. The group must overcome their differences and unify or else the fate of their planet is doomed.

This film is not only a comic book fan’s wet dream, but it is also one heck of an action flick that should please the majority of moviegoers. As fun and enjoyable as the first two Iron Man movies as well as last year’s Captain America and Thor were for us to experience, director Joss Whedon takes this can’t-miss material and raises the stakes tenfold... make that a hundred-fold. If you don’t have a blast watching this flick, even if you are not a superhero fan, check your pulse to see if your still alive. It is like a comic book come to life, and dare it to be said, the best superhero film so far to grace the big screen with the most elite of special effects and a final act that cannot be described in words.

On one side, Hiddleston portrays the quintessential baddie Loki, maybe even better than forst his first attempt in last year's Thor. On the other hand, Downey is perfect again as the smug Stark, Evans plays the pure of heart Rogers to a tee, Johannson is rock solid as Widow, Renner is effective as Hawkeye’s with his dual personalities, Hemsworth hams it up with his accent as Thor, and Ruffalo’s take on Banner is a welcome one. Plus, Jackson is dead on as Fury and the lifeforce of the group. There are some surprise returns, such as Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts and Clark Gregg as the funny Agent Phil Coulson. Even Colbie Smulders trades her 80’s pop Robin Sparkles persona from How I Met Your Mother for a sidearm as the stern Agent Maria Hill. Acting is excellent all around with the actors playing well off each other and really helps to supplement the smorgasbord of action thrown in our faces.   

D.C. and Warner Bros. certainly have their hands full later this summer trying to top this soon-to-be record setting motion picture, even if The Dark Knight Rises is as good as advertised. Meanwhile, Marvel’s all-star superhero team-up action flick brings us all of the action, comedy and satisfaction we were promised. 

This is a must-see in theaters and the 3-D offering is highly recommended, whether comics are your thing or not. So "Assemble" and make sure to stay through the credits for two bonus scenes, one with an excellent surprise for what is to come in the future.

5 out of 5 - PERFECT SCORE




Fred [The Wolf] said...

Couldn't agree more. Great review!

[Retro-Zombie] said...

This movie does it, does it good... and finally a HULK character that doesn't suck. I want to see it again, period. Did you stay until the very end... classic!


One down fall... not enough Stan Lee!

The Man-Cave said...

Thanks guys! Glad you guys liked the film and the review. Can't wait for a sequel.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Saw it early on Friday - awesome beyond all awesome! One of the few movies I can't wait to go see again.

Andrei S. said...

Couldn't agree more with your review, except for the 3D thing. It may have just been the cinema where I watched the film, but I found the 3D to be mostly lackluster and, aside from one or two scenes, completely unnecessary.

The Man-Cave said...

Alex - I think I need to see this at least one more time as well, so i'm with you on that. Even with its high expectations, the greatly exceeded them.

Andrei - Maybe it was your theater? I thought the effect were great. My wife dragged me to see Titanic in 3D a couple weeks back. Now THAT was unnecessary 3D. :)

Craig Edwards said...

Terrific review! I agree with you down the line! Cheers!

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