by Jesus Ibarra
Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.
Wow just wow. Those were the first words that I could utter after watching the midnight premiere of Marvel’s The Avengers directed by Joss Whedon. After two and a half hours of just being blown away with constant amazing scenes I was literally spent. The amount of comic book fanboy moments in this film was insane and they were all so amazingly well done.
As a comic book nerd and film enthusiast who leans more on the Marvel side of things I will now say that this is the definitive comic book movie of all time, it surpasses everything Marvel has done, and every superhero movie made in the last decade (yes that includes The Dark Knight). Now let me get my bias out of the way: I was going to love this movie even if it sucked, why? Because even if the movie sucked, the pure ambition, scope, and pieces this movie had to bring together was going to be incredibly difficult if not impossible. In fact, part of the whole appeal of this movie is watching how the hell they pull off an ensemble movie with six, that’s right, six established characters in their own right and all famous actors with some serious acting chops. But man did they pull it off, and I attest that to Joss Whedon’s vision for the film and the love everybody involved seemed to have for this film to be made.
And it’s not just Whedon’s take on the Avengers, it is the Avengers come to life. In addition, I think Joss Whedon understood that he couldn’t just hijack the movie, although the classic Whedon wit and banter came through Tony Stark and some awesome sight gags, just like the actors portraying the Avengers knew they couldn’t hijack the movie either. So after having seen it twice I am telling you to go watch this movie. For the next part of my review I am going to highlight some of the best things I loved about the film, I will be as light on spoilers as possible, but if you want to avoid any spoilers even perceived then stop reading and go watch the movie already! Oh and please stay after the credits, especially if you are comic book geek, because someone familiar makes an appearance that you will love.
1. This is the best translation of comic book movie, without using the whole comic style shooting done by some other movies. The core of the characters, the actions sequences, and the banter feel like they came from some of the best Avengers comics without relying on the comic book format. There is a sequence near the end of the movie where the camera pans to all of our heroes from one to another kicking ass and it is probably one of the best sequences I have ever seen.
2. The stakes are real, and our heroes know it. The line in the trailers where Loki tells Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury how desperate he is to have been forced to bring together a group of people who have no business being together is true yet they come together anyways. Although I won’t spoil the catalyst, our heroes come to an understanding that not one of them on their own will be able to be THE HERO, that if they want to win they have to work together. Once they get there, man do they work together, and what’s even more amazing is that they genuinely want to be there in the thick of it, there are no reluctant heroes here that are forced to be heroes. Which leads me to my next point.
3. The film celebrates the innate nobility of humans. By which it explores our ability to stand up for what’s right, and to would be tyrants. Most of this is quickly explored through Thor, who unlike his brother Loki who wants to crush and rule humanity, has come to love humans and respect them. The movie dispenses with cynicism and goes for the optimism that people will do the right thing when it comes down to it. There is a scene early in the film, where one old man stands up to Loki telling him there will always be men like him, and they will always fail.
4. It’s actually funny. It’s not funny in the comedic joke sense, but the sight gags, and banter are funny in the sense that it’s witty humor. And some of the best sight gags come from Mark Ruffalo’s the Hulk who probably has one of the best lines of the film following a fight, “Puny god.” Yea I let you think about what happened before that film.
5. It’s the best Hulk done ever. They finally got the Hulk right, and not just in the CGI motion capture sense, but Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner was perfect. I’ll admit I wasn’t too excited when he was cast, but man was I wrong. His mannerisms, way of speaking, and interaction with the rest of the cast was amazing and convincing of who the character was.
6. The character team ups and relationships formed were so freaking satisfying. Without getting overly spoilerish the characters that team up together or actually become friends was so awesome to see. Thor and Captain America fighting alongside each other and eventually getting some mutual respect for each other was so good. And Tony Stark and Bruce Banner hitting it off on a scientist level was so fun, that it left the Hulk loving Tony Stark which you see in the end of the film.
7. This had some of the best acting I have ever seen, everyone gets their moment. The problem with such a big film with six leads is that maybe not everyone would have gotten their moment. Well that isn’t the case here, every single character got their moment. No line of dialogue was wasted, it all served its purpose. From Samuel Jackson’s sorrowful Nick Fury to Chris Evans’ Captain America who is out of time in a country he doesn’t recognize as he left it in the 1940s, it was all spectacular. Which leads me to my final point.
8. For me Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark steals the movie. Many people have been saying the Hulk is the scene-stealer, but for me it was Tony Stark the Iron Man who stole the film. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an Iron Man film, it didn’t revolve around just the character of Tony Stark, but man did Robert Downey Jr. act his ass off to make me love his arc here. Where Steve Roger’s Captain America is the definitive leader of this group, Tony Stark’s Iron Man would have to be the heart. The climax of the film is about Iron Man and the team’s reaction and involvement with him. But more, that final sequence with him made me so sad and happy. And Robert Downey Jr.’s face at the climax was so perfect that I nearly died of happiness.
Check out the trailer on the movie website.
The Avengers is now playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website.