The Avengers – Review

THE AVENGERS (2012) 

Directed by Joss Whedon. Starring Robert Downey Jr.Chris EvansMark RuffaloChris HemsworthScarlett JohanssonJeremy RennerSamuel L. JacksonGwyneth PaltrowTom Hiddleston.

At the time I’m writing this, just 2 weeks after its release, the Avengers (or as it is, stupidly, known in the UK, Avengers Assembled) has already broken all the possible records at the box office (biggest opening, biggest week-end, biggest poster, longest end-credits and so on) and it’s fast and steadily climbing along the list of the top grossing movies in history. So basically no matter what I think or say (read as “bugger off moviegeek!”), this movie is a massive success anyway! To be anti-Avengers would mean being pretty much against anyone who’d be interested in reading this blog… So going into the theatre I had a certain trepidation and fear at the same time… What if I don’t like it? Will I be able to tell my friends… and readers?

Well, you know what? We can all relax, because I actually found the Avengers (I’m sorry, but I refuse to call it with the UK title), not just entertaining, but actually among the best movie about superheros I’ve seen in a while. It is certainly up there with both Spiderman 2 (my favourite from the Spiderman-Raimi trilogy… but then again I have a Spidey soft spot), and, might not be as stylish those first two Nolan-directed Batman movies, but it’s certainly a lot more fun.

If you’re going to see a superhero movie, this is exactly as it should be! And if you’re going to see a movie where lots of superheroes get together, this is exactly as it should be done!

Hats off to Marvel and Joss Whedon, whose gamble seems to have really paid off!

We’ve been teased by tantalising snippets, trailers and film clips for years and the expectations seemed to be just a little bit too grand to be gracefully met… and yet the Avengers is everything it should have been and probably a bit more than that.

It understands exactly what comics are and the kind of wide range audience they are speaking to: for a start it is all very light and tongue-in-cheek the way it should be (after all this is a make-believe-world where people fly, turn green and travel from space), it is very funny (I surprised myself a couple of times laughing out-loud as I had not done in a long time in an action film. There a couple of moments involving the Hulk which caused the biggest and most spontaneous laugh from an audience I can remember since Indiana Jones shot the sword-man in Raiders of the lost Ark). But aside from this, however far-fetched and silly it all is, the action is done skilfully, the story is told with conviction and characters are rooted in enough reality to make it all much more enjoyable, so that even though you know exactly that no superhero is ever going to die, you are still sitting on the edge of your seat trying to work out how on earth they’re all going to come out alive.

The film is beautifully balanced, filmed and crafted with meticulous attention by a studio and a director who clearly care and they are not just going for the big explosions a-la Transformers (though, you do get those too!). Whedon has created a something for the hard-core fans, the geeks and nerds but also the freshman, the first-timer and the novice. He gives each character the right amount screen-time and whoever you’re a fan of, you won’t feel shortchanged. He created the perfect baddie, he orchestrated the smoothest actions scenes, fast and yet always clear. He even answered the ultimate geeky questions like “Who’s stronger Thor or Captain America? Iron Man or the Hulk?”, but on the other hand he was always aware of his newcomers and gives them enough information to be able to enjoy the film and follow the story without resorting to boring expositions.

Clocking at around 2 hours and a half the Avengers rarely looses its steam (it has a bit of a dip just before the last battle, but it picks up straight away and it’s hardly noticeable): yes you may argue both the two great action set-pieces go on for a little too long, but there are so many characters to follow, that it’s a weakness I’m willing to forgive.

The Special Effects are pretty seamless and the music is well judged throughout: you get the hero theme, but also you get the silence when there should be some. Even the 3D wasn’t as annoying as it usually is and the retro-fitting was very well done too.

Of course, it’s ludicrous, but hey, it’s the Avengers, it’s not a arty-French drama!  To be honest I had not had so much fun watching an action movie in a long time! Only one suggestion: try to watch it in a packed cinema with an audience of fans and just go with it!

Does it deserve to be the third top grossing movie in history? Certainly not, but as long as it knocks down Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest I’m happy.

7.5/10

CHECK OUT MY OTHER REVIEWS OF SUPERHEROES:

Thor

Captain America

Green Lantern

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10 Responses to The Avengers – Review

  1. Emma says:

    I had great fun watching this too.

  2. Lyra says:

    I really laughed watching this film! I’m not so used to superheroes films, but I’m so proud to tell you I noticed and (more valuable!) understood all the jokes of Tony Stark! :D
    So the character I prefered in this film was Hulk…. Poor Loki!!! XD
    That’s all, the risk for me of spoiling something is to high!

  3. InsanityChecker says:

    Hey MovieGeek! Great review. I thought the film was great, and unusually for a Superhero film, it was very well acted throughout. Special mention to Mark Ruffallo. Can you imagine what Ang Lee could have done with him??? Anyway, keep up the good work…

    • MovieGeek says:

      I don’t think I want to imagine that. This was the first time I actually liked the Hulk!

      • InsanityChecker says:

        What??? I’d have thought you’d have liked the first one. Ah well. Anyway, what did you think of the Skyfall trailer?

        • MovieGeek says:

          Yes, Skyfall!! That’s something I’m really looking forward to. It looks pretty damn stylish!! However the one i’m dying to see is Prometheus. Only a few days left… ;)

          • Ah, Prometheus! I hope that Sir Ridley doesn’t let us down. Along with Dark Knight, Spiderman, Moonrise Kingdom and, of course, Skyfall, this could be a cinematic year to remember! And then there’s Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film to look forward to. Wowsers!

  4. Panama says:

    The truth is, The Avengers could turn out to be the Marvel equivalent of Frank Miller’s The Spirit and Joe Quesada would still call it the quintessential superhero movie. That said, it’s worth noting that word around the Hollywood water cooler — from Robert Downey Jr. to James Gunn – says that Joss Whedon’s screenplay is rather fantastic. And while we’re scrutinizing every last detail of things: could Quesada’s ‘out of this world’ comment be a sly wink at those recent rumors about The Avengers villains being aliens ?

  5. Fresh from seeing The Dark Knight Rises a couple of days ago, I still think that The Avengers is the better superhero movie. With the critical acclaim and fan boy love that The Dark Knight Rises is gaining, it’s too serious for me. I like the playfulness in The Avengers.

  6. Great Review! Here is my take if you’d like to read: http://mostrecentlywatched.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/theavengers

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