If you are wondering whether or not to see The Avengers, whether or not the movie could possibly live up to the hype, wonder no more. Go see the freaking movie as soon as you finish reading this review because it ROCKS.
If you look at it logically, how could this movie NOT rock? You have a demi-god, a living legend (who does an awesome job holding up the legend part), a brilliant doctor with a massive anger management problem, the world’s greatest archer (sorry DC and Green Arrow), the world’s greatest spy, AND the icing on the cake — a billionaire philanthropist playboy genius inventor who happens to own some really cool suits of armor.
Not impressed? How about Samuel L. Jackson? In a freaking EYEPATCH! Yes! Jules Winnfield / Jedi Master Mace Windu is the man behind getting this superhero buffet together.
Oh, before I forget, one other thing. Joss Whedon wrote the script and directed the movie. What’s that? You don’t know who Joss Whedon is? Crap, dude, you live under a rock? He’s ONLY a guy who “plain and simple wakes up in the morning to piss excellence” — to paraphrase Ricky Bobby. I mean, come on, the guy made a hugely successful and long running TV show out of a vampire chasing cheerleader. If he can turn that chicken sh. . . . um feathers, yeah, chicken feathers (sorry mama) premise into chicken salad, how could a fanboy like him miss with the kind of material The Avengers bring to the table?
Seriously, the script is very well written. The first half of the movie gets everyone in place without resorting to an over abundance of deus ex machina and the second half of the film lets the newly assembled, torn apart, and reassembled-with-resolute-purpose team loose to take care of the bad guys. The pacing just doesn’t lag. You aren’t sitting in the seats going “When is something important going to happen?” Important stuff is happening all the time, but in an easily followed fashion . . . . sort of like — and I’m really going fishing here — A COMIC BOOK!
What makes this movie work is it never takes itself too seriously. This is a fantastic action film that will make everyone involved with it a tandem-axle dump truck load of money. It is NOT an Oscar vehicle. The witty one-liners and sight gags abound, but they aren’t all dumped on one character. Everyone has a great line or scene or two — even the guy playing Galaga on his terminal while the SHIELD ship is under attack.
With all the huge stars in this film the potential for someone to want to hog the screen had to be overbearing, but everyone gets plenty of screen time. That brings up another point of excellence in the movie — all the casting was spot on. I think casting Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man is probably the most underrated but important move a director has made since someone picked a collie to play Lassie. Downey IS Tony Stark. He doesn’t even have to act. Mark Ruffalo, meanwhile, is the best Dr. David Banner since Bill Bixby famously said, “Don’t make me angry, sir. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry!” Jeremy Renner and the ever lovely ScarJo play their roles as physically perfect but non-superpowered members of the team to perfection as well. One piece of bad news though, girls, Chris Helmsworth / Thor never takes his shirt off in this film. In short, it’s an ensemble cast of established and rising starts who interact extremely well and make the movie a huge success and a ton of fun to watch.
Watching the movie is like reading a comic book complete with the same breathlessness and desire to turn the page. It also stays in the ballpark with established comic book canon. Not every little detail matches up, but enough stays behind from the Lee and Kirby days to make us purists happy. All in all, The Avengers gives viewers all the excitement and value for our entertainment dollar that a really good comic book movie ought to give and for longtime Marvel fanboys like me, that’s all we ask for.
So, love y’all, keep those feet clean, aaaannnnddd
Bring on Iron Man 3!