This week, Papa Kenn reviews the movie so many have been waiting for, Marvel’s THE AVENGERS!
Director: Joss Whedon
Writers: Joss Whedon, Zak Penn
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johannson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders
Wow. Just…wow. As of the time of this recording, The Avengers has made over $1 billion worldwide, with almost 400 million coming from the United States alone. And we got the movie late! Hollywood must have put us in timeout for letting Sandler and Michael Bay continue to make movies. While money doesn’t always speak for the quality of a movie, rest assured that The Avengers has more than earned its status as a $1 billion blockbuster!
Because of all the praise and publicity it had been getting from critics and my friends alike, I went into the theater in a frame of mind that often spells disaster for movies: I had high expectations. The movie proceeded to take those high expectations and blew them away in one of the most glee-filled experiences of my nerdy 27-year-old life. Marvel gave Joss Whedon their box of toys and said “have fun!” And boy, did he ever.
As the writer and director of this film, you can tell that The Avengers is just as much a dream come true for Joss as it was for all of us joyous little comic nerds. It shows in every scene and every bit of dialogue as the fantasies so many of us had as kids (or adults that never quite grew up, but whatever)!
Whether you loved or hated the stream of movies leading up to this event (Iron Man 1 and Captain America being my personal favorites), there is no denying that the movie brought each hero together in a magnificent way. Best of all, the balance of screen time everyone gets is excellent in that the less developed characters (Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Nick Fury) really feel like part of the team, and not just token characters along for the ride.
Then if there is anyone else like me that was originally upset by the decision to cast Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk instead of Ed Norton, have no fear. Much as I enjoyed Norton in The Incredible Hulk, Ruffalo is perfect in this role and Hulk totally steals the show every time he is on screen.
Of the complaints I’ve seen people mention, the two most common appear to be 1) the story is nonexistent or too simple, and 2) the dialogue is bad. I’m not sure I saw the same movie as these people, but to address those…
1) No, the story is not nonexistent and it is not too simple. It is simple in a way that works perfectly for this movie however, because there are 7 heroes (if you count Nick Fury)! That is pushing the boundaries of main characters for most movies, let alone the numerous secondary characters and villains! The simple plot leaves room for a proper balance in the characters and character development.
2) Ok, there were certain lines in the movie that fell flat or felt overly forced. But the dialogue as a whole? Absolutely not. I can forgive a few lame lines here. I mean come on, it’s not like strangely delivered lines ruined The Dark Knight. [play clip from Joker Interrogation Spoof]
This can lead into a whole debate as to whether The Avengers is better than The Dark Knight, but that is an argument for another day. For now let’s just say I love them both equally as a mother loves her babies. Right now I just love Avengers a little more because it started walking around like a big boy and bought me a new car. Fueled by the Tesseract. With a leather driver’s seat made from Black Widow’s outfits. And Scarlett Johannson riding shotgun…sorry, I got distracted for a moment there.
For people like me, The Avengers is sweet manna from heaven in visual form, and is like a drug because you NEED to see it again and again! Outside of that incredibly nerdy demographic, the general public is sure to love it as well. In fact, I believe most of them already have. To the tune of over $1 billion. Mr. Whedon, and the entire cast of The Avengers…I apologize for ever doubting you.
In general, I’d say that The Avengers ranks in at a 9…but screw that.
11 out of 10!
I’m Papa Kenn, and The Avengers is MARVEL-ous! Later.