Like millions of other people around the world, I watched the Avengers this weekend. I went into the movie excited, but ultimately not knowing what to expect. Like every body else I had seen the hand full of scenes mashed together to make up trailers, and was excited about it. In my mind though, there was still margin for error.
I went on opening night, it was crowded and you could feel the anticipation in the air as every body in the packed theater was gearing up for the show. Quiet whispers between friends rang out about what each other had read or expected to see. The crowd was a mixed bag. Not just comic book fans, but parents and kids, and casual movie goers who wanted to see a good movie and was hoping for the best. What they got, I'm not sure anyone expected.
Marvel's The Avengers (I hate that I have to put Marvel in front of that) is a pivotal moment in movie history. After this movie the Super Hero movie genre has changed. It raised the bar perhaps. I have never seen a movie like this before. There are a lot of characters and there was a lot of chance for characters to over shadow one another. Not one character seemed to get too much screen time. It may be the most balanced character movie I have ever seen.
The movie had a lot of elements that worked. The humor worked perfectly throughout the entire move. The most obvious parts revolving around the hulk. The theater would erupt in uproarious laughter as the hulk would Punch Thor, and just destroy Loki!
The part that really worked for me though was the capturing of super heroics, and super villainy. You really get the idea that each of these characters are above the bar of a normal person. they can take punches and lightning blasts, and get back up. They can go at each other in a way that normal people can not do. The movie portrayed this well. The depiction of Loki also makes me feel like this this the best onscreen super villain I have seen in a movie. He has changed since the Thor movie. He is a full fledged villain now. He had ridiculous ambitions ambitions and is a bit crazy. There is a scene where he is forcing a group of people to bow to him. It is in this scene where I feel they conjured a perfect feel of how Jack Kirby envisioned his evil gods. Not just the marvel gods within Thor etc. . . but also his DC gods with the New Gods and Darkeseid. Though there are a lot of Modern sensibilities to this movie, there are a lot of Kirby Throwbacks as well.
The action in the movie watched like a comic book. There is a scene toward the end where they are showing how wide scale this battle is by following one of or heroes and then they pass another one and then the camera follows them and then they pass another one, and so on. I feel like this shows the heroics as well in a way I have never seen a comic book movie do before! It shows how vast a single battle can be and how the team works together on a wide scale!
As for characters, I felt like every one of them got their fair share of time. All the characters were portrayed fantastically. While I think none of the actors stood out above any of the others, I do have to complement the portrayal of the Hulk. This is the first time I have ever been interested in a screen version of the hulk. Of course they gave the hulk the majority of the comic relief bits so I'm sure that helped. I was captured by the portrayal, and was very appreciative of where they took the character not only of the hulk but also of Bruce Banner.
One of the big points of this movie is team building, every one of the scenes really push to the point that this is a team. A new team learning to work together, even as the individuals work through their own issues. In the end the trust is built and there is no doubt that this is a true team! Of course, Joss Whedon made this a priority.
I heard some thoughts before the movie that there was a fear of what direction Whedon would take with the movie. No one knew, while Whedon has shown his directing chops for certain types of stories we have never really seen anything he has done to this scale. He hit it! You could feel that this whole thing was a labor of love. The energy that his direction brought was unmatched. His vision made its way to the forefront and made this movie a success.
I only have a few criticisms of this movie. For me it had a slow
start. I felt there was a lot of back story that they used to get the
avengers together, which, I have to admit, worried me at first, but then
it jumped into hyper drive. Once it picked up I forgot all about my thoughts of a slow start.
My other criticism goes back, and is personal so should be taken with a grain of salt. I have been upset for a while that they felt the need to use hawk eye and black widow in this movie and did not use Ant Man and Wasp. I tend to be a Kirbyist, so anything that can take be back to those first issues, I am going to prefer. and the fact that Henry Pym is so important to the Marvel universe it seems silly to leave him out. That siad, I know that he was going to be in the movie early on, but other things got in the way.
This movie was fantastic. I wanted to go back in and see it again after I got out of the theater. It is a movie I plan on seeing multiple times in the theater, because the experience of the theater is part of it for this movie. This is a game changer, and if you get a chance you need to see it regardless of what you think about super heroes or Robert Downy Jr, or Joss Whedon. Watch this movie!
My thoughts continue below but they may be of a spoilery fashion so I warn you the below may contain after credits spoilers:
And with the end of the movie comes credits and as we have become accustomed to you need to stay after the credits (all of them there are two scenes). The first scene is the important one, the one that pushes us toward another movie (which I assume is the next Avengers movie) I suspect this will be the new movie arc in all of the other Character movies. A new Character is introduced, He is not named but comic fans will know him as Thanos, a character who is most well known for being the wearer of the infinity gauntlet. It will be interesting to see where they go with the Thanos arc. This may have actually been my favorite part of the movie!