Action Movie Fanatix Review: The Avengers


Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson

Director: Joss Whedon

2012  |  143 Minutes  |  PG-13

“Hulk, smash!” – Captain America

The Avengers has basically been a work in progress since The Incredible Hulk came out in 2008.  Since then we have seen four other films leading up to the release of The Avengers.  Man was the wait worth it!

When Loki (Tom Hiddleston) steals the Tesseract, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and S.H.I.E.L.D. must activate The Avengers Initiative, gathering the Earth’s mightiest heroes.  Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) are brought together to form The Avengers.  Loki uses the Tesseract to summon the Chitauri, an alien race of warriors, to Earth to destroy it.  The Avengers as well as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) team to fight off the Chitauri and stop Loki.

The Avengers gives us a huge reason for this team to be put together.  Loki summons an enemy force that could likely take over the entire planet if not for The Avengers Initiative.  These six completely different heroes don’t just come together for the heck of it.  It was a necessity.  It was important for this to be the case for this movie universe.  In the comics we don’t need to have a huge reason why super heroes form super teams, we just accept it for what it is.  With a movie a large portion of the audience isn’t going to be a comic nerd who just accepts things at face value.

The thing that impressed me most about The Avengers was that it wasn’t just a movie about a team of six superheroes.  It was very much about six individual personalities coming together and showed us the conflict that was caused with that.  We are also shown that each hero has a reason to be on this team.  No one is made to look weak even when it would seem some are much more powerful than others.

I was concerned that Captain American (one of my personal favorites) would be made to look weak compared to Iron Man, Thor and Hulk and questioned whether they would put him in the leadership role that he has in the comics since it appears that Iron Man has ben the most successful Avenger at the box office.  Then we got the awesome fight between Thor and Iron Man which is interrupted by Captain America who shows that he can stand his own against both.  And when The Avengers initially hit ground zero Cap instantly starts spouting out orders.  The Avengers leader is born.

I then wondered how Black Widow and Hawkeye would be able to contribute to this super team and they stood their own on many instances.

Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of Loki is superior even to his work in the Thor movie.  He is evil, no doubt, but there is more to him than just being a one dimensional baddie.  He is an evolving character and I am sure we have not seen the last of him.

The action sequences didn’t wuss out either.  Many movies tend to give short bursts of action in between the various story building scenes.  The Avengers has a great story but when it comes time to throw down they do it in a big way.  The final battle is as epic as it is meant to be.  We are treated to a solid 20 minutes of straight action all over New York.  Ultimately this means that The Avengers isn’t your typical quick 90 minute movie but the extended sit time is definitely worth it.  The final battle is not only a great payoff to this movie but also to all of the Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk movies leading up to it.

My only real complaint is that the heroes just can’t seem to keep their masks/helmets on.  Its kind of a fanboy complaint, I know.  And I know Hollywood wants to see the actors’ pretty faces but superheroes should really make a more concerted effort to keep their masks on.

I could not be happier with how The Avengers turned out.  I can’t even find much to complain about.  It is absolutely a fantastic film and the fact that it has earned more than a BILLION dollars at the box office is proof of that.  I look forward to seeing what Marvel does with Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!