With years of buildup, and a series of films leading it up to it, The Avengers is probably the one of most hyped films of the decade. I remember feeling last summer, that it had built of an unreachable level of expectation. Some of the lead-in films (Iron Man, Captain America) are among the best of the superhero genre. I didn’t think it would be possible for this film to please the masses, but I have been proven wrong. While I think Captain America is still the best of The Avengers movies, this one managed to balance six strong personalities without feeling overloaded.
The film succeeds at having six superheros, some played by A-list actors, share the screen and not letting anyone dominate or get lost in the shuffle. Each has their own personality and their own point of view. One thing I found interesting is that they are mostly evenly matched. When Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America fight early in the film, it ends in a draw. In the film’s climax, they all need each other, each bring their own strength to the battle. Even the members with less mystical power (Black Widow, Hawkeye) play their part. I found the climaxes in the other films a little too easy for the hero, but this was a very well executed battle scene where I was genuinely worried for a minute there.
I tend to not be big into seeing the film opening weekend. Too crazy and if a film turns out to be a complete disappointment, I can save my thirteen bucks (big city dweller). However, sometimes this leads to people who saw the movie already, foaming at the mouth about how great it was, and the inevitable disappoint that follows. The internet has been in a tizzy about Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of Hulk, and while he does a great job in the role, it wasn’t exactly what I was promised. I was expecting every line he spoke to be hilarious but I left the theater without a single quote sticking out in my head. I found his sadness and hopelessness about his situation very well done but I wouldn’t say he owned the film by any means. Maybe if I saw either of the other Hulk films, the performance would be more of a triumph for me, but I didn’t really see what all the gushing was about.
One thing that did surprise me is that I didn’t hate Scarlett Johansen in this movie. I usually can’t stand her! Black Widow was fairly bad ass by being smart enough to manipulate any interrogation while tough enough to hold her own in battle. Her introduction scene had some great fight choreography. Cobie Smulders also held her own, playing a character way out of her comfort zone, as she is best known as Robin on How I Met Your Mother. However, this shouldn’t be that much of a surprise as director Joss Whedon is known for creating female characters who can be strong yet feminine.
Joss Whedon wrote and directed the film, but I didn’t see a ton of Whedon in there. The most Whedon moment is at the very end, in the pretty cute after credits scene. Maybe he chose to hold back seeing that he was working on something bigger than him. I think my biggest issue was that some of the major plot stuff was glossed over either to make room for more character stuff or because they didn’t know the answers themselves. Regardless, I will be checking out future Avengers movies.