If you haven’t already smelled the smell of fresh popcorn and found your favorite candy and drinks at your local theater this year, May 4th kicked off the summer season in a big way. Marvel’s slow build to The Avengers finally came to fruition as the action packed super squad hit theaters to kick off blockbuster season in style. It was not a moment too soon for Disney who is still reeling from the fallout of the box office bomb, John Carter, and a box office that was struggling to keep up with projections. However, just because everyone you know has been hyping The Avengers since Iron Man first showed up on the big screen doesn’t mean that the film is the best thing in block buster history—or does it?
Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Nick Furry all team up together to bring you the Marvel super hero movie to end all superhero movies with The Avengers. The Avengers turns out in many ways to be the film that the Fantastic Four franchise could only dream of becoming. From start to finish this film is a non-stop action adventure as you get to see your favorite super heroes, smash, crash, and make snide remarks at the villainous Loki, who plans to enslave Earth after being ousted from his home land of the gods, Asgard. In regards to action, it’s exactly what you expect it to be. The film jumps from character to character to show how their ability to beat their foe is what makes them all the amazing super team they are. Sadly enough, the action almost feels as though it goes on too long at times and I lost interest in the end sequence.
Where the film works well is the squabbling between a group of super heroes and super egos that have never been put in check before. Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark character of course leads the way with an ego that can only rival that of one of the ancient “gods”, Thor. The two of them constantly battling each other in a game of wits and strength makes the film flow quickly and adds to the comic relief of it all. Chris Evans finds a way of being the “buzz kill” of the group, as the Captain America character becomes the “jacktard” of the Avengers. For more info on the definition of the word “Jacktard” please see the comic strip on the side, credited to the people over at Joe Loves Crappy Movies . Captain America’s best moment for me was probably the one part that family friendly Disney required be written in, a scene in which Captain America addresses the fact that there is only 1 God, and it’s not Thor or Loki. Aside from that he tended to be a brooding, whining person constantly complaining about being stuck in modern times. Black Widow and Hawkeye serve little point to the story and don’t really advance too much of the plot through out other than a few moments of comic relief.
My biggest disappointment came in the form of Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk. Ruffalo was the 3rd person took a swing as the big green angry monster, and doesn’t quite deliver. Don’t get me wrong there were many things I liked about Ruffalo’s take on the Hulk. The problem is, he played Bruce Banner like he was a timid wuss, and didn’t really follow the character arc that Edward Norton set up. I was wishing Norton would have returned to the film, but I guess his ego is bigger than the combined super hero egos that were shown on the big screen. I left The Avengers with a bitter sweet sort of thought on the Hulk character.
Joss Whedon does a nice job behind the camera of this action epic, and keeps things on track. He found a very nice way of not focusing too much on any one character and giving everyone equal screen time. It does seem however as though he focuses heavily on Tony Stark, but Downey knows how to steal the show and really is the stand out character both when suited up, and back at Avengers home base. Downey also is probably the most talented actor in the room, and it should come as no surprise that he is stealing the scenes he is in.
In the end, Avengers is exactly what you expect it to be. It’s a fun fluffy popcorn flick that has comic book geeks in full geek mode and has kids bouncing up and down in their seats. It’s selling a ton of tickets, a ton of merchandise and is all around fun. It is released in both 3-D and 2-D forms, and while I saw it in 3-D, I honestly think I could care less about the 3-D displayed on screen. To me, it wouldn’t have been worth the extra cash. However, as a whole Avengers is a nice way to kick off the summer season. Welcome back summer movies— we’ve missed you.