Superheroes team up in ‘The Avengers’
Published: Friday, May 4, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) mentions at one point in “The Avengers” (now in theaters, finally) that the world sometimes needs something old-fashioned. Despite having the largest group of superheroes ever assembled on the big screen, top-of-the line CGI effects, cinematography, editing, directing and writing by master storyteller Joss Whedon and a remarkable cast of actors behind the larger-than-life characters, this is an old-fashioned blockbuster.
A review for one of the biggest movies in recent memory is probably not necessary for those who have already seen the movie (or plan to see it). So I will make my case for those who are not into superhero movies.
You don’t have be a devoted follower of all these characters or even a Marvel fan to enjoy this blockbuster. I have never picked up a copy of Captain America or Iron Man in my life. But I have enjoyed the film adaptations and what Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. have brought to their respective roles.
The spirit of “The Avengers” is old-fashioned. You have bad guys (led by Loki) who want to take over Earth.
You have the good guys (led by Nick Fury) who need to get their stuff together before they can fight the bad guys. Chaos ensues. Egos are bruised. Someone gets very, very angry.
“The Avengers” is a great time at the movies. It’s not going to make you question your faith in your favorite superhero, like what Christopher Nolan is doing with Batman. “The Dark Knight” is one of the most remarkable movies of the last decade and “The Dark Knight Rises” promises to be even more remarkable. But c’mon, isn’t a blockbuster supposed to offer an escape from real life?
“The Avengers” is more than just clashes and conquests between Marvel’s best. There are moments which reflect how these guys struggle to adapt to their new environment.
Tony Stark (Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers (Captain America, Chris Evans) go head-to-head. “Suit up, let’s go a few rounds,” said Captain America, determined to knock Stark off his skyscraper-length pedestal.
Dr. David Banner (Mark Ruffalo) is constantly fighting back his urge to transform into “The Hulk,” going as far as being secluded in the lab where he can work to find the Tesseract, a powerful energy source that Loki has released. Natasha, a.k.a. the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), has a debt to pay to Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), who is under Loki’s mind control.
Individually, they are extraordinarily talented experts in their crafts. Together, they are going to tear each other apart unless Nick Fury and Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg, reprising his role from “Thor”) can instill some hard knocks and get them to set aside their egos to save their home planet.
A job position for a mediator for a super group has never looked so exciting — and dangerous.
My personal favorite fighting scene (out of all of them, which includes a very lengthy fight scene in the finale) was between Iron Man, Captain America and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), who crashes the party and tries to take Loki (Tom Hiddleston, who is a tad bit more over-the-top here than in “Thor”) back to Asgard.
Thor reluctantly joins “The Avengers,” since many believe he can get through Loki and find the Tesseract. The demigod also wants to get Dr. Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard, also reprising his role from “Thor”) off the same mind control that Clint is stuck in.
Whedon is the right man for this movie. He provided each character their own arc while intertwining them into the big picture. And the man does have a way with dialogue. In one scene, Thor attempts to not go against Loki. “No matter what has happened, Loki is still my brother,” he said. “He’s killed 80 people in two days,” said Natasha. “He was adopted,” replied Thor.