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merrillmind reviews THE AVENGERS!
The BEST comic book movie of all time is also the most important film made since STAR WARS was released back in May 1977! SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT
MARVEL and Joss Whedon have made a Masterpiece and a reminder of what movie making should be with the most imaginative film released since STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE!
Tom Hiddleston is extraordinary from his fiery entrance to his Hulk thrashing he sells the god of mischief to a tee building upon while outshining all the great moments he had in THOR. The great part of Loki is he's not Thanos he's a brat who just has amassed an army for his mischief and is too busy enjoying pushing peoples buttons then actually seizing the earth. The Avengers will someday have to face a foe who truly has no humor to him just a path or malevolence and I look forward to see how or what it takes to stop that threat but it was more than enough to watch Loki make Widows skin crawl to show that even if he isn't very good at being a supreme ruler he's still a rotten bastard. The look on his face after the Hulk puts him in his place is priceless showing a defeated brat who's lost all the power he thought he possessed I eagerly await what Hiddleston brings next to the character in THOR 2.
Samuel L. Jackson finally gets time to actually show who Nick Fury is and it's great to watch. Fury is not really angry but instead we see a very saddened man who is doing all he can to prevent his planet from the brink of destruction. Fury cant be an avenger because he cant be straight up with the team he has to keep things close to the chest and lie because in a world that needs protecting at all costs someone has to. With out a doubt though Jackson also shows the stoic bad ass Fury who will fight for his ship before it goes down and just fire a rocket launcher at someone who threatens the peace he's fighting for and when the second jet makes it off the Hellicarrier the first thing he does is pull out his gun which shows that he's ready to fight even though sometimes he cant help he always ready to do what it takes for the Earth and that has made him a very strong but deeply sad man he needs hope he needs to believe in heroes because he isn't enough nomatter how much he'd like to be.
Jeremy Renner if you ever watched him act whether it in a oscar worthy performance from THE HURT LOCKER or just an episode of HOUSE MD. has proved again he doesn't always need the most screen time to make his presence felt. Spending most of the film under Lokis control Renner is a bad ass from start to finish so precise and even more so when he's finally free from his mental captor. What Renner does so well is give us a great small performance of a huge character and when Hawkeye finally gets the spotlight you cant even argue why he's an avenger he goes from saving a little kid from death to blowing Loki out of thin air. The sequel can't come soon enough especially if don't see his character till then because I can not wait to see more of Clint Barton and theirs allot more to him we'll see someday.
Clark Gregg and Cobie Smulders are both great as members of SHEILD. Agent Maria Hill doesn't get allot of screen time but shes played as she should be with a longing for more in site but with a film that is about The Avengers that never bothered me once and with Agent Coulson gone you can imagine Hill will have a greater responsibility the next time our world is in danger. Yes Coulson is killed but he shows us why we need the Avengers it's not like Coulson isn't a fighter in fact he's ready to fire an untested weapon right into Loki but he's still just a man and cant stop Loki this a lesson our heroes need to learn. Stellan Skarsgard also is well placed and played as Dr Selvig which is even better to see him or Pepper Potts show up with a great scene with Tony Stark to further show that what makes this movie so unique and different is the shared universe that has taken 5 films to build up. Joss was smart for getting gweneth involved because not seeing Pepper would really bring down the great arc we see Tony Stark go through and the last time we saw him he was with Pepper so it was excellent to see her with Tony.
Robert Downey Jr. really deserves a ton of credit for an Avengers movie because without his phenomenal performance back in 2008 we would never gotten the great start MARVEL needed to make this movie happen. This may be the best Tony Stark performance so far because we see off the bat the arrogant self centered billionaire we all know and love but whats great is finally seeing Tony realize what it means to be a real hero and that means that your willing to give your life for the sake of others. The wit I knew would be their but it's watching Downey get emotional on the Hellicarrier and while trying to reach Pepper on the phone that reminds me of what an acting powerhouse this man is. Allot of Stark is the beautifully rendered suit and Joss Whedon manages to show a way to cool machine that takes off his suit while he walks and give the fans the coolest suiting up ever in complete free fall while Tony hurdles towards the ground just sensational.
Scarlett Johanson washes away the bad taste of IRON MAN 2 by giving a great performance written by the foremost man in great female characters. Black Widow is so cold and not a real people person and watching her have to deal with her past while Loki does his best to bring her to tears is really chilling even more so when you realize she was playing him like a sap Whedon shows that he can go dark(briefly) and it makes me wonder if he gets to make the sequel just how bleak it will get for earths mightiest heroes. Scarlett carries the role to great heights especially since were not given any other really fleshed out women in this movie and in the final battle she absolutely stunning why she kills Chitauri and leaps onto a moving spacecraft with no hesitation. I knew Whedon would do Natasha justice and I hope we get to see her before the next avengers movie because with a great script like this one Widow is a must.
Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor and effortlessly stands tall and swings his hammer with all his might. What was great about Thor in this movie was he was his normal self not in need of a lesson and never without the ability to fight anyone even the hulk. We see the struggle Thor has with the love he has for his brother and out of that love trying his best not to have to fight him wether falling for the same old trick or being stabbed we see that in the end Thor loves Loki and would rather always do his best to save him then to destroy him. Although in THOR we see the god of thunder learn humility it is great to see a portion of that arrogance remain and when Thor throws down with his fellow avengers or on alien scum you truly see the power of what he brings to the avengers just electrifying.
Mark Ruffalo deserves an oscar nomination in my opinion giving even considering the great Bill Bixby the best performance as Bruce Banner ever. We see the genius of Banner and his time with Stark is magical to watch yes The other guy is incredible and a sight to look in awe over but that doesn't take away from how drawn you are to Bruce and how bad you want to know his "secret" and when we finally learn that Bruce is always angry it reminds us of just how tortured is every moment of his life living in fear and disgust of himself. Every scene Ruffalo does is so timid but that why it makes such an impact to see the one person who isn't so boisterous just a wonderful casting job and for me and blew Nortons' take out of the water.
Chris Evans is back as the living legend Captain America and his journey of recapturing his role as a leader and hero is fantastic! We see Steve learn that he cant always blindly follow orders that sometime you have to investigate or question authority to make sure that your always doing the rite thing. Watching Cap lead in the final act sent chills down my spine it was the aspect of the film that was worrying me the most before I saw it and I'm glad to say that although it's not until the very end watching Cap lead cements Evans as the only Steve Rodger I ever want to watch. Whether it's Cap telling Hawkeye to save civilians oh yeah that's right another thing that Joss does is have The Avengers actually stop and save people even in the midst of battle that's something I have yet to really get a great sense watching any other comic book movie to date and those moments like Cap rushing into the bank to save a group of people are what all comic book movies need more of from now on. Yes Cap calls the plays but in the end it's part of what he teaches Stark that's incredible because we see Steve understand that he doesn't always have to be the person lay down on the wire because now he's not the only super hero one who doesn't just fight but would make the ultimate sacrifice.
The Hulk steals the show he doesn't take away from how perfect the characters are portrayed and how incredible the movie is but watching MARVEL finally get the big guy right left my jaw on the floor. ILM and WETA have worked hard to give us the first Hulk who resembles Banner and it's nice to watch how banners flabby stomach slowly hardens into the green Goliath. Seeing The Hulk fight Thor was pure joy seeing him struggle to lift Mjolnir and just get angrier was awesome but watching them work together was even better a sight I never thought I'd see. We don't hear Hulk say more than two words but it's enough and you know that even it's not until the sequel or hopefully given the reception a solo film we will hear The Hulk converse much more. The smashing was perfect and when you see him put Loki into his place you will never forget it and always remember why The Hulk is INCREDIBLE and without question one of the coolest super heroes of all time!
And how could I not mention a huge portion is spent aboard the Helicarrier which is one of the coolest setpeices I have ever seen in a film to date rivaling the legendary Death Star. Joss Whedon and everyone at WETA and ILM and the amazing team who built the grand huge real parts of the set finally give comic book fans a true marvelous place from comic lore it makes wonder how great a Watchtower would look in a Justice League film someday(hopefully). The SFX were second to none and the fight choreography was superb really capturing how hard hitting each blow needed to be in this epic.
So in closing THE AVENGERS isn't just the best comic book movie all time it's the most important film made since the first STAR WARS back in May 1977 Joss Whedon has brought back escapism and imagination to cinema just like Lucas did back during a time of war and global unrest. The truth is THE DARK KNIGHT is a phenomenal film but it's no different than THE GODFATHER PART 2 and the world doesn't want gritty realism and be reminded of how terrible the real world is we want to be taken away from that world and escape to a bright colorful one full of imagination. This is the first movie in the genre to finally show anyone who doesn't read comics why we do because it's nice to pick up an issue to read and look at The Avengers or The Justice League battle in outer space to just forget about how bad the economy is or how scary war and terrorism are if only just for a few minutes. This movie is an instant classic with no plot holes as you'll read some people say Joss's script is masterful. The "simple" plot you'll hear people lie about just isn't true this a movie about a team coming together because we need them to we need Avengers and the depth of that realization for our heroes supports every other aspect of the story and each viewing is better than the first as you see that everything is explained theirs just allot going on so it's a movie that demands multiple viewings and seeing how many records this movie is breaking it will be a movie viewed more and more every generation from here out. I hope DC now sees that it can be done because I read comic books not just MARVEL books but anything with great story telling. I hope Joss is left at the helm I'd love to see his "EMPIRE STRIKES BACK" but for now this payoff is more than I could ask for beyond my hopes exceeding all expectations THIS IS WHY WE GO TO THE MOVIES BRAVO JOSS BRAVO.
10 OUT OF 10 MASTERPIECE
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