Mark Julian Reviews THE AVENGERS

I saw The Avengers and lived to tell about it. Joss Whedon delivers everything you could ask for and then some as Earth's Mightiest Heroes 'assemble' on the big screen for a larger-than-life adventure that begs for repeat viewings [Spoilers Within].

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By Mark Julian - 5/4/2012


Life can sometimes [often] disappoint you when you have to stick with things for the long haul. Sometimes that final payoff falls a tad short of what you dreamed it would be.  Can you cope with that disappointment? Many fanboys and casual moviegoers alike have voiced just such a concern in regards to Marvel Studios.  There's a prevailing notion that Marvel caught lightning in a bottle with the first Iron Man and would never rise to such successful heights with any subsequent film release.  Sure Iron Man II made more money but it didn't set the world on fire like its predecessor and was critically panned.  Even movies such as Thor, The Incredible Hulk and Captain America: The First Avenger, while good, didn't quite generate the buzz and Marvel euphoria that the first Iron Man created.  So the endgame of the 'first phase' as Kevin Feige likes to call those films, culminates in our heroes all coming together to fight a battle that no single hero could hope to win alone.  Everyone knew this was coming but could Marvel pull it off,  could it be bigger and better than the first  Iron Man , could The Avengers  be bigger and better than all the previous films combined?  Despite some minor plot issues and convenient story developments, The Avengers is everything you hoped it would be and sidesteps all the critical movie traps that were lying in wait to doom such a complex, and briskly paced movie venture.



Before I heap oodles and oodles of praise on Joss Whedon [and trust me I will], let's focus on where the film is a little murky.  Each actor portrayed their character in such an uncanny, believable fashion that it's going to be hard to pick up a comic book and not be ticked off that Black Widow doesn't look like Scarlett Johanson or  Bruce Banner doesn't look like Mark Ruffalo, the onscreen personas were that good. You can search and search all the way down to "Panicked Civilian #45"  and you won't find a single weak performance.  I feel sorry for the actors who will one day [hopefully, not too soon] follow in their footsteps.  However, I do have a few misgivings about the characters, not in how they were portrayed but in what happened around them.  It's minutia but it still nagged my subconscious during the 3am ride home. The Hulk  steals the show, as you've probably heard numerous times by now, but what bugs me is that one minute he's fighting Black Widow and Thor and then a few scenes later he's fighting alongside the heroes and wreaking havoc amongst Loki's army of Chitauri. Unless I missed something, there's nothing in the movie that overtly explains this rather sudden change of alignment.  Sure, you can make a lot of assumptions as to why this happens but that's a loose end no matter how you look at it.  Also, the convenient plot-point that Dr. Selvig, played by Stellan Skarsgård, would [Extreme Spoiler] resist Loki's Infinity Gem [fairly certain that's what that was] and build a fail-safe in his portal machine is a large pill to swallow. It was shown that Loki had complete control over the "hearts" he ensnared, so why Dr. Selvig of all people would be able to resist is a little odd. [End Spoiler] The only other head scratcher is the Chituari all shutting down like laptops out of battery juice when Iron Man bombed the mother-ship. This particular plot point has been done in prior sci-fi movies but usually our protagonists discover the link between the invaders and the mother-ship first and then launch a deliberate attack rather than the mere happenstance that unfolded in the climax.  Luckily, you're having so much fun and you're so entertained and engrossed with the film that these hiccups don't really register, it was only after the film and during the ride home that I began to second-guess some of the plot developments.



 Now we can start the praise fest.  It is evident that Whedon, as script writer and director, had complete control of the film.  The pacing was superb even better than what Jon Favreau gave us back in 2008.  This wasn't a slow burner, the movie grabbed you by the neck from the opening jump and then applied increasing pressure for the next 2 hrs and 23 minutes.  The wit in the film is so sharp and crisp that it creates a feeling that these are your friends on the big screen and they're sharing inside jokes that only you understand.  In a packed theater of howling fans Whedon has managed to create a movie that makes it feel as if you're in the theater alone.  Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark is just as, if not more funny than he was in the first Iron  Man  and plays perfectly off the straight-man performance delivered by his counterpoint, Chris Evan's Steve Rogers.  While it would've been very easy to devote a large chunk of the film to these two characters, everyone is given equal footing and screen time.  The world building continues in the form of Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, as her back-history is fleshed out as well as her past relationship with Hawkeye in a memorable dialogue exchange with Tom Hiddleston's Loki. Stark and Banner were the stars of the film but Whedon's "signature touch" makes Black Widow a scene stealer. The fight choreography and SFX were stellar and really showcased precisely what each Avenger brings to the table.  The most damage was done by Hulk and Thor but Cap definitely held his own and everyone from Black Widow to Agent Coulson got their chance to shine.  The cinematography and editing, while not spectacular, are solid and allow Whedon's strengths to come to the forefront.  It must be very tempting as a director to know that you have the ability to put a signature visual stamp à la Tarantino or Malick on a film that's likely to be seen by a large audience who have never seen your work.  It's a chance to reinvent yourself or craft that identity for yourself that you always wanted.  Thankfully, Whedon doesn't attempt to do this.  The film doesn't have a sweeping visual moment but there are a few creative and unique camera angles that present the peril and characters in new and interesting ways.  The plot, while tweaked and modernized is a combination of both the original  616 and Ultimate versions of how the team came together.  It combines the nostalgia of the original written by Stan Lee with the bravado and cynicism of  Mark Millar's The Ultimates.  On paper it seems like an odd mixture but it unequivocally works on the silver screen.



The Avengers  possesses stellar character portrayals, fluid fight choreography, unparalleled wit and charm along with solid camera work and editing.  These aspects of the film are so good that you'll completely excuse the few plot elements that are just a smidgen dull. The Avengers by Joss Whedon earns a---




9.5/10   





The Avengers is an upcoming American superhero film produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. It is the sixth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast, which includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson. In The Avengers, Nick Fury, director of the peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D., recruits Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America to save the world from destruction.

Development of The Avengers began when Marvel Studios received a grant from Merrill Lynch in April 2005. After the success of the film Iron Man in May 2008, Marvel announced that The Avengers would be released in July 2011. With the signing of Scarlett Johansson in March 2009, the film was pushed back for a 2012 release. Whedon was brought on board in April 2010 and rewrote the screenplay that was originally written by Zak Penn. Production began in April 2011 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before moving to Cleveland, Ohio in August 2011 and New York City in September 2011. The film was converted to 3D in post-production.

The Avengers is scheduled for release on May 4, 2012 in the United States in 2D and 3D.









Running Time: 2 hrs 22 minutes
Release Date: May 4 2012 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG 13 for for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, and language
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Cobie Smulders, Jeremy Renner, Clark Gregg, Stellan Skarsgård, Mark Ruffalo, Amanda Righetti, Scarlett Johansson and Lou Ferrigno The Incredible Hulk (voice) .
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Written by: Zak Penn (initial screenplay), Joss Whedon (revised screenplay)



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131 Comments
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JonasWepeel - 5/4/2012, 2:25 PM
Great film!
jazzman - 5/4/2012, 2:28 PM
well done Marvel Studio.
LAXtremest - 5/4/2012, 2:30 PM
I didn't even think about the septer having an Infinity Gem on there. This movie was a 10 out of 10. It was awesome. Will be watching it for my 3rd time tomorrow night.
thingrock4 - 5/4/2012, 2:31 PM
DUDE-Banner/HULK WAS SLIGHTLY UNDER "CONTROL" OF LOKI...OR AT LEAST HIS COSMIC CUBE SPEAR!!!!!I thought of that right away-never fear all is right!!!BEST MOVIE EVER!!!!!MAKE MINE MARVEL!!!!
RorMachine - 5/4/2012, 2:31 PM
Great stuff dude, I agree completely on the negative points you raise too. It's a shame they had to lose that extended scene with Harry Dean Stanton and Ruffalo because I'm sure that would have shed more light on Hulk's change in attitude.
DioFoRio - 5/4/2012, 2:32 PM
Hey Mark...it was Loki controlling Banner at that point
dantbadger - 5/4/2012, 2:32 PM
I suffered (not) through a Avengers Marathon all day at a local theater to get primed for the midnight showing.

It was Friggin' brilliant!!!

The Hulk by far and away stole the show on this one. I was expecting it to be Iron Man, which btw was no let down, but the Hulk was epic.

Some one go kick DC in the caboose and Let em know what a real power house can do on the big screen (hint hint Superman producers).

11.5 out of 10 on this one.

santoanderson - 5/4/2012, 2:33 PM
I loved the movie. My only quips would be that Black Widow had no business being in that final battle (how did her arms not get dislocated when she grabbed onto that passing Chitauri ship?) and that there were a couple of convenient plot moments:

TONY "Hey guys, we could really use the Hulk right about now, but we have no idea where the hell he is!"
BRUCE "Here I am! I got here on this dirty old moped!"
WIDOW "Wait, did you call SHIELD or something?"
BRUCE "Nope I just figured the final battle would take place here."
STEVE "Well.... that's convenient...."
DioFoRio - 5/4/2012, 2:33 PM
they mention it in the flick as well. Think BW says something about it.
MovieMaster - 5/4/2012, 2:34 PM
I think he was wielding the Mind Gem in his staff. Unless, the space scenes took place in the Negative Zone and 'The Other' is a version of Annihilus (as rumoured) and it's the Cosmic Control Rod.
JoeMomma29 - 5/4/2012, 2:35 PM
The movie was great and is what I think we expect from this type of movie. What was interesting to me was everyone was all excited to see the TDKR trailer!!!
RorMachine - 5/4/2012, 2:36 PM
Loki wasn't controlling Banner, he just manipulated the situation that led to him transforming into The Hulk, knowing he would smash the hell out of the Hellicarrier and the team.
HelaGood - 5/4/2012, 2:36 PM
great review, @Mark!!
MarkV - 5/4/2012, 2:36 PM
I loved the helicarrier scene. Cap and Iron Man fixing the ship while 10 other things are all happening at once.
MarkJulian - 5/4/2012, 2:37 PM
We all assume that but its nothing but an assumption. The Hulk is an uncontrollable rage monster yet he was pretty controlled during that last hour. Not a big deal but the story got a little lose around that part.
LAXtremest - 5/4/2012, 2:38 PM
Banner probably knew where the final battle was being waged because, gee I dunno, everyone on Earth knew it. It was all over the news. Come on.... Your better than that.
MarkJulian - 5/4/2012, 2:39 PM
And thanks guys! Such a great movie, definitely going to see it again this weekend.
Paulley - 5/4/2012, 2:39 PM
Answering your plot point issues.

Remember Loki's staff was given to him by Thanos and that the staff not only made the people it turned loyal to Loki but also showed them what the needed to know (or more importantly what Thanos needed them to know) so the fail safe was probably not Selvig's doing but Thanos'.. why you ask.. well i dont know but maybe just incase loki tried to turn the army against him.

Also Loki and his staff are the reason why everyone was getting angry and emotional especially the hulk which loki targeted as he is more a mindless beast... hence why Hulk came to his senses on the fall from the helicarrier to aim at the abandoned warehouse.

These were obviously not really well pointed out but i guess is better not to be spoon fed everything.

santoanderson - 5/4/2012, 2:41 PM
@LAX

Did he teleport himself there?
MarkJulian - 5/4/2012, 2:42 PM
And I'm not questioning how he got to NY, I'm questioning how he was suddenly so cooperative. And by the time Banner had transformed on the helicarrier everyone had broken free of Loki's influence and was working together, so to say it was Loki making him fight Thor and BW is incorrect.
marvel72 - 5/4/2012, 2:42 PM
loved the movie definetly the best comic book movie i've ever seen,i hope marvel takes things to the next level with iron man 3 & thor 2.
DaRealDaBUU - 5/4/2012, 2:42 PM
Just got back, My God. If I had to use only word, it would be Exhilarating! Hands down best time i've ever had at the movies.
Fabs - 5/4/2012, 2:44 PM
Re. "sudden change of alignment" of a certain character. I think it's actually explained in the scene that ended up on the cutting floor involving another high profile actor who ended up with a tiny cameo in the cinema edit...
Bothered me too. Hoping that a director's cut will make that "sudden change of alignment" feel less of a wtf moment.
MiracleMe - 5/4/2012, 2:45 PM
Saw it at 12:01 this morning and will see it again tomorrow. Good stuff!

And DO NOT leave the theater until after ALL the credits are over or you'll wish you hadn't. ;-)
uman347 - 5/4/2012, 2:46 PM
Just saw the Avengers. it was a Blast! The story was not very deep or mind blowing or anythiong but it was good, easy to follow even if you have not seen any of the 5 Marvel tie in movies, all of the characters were right on the money, Mark Rufflo was a great Bruce Banner / Hulk, the movie was witty, funny, action packed, it had great drama at times when it was needed
I would give it 4.5 or maybe even a 5 out of 5
HULK SMASH!!!!

skidz - 5/4/2012, 2:47 PM
I agree (mostly) about the Hulk, but I think they try to explain his change of mind, though it's earlier in the movie and so small it's pretty much lost.

-Avoid the next part if you (somehow) haven't seen the movie and don't like spoilers-

As for the way it ended, I have a theory. Yeah, it was probably an easy way out to cut down the movie length (maybe), but under the circumstances of the action I think it made sense. They've discovered these things can be beaten, but don't have any major weaknesses and they're running out of time with the strike coming. Let's take a shot in the dark and alter the course of the missile and pray it's enough. It's a bit of a stretch (and has been done A LOT), but it made sense to me that way.
Ha1frican - 5/4/2012, 2:47 PM
@SantoAnderson wasn't the battle all over the news? that's probably how he knew... or he saw the GIGANTIC HOLE in the sky with aliens coming out... -__- and really you bought the guy that turns into a giant green monster but not her catching a ride on the cycle cmon...
skidz - 5/4/2012, 2:49 PM
Avengers 2 if Thanos is the badguy: Nova, Captain Marvel and Adam Warlock.
figuresmaniac - 5/4/2012, 2:52 PM
I think that the scene with Harry Dean Stanton didn't change the Hulk's attitude but Banner's.
He somehow made Banner realized that he should also help as the Hulk (not only as a scientist) and he can control Hulk (he pointed out that Hulk was aiming to an abandoned/ empty place as he falls, so there were no casualties)

And when Hulk was fighting Thor & Widow, he was slightly under control of Loki and lost control of the Hulk.

The scene where Loki failed to control Stark was really funny.
LAXtremest - 5/4/2012, 2:52 PM
@Ha1Frican- Exactly my point. It's a movie. Why is so hard to imagine he saw the battle, jacked a moped and rode down there?
Paulley - 5/4/2012, 2:52 PM
Loki main focus of influence was Hulk... everyone else just got irritable when they were around him in the room... and obviously when the change happened Banner had lost control.. yet when he left the helicarrier he obviously regained it.
Paulley - 5/4/2012, 2:54 PM
also its not like he had absolute control in nyc... hence the thor punch
superotherside - 5/4/2012, 2:54 PM
I need to watch this film! Will be seeing it in 3 hours! :D
JDUKE25 - 5/4/2012, 2:55 PM
Saw it last night. Very good movie. The crowd was really vocal which was great. Definitely the most fun and most entertaining movie I've seen.

Acting: 4.5/5
Story: 4/5
Action: 5/5
Score: 3.5/5
Comedy: 5/5
Cinematography: 4/5 (hated those shots from the ankle POV)
CGI: 5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

definitely wouldn't mind seeing it again
ThaMessenger07 - 5/4/2012, 2:58 PM
Awesome Movie! Best Superhero Movie since The Incredibles and since I love Superheroes, the best movie period!

Avengers 2 will be the be Ultron. But you can be sure there will be an Infinity Wars trilogy ;)
figuresmaniac - 5/4/2012, 3:01 PM
@superargo Puny God
TurdFergunson - 5/4/2012, 3:07 PM
saw this movie and i gotta list a few things to see if y'all agree with me.

-the screenplay was written very well in many methods, like how they tied all characters story lines into one another and it was directed very well. Agree?

- In the last battle scenes, did y'all see when Iron man flew down to help Cap and he fired his weapon at Cap and Cap used his shield to deflect it to the enemy. The theater erupted into applause when that happened. Thoughts?

-I LOVED how much Thor was a bad ass kicker. I don't think he kicked enough ass in his own movie but I love how much ass he kicked with his mates. The fight scene with him an Hulk as i would say one of the best parts of the film. thoughts?

-Loki...WOW. dude was winning the entire movie. I loved how dark and fearful he is. how he was just killing dudes and how his smiles after to show how twisted he was an caught up in his game to gain power. His evil facial expressions and attitude really carried the movies villain to make us believe he actually may have a chance. It was very similar to Agent Smith in Matrix, like you know he was not gonna win but your not sure how he can loose cause he is so bad ass. This was such an important key to this movie. Thoughts?

-Finally, my last thought, is Cap. True to the comic, he developed thru the film to be a true leader even thou he was challenged by everyone. Ya he can't fly, had no fancy weapon that shoot lasers, but he kicked ass an still stayed calm an lead the team. His leadership skills were shining bright when Iron Man started to follow him. I thought that was beyond awesome. Thoughts?

in the end...GREAT MOVIE. I need to go see it like 2 more times. I do not mind standing in line again nor giving my money. This movie is THAT GOOD.
santoanderson - 5/4/2012, 3:09 PM
@LAXtremest & Ha1Frican. I don't see how you guys can't identify a blatantly transparent, convenient plot device.

It's sad really.
MrSuperheromoviefan - 5/4/2012, 3:10 PM
saw it twice great movie
iron man is still better but great movie
8.5/10
ThaMessenger07 - 5/4/2012, 3:11 PM
Yes Sir Mr. Argo!

Thor 2 Enchantress & Executioner, with someone or something else.

Iron-Man 3 a version of The Mandarin.

Captain America 2 with Falcon & doing battle With Hydra and Baron Von Strucker and/or Zemo

Inhumans, set up for Infinity Wars.

Ant-Man, Maybe...

Avengers 2, new Line up with Pyms, Hawkeye, Widow, Black Knight, Falcon, & Vision. Villain Ultron, created by Pym, for SHIELD. Separate themselves from SHIELD.

Black Panther

Avengers 3, 1st Team back together Vs. Masters of Evil.

Infinity Wars 1,2,3 Like Lord of the Rings Back2Back.

Civil War due to IW crisis.


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