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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5/6/2012, 3:55 PM
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Some good points, however saying people are lying when say plot is simple is unfair. I personally think it is the simple plot that works. You mention as an audience we like pure escapism movies, which is again why the simplicity works, there are no forced character arcs. I find people are getting too defensive about people saying it is a simple movie, when in fact it is one of its biggest strong points.
5/6/2012, 3:57 PM
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Oh and there are plot holes, but every film had them, so can't say it doesn't. However do they stop the enjoyment not in the slightest.
5/6/2012, 6:07 PM
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Since when is Star Wars the most important film made in the past 35 years?
5/6/2012, 7:52 PM
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@kniightrider it's a brilliant simple plot because these characters are already in place you watch the movie enough times and you see their are no plot holes. I will gladly prove any brought up plot hole to be false just because somebody wanted more info about something doesn't mean plot hole just doesn't.
@ISleepNow the very first STAR WARS was without question the most important film in the past 35 years it revolutionized movie making PERIOD! Lucas basically with his vision shaped all modern day SFX every movie since STAR WARS he started with models and developed computer generated effects creating the company now known as PIXAR. ILM set the standard for aall SFX in film no arguing Peter Jackson's WETA was created out of his love for STAR WARS because it was the most important movie made in the last 35 years without it their would never have been a LORD OF THE RINGS or AVATAR. The movie industry was going bankrupt he invented the worlds first "BLOCKBUSTER" movie setting unimaginable records that if you were to use todays movie ticket prices would never be matched EVER. Skywalker sound THX which have progressed all sound in film since Lucas pioneered the surround sound we all take for granted at the movies. His editdroid was another revolutionary part of what movie making has become George Lucas released his first STAR WARS film with a groundbreaking now legendary score by the great John Williams without work by Williams on STAR WARS you would nevr have guys like Hans Zimmer doing the magnificent scores in films like INCEPTION or TDK. So without bringing up a ton of other facts George Lucas revolutionized movie making to what it is today FACT and STAR WARS was the most important film made in the past 35 years it led to INDIANA JONES,JURASIC PARK,T2 JUDGEMENT DAY etc and LORD OF THE RINGS George Lucas made movies what they are today FACT!
5/6/2012, 8:33 PM
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Ok, in the scene where Tony Stark is talking to Loki, Loki tries to control him, by pressing the point of his weapon against Starks chest, it however hits his chest plate. Now we know he presses it on the chest to reach the persons heart, but the heart isn't in the center of the chest it is too the left, so instead of pressing his chest piece again, just move ever so slightly to the left. Also in the same scene we see Tony put on his wrist 'things' so his suit can lock on to him. So what would of happened if Loki was outside or in another room Tony would not of had access to these thus dying when thrown out the window, as much as not a plot hole, but plot convenience is just as bad.
There are others, but that is an example - There is never such a thing as a perfect script, even movie writers / directors will say this, this is due to the nature of movies, it will always happen.
As for your other point above you mentioned it is brilliantly simple plot - however in your review you state the simple plot is a "lie" The plot is simple there is no denying that, but as mentioned that is what worked about the movie, they couldn't rely on everyone having watched every single film before hand. Again I must stress that isn't a criticism as I think simple was the best way to go.
5/6/2012, 9:38 PM
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@Knightrider it may be simple in an overall sense but it's still a "lie" this film has so much depth it has 5 whole other movies that built to it so nomatter what it could never be simple. It is simple but still very complex because just what Tony Stark is going through alone is nothing simple he is drasticly changing from one person to another the emotion Downey offers on the Hellicarrier is proof of that.
You pointing out Loki pressing against Tony's chest arc reactor isn't a plot hole because it doesn't need to press it to someones heart made evident by Banner just holding the staff of Loki and becoming under control to some degree so it didn't matter where Loki put the staff. You also mention what if Tony was outside because inside he puts on these wrist 'things' as you yourself say it's not a plot hole. It may seem as a 'convenience' to you but it's not without good reason Stark knows Loki will talk to him inside becaus Loki is a Diva and loves to talk Stark being a genius is thinking three steps ahead of Loki and it's cool to watch because he is threatening Loki which is just confusing him and buying him the time he needs. He obviously had not yet finished his new suit or how it would attatch made evident by his urgencey to Jarvis to hurry up because he knows Loki will only talk to him for so long. So their are no plot holes this script is a work of genius on so many levels.
5/6/2012, 9:48 PM
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I wish hulk wouldn't have acted like a gorilla i liked the cgi from the incredible hulk why couldn't they have made him move more like that instead of cgi gorilla that i saw in the avengers? I liked the avengers movie but i think that the cgi for hulk could have been tweaked to be better.
5/7/2012, 9:21 AM
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Ok, I haven't even seen the movie, but your review definitely piques my interest. I just have one question, and please don't get mad, I believe this to be a worthy one. Reviewer, can you spell? Every computer in the world has spell check now, and some of the words misspelled do not even have homonyms like your and you're(which I tend to not worry about, although it still makes me shudder ever so slightly). All I am saying is that for someone to take an article seriously, at least for me, correct spelling is crucial. That said, I did enjoy your thorough review of all the characters, and the lively debate about the "simplicity" of the plot. I just wanted to put a shout out for literacy, because comic books are really what got me interested in reading. Thanks for your efforts, you have made me very interested, I am going to see the film this afternoon. I have been a fan for 25+ years, and to see......FINALLY!..all of my favorite comic characters become part of film history has been a journey into mystery that I will forever be grateful for. I will let you know how I feel about Avengers when I get back-Rhino
5/7/2012, 11:18 AM
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Oh yeah, and IsleepNow, have you ever heard of a gentleman by the name of Joseph Campbell? He was one of the greatest intellectuals of the last 50 years, and he was a huge fan of Star Wars, for many reasons that are too in depth to discuss now. If Avengers is anywhere near that level...I will be very pleasantly surprised.
5/7/2012, 10:30 PM
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Getting back from the movie today, I was pleasantly surprised how they brought everyone of the main characters alive and fleshed them out a bit. My favorite quote....."Puny God"- The Hulk after smacking Loki against the floor half a dozen times. I do agree that the "simian" style of the CGI Hulk was a little over the top, however if anyone is familiar with Marvel U Hulk, in his most mindless state, he does sort of look like a large green ape. Use Earth X as a reference to that. Also remember to take into account the film is not the Marvel 616 Earth Universe.
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