Recently one of my friends referred to the Avengers as "one of the most overrated pieces of sh** the world has ever seen". Naturally i put him in his place as i do with anyone who dares insult the holy grail that is the Avengers. And to re-enthuse my love for the movie, i sat down and watched again... And let's just say i developed a couple of new opinions on it.
But before we delve into that i need to preface by saying that as a superhero fanboy, no movie has ever managed to tap into that instinctive part of my soul where all my childish superhero-related joy resides. Seeing the Avengers for the first time was two hours of pure glee and awesomeness. But when taken out of that light, how does it hold up? Is it riding the wave of my fanboy gut, or does it stand on its own merits?
So where do we begin? The good? The bad? Maybe even the ugly? What's that you say? The bad? Well all right, but don't say i'm not good to you.
The first bad point that stuck out was, in fairness, more of a nitpick than a criticism. How the hell does Thor get back to Earth? There were two consequences of the ending of Thor: Loki dying, and the bi-frost being destroyed. Both of which are negated by this movie, in which Loki returns and Thor manages to travel between realms anyway. Still, i think its fair to say that a movie like this is not a place where small things like this really get to count.
Another one was the character of Captain America. Hey! Put that bat down! Wait, wait, no, i can explain, don't hurt me.......... *Technical difficulties* ........................
Ahem. So, where was I? Oh yeah, Captain America. He just doesn't seem to work under close inspection. He feels too green and boy-scoutish. Next to someone like the Hulk or Thor, he pales by comparison and doesn't manage to hold his own as a character (in my eyes). His costume isn't helping him either, it stands out like a sore thumb with its light blue and red. Him and Stark also just seem to dislike each other for not much reason. Ok, rephrase, they have good reasons for not seeing eye to eye but this just sparks for no apparent reason.
Speaking of the confrontations between the Avengers, it all feels a bit predictable and unoriginal. Group of extraordinary people come together and don't at first trust each other, i wonder if they'll EVER get over their differences. Still, to give the movie credit, it does try to avoid this concept becoming the main concern and focuses on it simply being a reason for Thor to throw his hammer at Iron Man.
Also along these lines, SHIELD was building weapons? They found a source of potentially limitless energy and used it to attempt to build an arsenal of weapons in order to protect Earth from extra-terrestrial attack. Why would a security agency ever want to do that? And why is anyone in any way surprised? In the end aliens actually DO invade and having some tesseract-powered weapons would probably have been pretty damn handy in that battle of New York. And the film hams it up a bit too much when you think about it.
There's also just the plot in general. Now it's not a BAD plot, but it does feel a bit thin in order to give space for six or so main characters being established for the benefit of those in the audience who haven't seen the predecessors of the Avengers. There's nothing wrong with that on many levels, but after watching a couple of times, it does stand out a bit as not having much weight behind it to carry the movie. The script is also kinda cheesy, but if anyone has a problem with that then the can just go ****************************
I'll try to keep this concise and professional(ish) so that i don't end up writing an article about why the Avengers is so great. Because that would negate the whole original point of the article.
My first point is the scene in Germany where the solitary old man defies Loki, at the risk of his own life. It just sits in the movie nicely, giving a moving and kinda inspiring moment that conveys the good in us all, not just the heroes. Probably the best scene of the movie. Not my favorite mind you, due to my fandom, but most probably the best from a critical viewpoint.
My favorite scene is of course the battle of New York. More specifically, as that battle is about half an hour long, Hulk's "I'm always angry" as he turns and super-punches a giant worm-monster. I challenge any guy to not get a moment of awesome when seeing that. The action is incredible, with everyone getting a moment of badassery and heroism.
All the acting is solid, and Mark Ruffalo steals the show with his portrayal of a nervous, pained wreck with his worst enemy inside him. He's the only one who gets a chance to shine but boy does he shine. Of course Samuel L. Jackson is fun, sure he could be saying motherf***er a lot more, but he's always putting in an enjoyable performance.
This movie is also really funny. Not a comedy, but it does have some really, really good one liners that are guaranteed to make anyone laugh. Loki is the main comedian in the roster and boy does he earn it. He's inherently evil yes, but always so much damn fun anyway. And isn't Iron Man asking Thor why he's wearing his mother's "drapes" enough to make any film