Took the fam to the Avengers tonight. Loved every minute of it. There’s nothing more to say about the film that hasn’t already been said numerous times, especially how it’s amazing that they were able to balance the backstories, screentime, and egos of four different tentpole franchises and not have anyone get lost in the shuffle. In a rational universe, this is a film that shouldn’t exist. And on the off chance that it were to exist, there’s no way it should be this good. And yet it’s here; it rocks, and it provides tangible cinematic evidence that there is a God – and not a puny god, to paraphrase one of the more particularly memorable moments of this geek fantasy improbably brought to fruition.
There will be SPOILERS from here on out, although there’s really no way to spoil this movie. You already know the plot – a big baddie wants to take over the world, so a bunch of bickering superheroes finally band together to stop him. There are no real surprises in terms of the journey from Point A to Point B, where the Avengers kick butt and walk away winners. (Spoiler! The Avengers don’t all die in a fiery train wreck.) The beauty of this film is all in the delivery, and I don’t understand how anyone could watch this movie and walk away disappointed, unless they thought they were watching the twenty-year-old debacle with the same name starring Ralph Fiennes and Sean Connery and were really hankering for something that sucked.
To sum up: Joss Whedon’s a genius; everyone gets their moment; the Hulk steals the show and even managed to get into a pair of purple pants; Iron Man’s chest is a circle again and not a triangle, and there was really no reason to have Gwyneth Paltrow instead of Natalie Portman in this thing. That’s not a complaint, but rather an attempt to point out that I still have my wits about me after seeing as fine a superhero romp as has ever been put to film.
But as long as I’m quibbling…
1. Why does Joss Whedon have to kill someone in everything he does? It adds a certain amount of dramatic weight to the proceedings, yes, but it also eliminates said character from all future cinematic forays, and the characters he kills aren’t just Trekkie red shirts. I still haven’t forgiven him for bumping off Wash in Serenity, and there was really no need to off Agent Coulson, who has been a pleasant link between the various franchises lo these past four years. There has been internet speculation that Coulson will return as the android Vision, who is a staple of the Avengers comics, and if they can make that work, I’ll be more than happy to see that, but as it stands, I have one more grudge against Joss Whedon: Fictional Serial Killer.
2. Where was Rhodey? Remember him? The guy who flew off at the end of Iron Man 2 with a silver Iron Man suit all his own? Could he not be bothered to show up as New York gets pummeled by flying metal serpents? And did everyone else in Asgard just not notice that their former king was trying to maul an entire planet?
3. Just how tough are these Asgardians? It’s implied that Thor wouldn’t have been able to survive the impact of the plummeting Hulk cage, but when Hulk tosses Loki around like he’s Raggedy Andy, he gets up moments later like Wile E. Coyote a few minutes after falling off a cliff. Consistency, please.
4. How does the whole Asgardian mind control thing work, exactly? Both Hawkeye and Professor Norwegian Dude still retain their personalities as they do the evil bidding of their new master, and Dr. Norway even comments at the end that he was conscious enough to build a failsafe into the portal opening thingee. So what part of their brain was hijacked? It would have made more sense if they were completely possessed by some external, controlling intelligence, not just conveniently “evilized.”
5. Can someone explain why it’s in any way efficient, necessary, or desirable to have an aircraft carrier that flies? It’s not like it was going anywhere specific. Wouldn’t it have been safer, and less vulnerable to engine failure/Norse God sabotage to keep the massive thing in the water?
With the exception of the needless Coulson slaughter, these things detracted from the overall enterprise not at all. It’s just much more fun to write a critical review than it is to write one filled with slobbering fanboy praise. I mean, how many different ways are there to say “It was %$&ing awesome” without using a thesaurus? And it’s not like anything I write is going to persuade you to see or not see this thing. If you read this blog regularly, you’re going to see the Avengers. You fit the geek profile.
If you’re not going to see it, then you have no geek heart. And shame on you for reading this blog, Mr. Geekless. You’re like the guy in the bathroom after the movie who thought that Thanos was the Red Skull.