The Avengers (2012)

…is a movie I thought I’d never see. Four years ago, watching the end of Iron Man, I thought, Yeah, right. They’ll never pull it off. This movie shut me the hell up, and I’m so glad…the film I never knew I’d been waiting my entire life to see. This changes everything and nothing at the same time. Hollywood’s officially run out of excuses. Now, nothing is impossible.

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15 thoughts on “The Avengers (2012)”

  1. I have to say I haven’t had that much fun in a theater since I saw Aliens on opening night (yeah I am that old). That was another movie that understood humor has a place in movies outside of comic relief (though Hudson came real real close a couple times). And I don’t know if it happened in your theater but right after the scene with Hulk and Loki (you know the one) the whole theater broke into spontaneous applause, even my wife! I sat with a big stupid grin on my face throughout a movie something I haven’t done since I was a little kid. I had forgotten how good it feels to see an actual honest-to-goodness good action movie, heck a good movie overall for that matter.

    And yeah your mom is alone on that one, my wife and daughter only noticed how blue his eyes were and that’s about it for his face lol.

    PS. It’s a toss up who stole the show more, Hulk or Iron Man.

  2. Agreed sir. Excellent review.
    I’ve only seen this film twice now (and already sang its praises on high on my blog). The first time was opening day, my birthday (which oddly seems to coincide with a lot of superhero movie openings) getting a good portion of my extended family to go along for the ride. The second time was this Monday past, in a 2D showing with a half full theater. On a Monday night. That says to me that this is something special.

    Now while I have no crystal ball ( or practiced Santeria for that matter) but I predict (well, hope mostly) that The Avengers lightly pushes aside Dark Shadows and outright beats Battleship to death for the number one spot at the box office when they come out. Fight on, brave heroes. Fight on.

  3. I have yet to see this film and thanks to your review, I will! I am admiring the unique approach to your film reviews, awesome.

  4. Saw it, loved it, but so did the rest of humanity so no surprise. Would have liked to see a touch more Hawkeye and maybe even the Pyms (Wasp and Giant/ant man), but I can understand why it was limited a bit, Joss’d have to make the movie like a 3 movie epic to include everyone and if the choice is cut them or shoehorn them in pointlessly, great call!

    The only thing I can’t understand though is (spoiler alert, careful readers)…

    …why Loki let himself get captured. Think about it: He has the tesseract and is basically killing time while the portalmaker gets built. So he’s grandstanding and wants to destroy the team and Fury’s base as a show of force and probably sabotage the efort to retake the tesseract, I get that. But he doesn’t KNOW Fury’s assembled a team, nor does he know WHO’S on the team. Sure Hawkeye probably told him potential plans, but remember the main plan was for “phase 2” and Fury kinda FOUGHT to convince the councel that Avenger initiative was the right choice. Loki says “You brought the monster” as a part of his plan, but how could he know that Hulk would be called? Sure Banner’s a gamma expert and all, but Fury could have simply called him on the phone for all Loki knows.

    Also, any thoughts on how Hulk became so semi-rational near the end? I mean, it almost looked a little odd, seeing him just standing there on the streets during a massive attack, calmly listening to Cap bark orders rather than tear up everyone around him. That’s an abrupt change, because just earlier on his very first transformation he almost killed Black Widow for absolutely no reason at all, and so it’s not like he was always so semi-rational. What changed between then and now?

    Sure that’s a nitpick, but maybe I blinked and missed something. Otherwise awesome movie and great review, thanks!

    1. CthulhuBob: I got the “big stupid grin” thing from the moment the prologue concluded until the very end. Spontaneous applause breaks were frequent – so much so that they occasionally drowned out the next gag. Which almost happened during the scene you’re talking about, where the audience almost laughed over the (literal) punchline. That, more than anything, is going to ensure this movie’s replay value. Its wit’s so much more densely packed than your average Big Dumb Summer Movie we’ll all have to get over the obvious jokes in order to catch the not-so-obvious ones. And maybe, once everyone’s stopped marveling (pun intended) at how clever the dialogue is, they’ll start to realize how clever the movie is for using dialogue to reveal its character’s personalities. Because that’s what you get when you’re dealing with even the worst Joss Whedon joint, and this is one of the best.

      Put my money on Hulk.

      Jordan: Great Maker, we can only hope this thing has the “legs” for that. With success comes contempt and the Inevitable Backlash from humorless Drones who’ll call this “overrated” and go see Battleshit out of spite. “How dare those dumbass critics tell me what’s good or not?” has put more money in more pockets than credit default swaps.

      AIDY: Thank you. Glad you found it “awesome.” Hope the movie treats you well.

      Mamba: Yeah, they’re holding both Pyms back for the long-rumored-but-apparently-real Ant Man movie, which I’ve got mixed feelings about now that Edgar Wright’s put his name on it. Everyone assumes it’ll be great…but they said the same thing about Scott Pilgrim.

      More likely we all blinked and missed something either contained or explained in the thirty (30!) minutes of this movie that wound up on the cutting room floor. Since Whedon’s a better writer than Zak Penn, their absence wasn’t *as* noticeable, but Marvel pulled the same trick with the last Hulk movie. All the action wound up in the theaters but all the “boring” stuff with characters standing around and talking to each other, exploring motivations…yeah. That all wound up on the DVD extras. Which is why we don’t have Ed Norton to kick around anymore…something I’m pretty glad about, all things considered. So you never know. We’ll have to wait and see.

  5. Almost completely agree with you. I loved it, yes, and may see it again, yes, but my specific short minuses column is a little different.

    W/o getting into spoilers, the reason for the group finally uniting annoyed me a little. He was a cool guy, but what about all the other people who got kilt? I feel like Cap, at least, should have been raring to go already, and I’m tired of the “NPC dies, now hero rage” syndrome. On the other hand, I kind of had a little hero rage going at the death so…well maybe it was okay. I slightly disliked the goon army; maybe my comics history is week, but who the hell were they even supposed to be? I actually like Hemsworth’s Thor, so I was a little disappointed we didn’t get to see him do much, and I’m not wild about S.H.E.I.L.D. Hawkeye/Widow, but that’s probably just my era of Avengers comic fandom showing.

    Anyhow, all pretty damned minor issues. I love, love, love Chris Evans as Cap, and I’m glad to see that liberated from the issues that plagued his own film he got to shine. Ruffalo would’ve shocked me by being so good if it weren’t for the hype, but he lived up to it.

    1. Yeah, the callus disregard for mass death frequently burns my hash, never moreso than in these superhero roadshows with these supposedly altruistc characters. Problem is, every dick in every screenwriting class the world over says, “Your protagonist has to have a Personal Stake in The Action! For EVERYTHING!” So much so that when [Name Redacted] said, “You knew it had to be this way,” I found multiple levels of myself agreeing. The 7th Grade English teacher and the Die Hard Whedonite in my head both nodded in knowing sympathy, traitorous bastards that they are. And it is okay, because the film took time to make me care and give me my Personal Stake in the Action. (As if I didn’t have that already…)

      They’re supposed to be the Chitari, those shape shifting, Nazi-abetting motherfuckers from Ultimate Avengers and Ultimate Avengers 2, depowered and Decepticonned into a…”goon army” works, actually…so they don’t distract from Our Heroes. Basically, they’re ol’ fashioned intergalactic nobodies and I’ve reached instant understanding with several people by introducing them as “the Putty Patrol of the Marvel Universe.”

      Problem is, when we think “aliens from the Marvel Universe” we think about the Skrull or the Kree, and everyone’s a little disappointed by the fact these aliens are neither. I was too, until I remembered both the Kree and the Skrull were introduced in the pages of Fantastic Four. And Fox, sadly but truly, is still squatting on the movie rights to *every* piece of the FF’s mythology, including all their Big Ticket villains. So until someone inks out a deal or a lawsuit, I don’t think we’ll be seeing any Secret Invasions or Kree-Skrull Wars any time soon. More’s the pity. Would’ve been nice to establish this breed of Chitari as something other than cannon fodder, but the movie’s already two hours and twenty minutes as-is. Personally, I’m much happier to hear that the deleted scenes which were shot all involved Captain America’s long-sought after (by me, at least) period of adjustment to Modern America.

  6. I think Thor and Loki worked so much better here than in Thor and they brought a great personal angle to a great action film. What I couldn’t stand about Thor is that it all seemed like a conflict between two malcontent brats I had no sympathy with. In Avengers, Thor, at times, is yearning badly for Loki to be the brother he once loved. I may end up actually seeing Thor 2.

    BTW, I am so happy to see a more traditional Captain America suit in Avengers.

    1. Thor and Loki’s conflict was muddled and over-complicated thanks to the Thor film’s generalized schizophrenia. Their varying goals (which really weren’t all that varying after you gave the situation some thought – both seemed ready to destroy Jotunheim out of a misguided sense doing so would please their father) needed some real tightening and Loki really needed to pick one and stick with it. His characterization was as inconsistent as every other non-human in that movie. An apologist might argue, “He’s the Trickster! He can say whatever he wants and his various pronouncements don’t need to make sense.” Which is a bullshit way of thinking about it, as The Avengers reveals. Loki’s goal (“It’s time to conquer Earth!”) is never in doubt, but his means and methods are shrouded in double-speak and false-leads. There’s a God of Mischief for you, and if these movies insist on reducing him (and all the Asgardians) down to a M-class humanoids with some freaky magic tricks, he could at least still act like himself. As he did here.

      As to Thor 2…well, according to the IMDb, its script’s coming to us from Don “Rise of the Silver Surfer” Payne, with “help” from Robert “Mel Gibson’s The Patriot” Rodat. So I’m going to slide into that one very cautiously indeed…

      1. I guess I’ll have to amend that statement and say I have no intention of seeing Thor 2 in this or any other lifetime.

        1. And that’s why we’re here. For you people. (And not at all because we’re an attention-hungry spotlight whore who’ll do anything for a traffic spike.)

  7. (SPOILER ALERT)

    I liked this film more than I thought I would, especially given my gaps in the Marvel lore. That’s not to say that I completely liked it, mainly because the film jumped on my bad side almost right out of the gate with the Black Widow sequence. It wasn’t as contrived as the one from Iron Man 2; had it been, I would have had to explain to my mother and sister why I’d walked out on them. Then I had to sit through about an hour or so of superheroes failing to get along with one another, which reminded me of the irritating middle section of Will Ya Quit Bickering Already and Go Do Something Fantastic Four. I’m sure that there was something about the Tesseract that was explained in either Thor or Captain America (2011), neither of which I’ve as yet seen, and the former of which I’ve no intention of seeing. It was the Comic Relief’s exit, and the way said exit changed the tenor of the film, that started to turn the tide for me.

    Every superhero film I see nowadays, I hold up mentally against one film in particular for comparison. No, The Avengers doesn’t rise to that level–for me, it’s still the Man of Steel’s world; they’re just living in it–but it certainly gives some hope that I won’t end up hating Warner and Paramount for ruining what DC and Marvel have created.

    1. Also Disney. Can’t forget Disney. Obviously, seeing this characters engage in Whedonesque bickering was one of the major draws for this reporter and this reporter’s immediate circle, but your point is well made and well put.

      Personally, held up against one superhero film I actually liked and four others that I could’ve happily lived without (being feature length trailers, all) Avengers came out comfortably ahead.

  8. Not surprisingly, I really have had no strong desire to see The Avengers again. The hype came and gone and the thing is, I really don’t remember what excited me in the first place.

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