Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Avengers (2012)

The Avengers
The Avengers was the first movie I saw released in 2012. However, the first 2012 movie I wrote about on this blog was actually Jersey Shore Shark Attack! I saw the The Avengers a couple of weeks after its huge opening weekend. The Avengers has now made over $1.5 billion worldwide and even when you factor in rising ticket prices and the cost of 3-D that is quite an accomplishment. I guess this post is a little late as most people have already seen it!

The Avengers, not to be confused with the crappy 1998 film adaptation of the same name based on a great 1960s British show, is the sixth movie made by Marvel Studios, part of the Walt Disney Company. While I never read the comics these characters come from, I have enjoyed all these movies since I saw Iron Man in the summer of 2008. While I need to re-watch all the Marvel Studios movies when The Avengers hits Blu-Ray later this month, it is currently my favorite of the series.

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this review, I just want to say that Alan Silvestri has always been one of my favorite composers (Back to the Future, Predator, Forest Gump, Captain America, and many more) and came up with a brilliant score for the film. I also enjoyed the song Soundgarden contributed to the soundtrack, "Live to Rise."

I have to give Joss Whedon a lot of credit with the directing and writing. There was a high degree of difficulty with this project in balancing all these characters. Like with Whedon's show Firefly (I never saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer but have heard good things), he did a fantastic job. It is a lot of fun to see all these characters together and interacting with each other. The dialogue and banter is witty and each character has their own unique arc. All the previous movies and characters are tied in without feeling forced. This creates an epic free flowing universe that hasn't really been done before in film and is right out of the comics.

Coming into The Avengers I was afraid it would essentially be Thor 2 since Loki is the villain or Iron Man 3 because Robert Downey Jr. is so popular right now. However, I was pleasantly surprised that no one character dominated the story. Apparently there was a lot of deleted footage, said to be mostly scenes with Captain America, which will be interesting to see even though I don't think another cut of the film is necessary. I loved the job they did with the Hulk as The Avengers team needed the help of Dr. Bruce Banner and not the Hulk. Mark Ruffalo replaces Ed Norton who did a good job in 2008's The Incredible Hulk though I actually preferred Ruffalo's take on the character.

As I mentioned earlier, Joss Whedon directed the movie and wrote the screenplay. Whedon was a fan of the source material, has actually written comics, and it clearly shows that he cared to make the best possible film out of it. While I don't think that The Avengers is the best movie based on a comic book, I think that is is the movie that feels most like a comic book. I could practically see the panels and dialogue bubbles appear on screen. Loki is a true comic book villain, and the movie truly embraces the fact that is is trying to be like a comic book. Much has already been said about the the final long action scene, which is simply amazing. The camera work there truly feels like you are flipping through pages in a comic and staring in amazement at the artwork of a giant two page spread.

Marvel's The Avengers is a blast to watch and perfectly balances its action, drama, and humor. The Avengers is the perfect summer popcorn movie so its no surprise that it dominated the box office this year. The two after credits scenes were awesome as well and I'm looking forward to what Marvel Studios has in store next!

This is my 100th post! Here's to another 100!


  1. Hey Chris, congrats on your 100th post. Completely agree with you about this film. This felt like reading a well-written comic book. Whedon did a great job juggling all the characters and giving them equal screen time.

    I think the thing that helped Whedon is he's been writing for comics like X-Men for years and he already knew all the characters inside and out.

    Glad they recast the Hulk. I like Ed Norton but he didn't wow me in the 2008 film. Ruffalo was much better fit for as both Banner and Hulk.

  2. Thanks Jack!
    I had heard that Whedon had written comics before but have not read any of his comics yet.
    I agree about Ruffalo. I wonder if he will ever be in a solo Hulk movie?