So, this movie comes out today, you might have heard of it, its The Avengers. If you’re like me (by the way I’m sorry) then sometimes you’re sitting there reading a comic book and thinking to yourself: “Man I wish I could enjoy this without having to go through all the trouble of reading.” Okay, maybe no one has thought that, maybe I made it up. The point here is somehow someone has in fact done this very thing. The Avengers is a comic book brought to life, panels jumping off the screen and turning into fully imagined real life manifestations. I suppose though, what you all really want to know is if it was good or not. Let’s find out.
Firstly, lets address this once more. This is a comic book stepping off the page and onto the screen, coming to life before your very eyes. You can feel every superhero nuance at play, almost see the giant letters of a KRA-KA-THOOM in the background as a huge explosion goes off. I want to wrap up my memories of this movie and place it in a bag and board for safe keeping, the only thing missing here is the staff of my LCBS handing me my ticket. As terrible as Green Lantern is, The Avengers is the exact opposite. This is the movie I wanted to see, the movie that I dared hope and dream for, and they gave it to me. You can tell this movie was made by people who both know and love the source material, subtle nods to comic book culture, allusions to the broader Marvel world, and a villain that is so well written you can’t help but love hating him. Its entirely possible that this movie was nearly perfect in every way, and as a huge comic book fan I know I made my happy face the entire time.
The ensemble cast is pretty much spot on in every way, Chris Evans returns as the boy scout turned bad ass Captain America, Hemsworth is mighty as Thor, RDJ is still the perfect Tony Stark, and Ed Norton is- hold on. Wait. Any discussion of this would be remiss without addressing the fact Bruce Banner/The Hulk is played by someone new. I loved Norton’s take on the character and admit to at first just imagining what the movie might be like with him instead of Mark Ruffalo. Let me now apologize to Mr. Ruffalo, I’m sorry sir. I wasn’t aware you would be the best man for the job ever. The stars alinged for The Hulk and a movie finally got him completely right, he smashes, he leaps, he Hulks, and hey Banner was amazing too. This was the most incredible cast ever, and bringing in a Maria Hill really helped round things out and hint at the greater Marvel world; which also gets me a bit excited about who else we might see later (Hank Pym/Yellow Jacket/Giant Man/Ant Man? Carol Danvers/Miss Marvel? Pietro and Wanda Maximoff as Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch?!). Tony Stark gets a fair share of the lead time in this, and why shouldn’t he? None of them would be there if he’d never been the most amazing comic book movie to date when Iron Man came out. But everyone is featured and each feels just as natural as their comic counter parts (I admit to having a girlish giddy moment over Captain Steve Rogers in action). Even the moment when Cap takes point and leads the entire team into battle you don’t even question whether Robert Downey Jr would blindly follow Chris Evans or not, it just comes naturally!
The battle scenes (of which there are a good handful) all play out almost exactly how my mind fills out the space between the panels. The action is fast, smooth, over the top, and so much damn fun! I can’t remember the last time I sat down and just enjoyed what I was seeing this much. The visual style was great, everyone’s costumes look like they were picked from various runs of the comic from over the years. The world threat isn’t an energy cloud or a mad man in a robot suit, no this time its something far more sinister and while we’re given a face for it in Loki, the actual army of evil alien things is incredibly viable as a world extinction event. The movie looks so good you can almost see the pencil lines from the artist drawing it. Sure comic book movies have tried and somewhat succeeded in the past to look like a comic book come to life but there was always a holdout that reminded you it was still just a movie about a comic book. Batman is great but Gotham and the Batmobile don’t feel comic book enough for me. A SHIELD Helicarrier though, that feels pretty comic book.
Finally, lets touch on the one thing all super heroes need, a memorable villain. In Captain America the Red Skull was the perfect example of a well done comic book villain. He was evil for the sake of it, never compromising, and convincing in his play for world domination. In The Avengers we get Loki, and not just the scheming Loki from the Thor movie, this is Loki unleashed. He’s had some time to get angry, to really sulk and seethe in his anger, and of course plot a terrifying vengeance. In the comics the original Avengers first came together to combat Loki, how fitting they do the same for the movie. I was admittedly worried Loki wouldn’t be menacing or threatening enough for a second movie where everyone already knows he’s bad. There is one scene in particular however that shows how truly evil he is, and just how far he can go to seek revenge. I was sold on Loki, this guy is evil and he’s not easily going to let you forget it. Oh, and stay after the credits. Seriously.
If you liked any of the flicks building up to this one do yourself a favor and see Avengers. You won’t be disappointed. In fact that goes for anyone who like movies, go see this. Or anyone who like comic books. Look, alright, I’ll level with you. This movie is incredible, the closest thing to perfect any nerd could hope for, and stands as the best comic book movie of all time (so far, there -are- sequels to consider) so go see it. If you get a chance, see it, if you don’t get a chance see it anyway. Not even the lack of the classic “Avengers Assemble!” line could sour my love here. This is our gift guys, for being so patient for so long. Go out and enjoy it.
Posted on May 4, 2012, in Comics, Movies, Occurrences, Reviews and tagged Awesome, Captain America, Comic Book, comic books, Hulk, Iron Man, Joss Whedon, Loki, Marvel, movie, Review, Thor. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.