Movie Review – “The Avengers”

Abbreviated review: go see the movie, and stay for both the mid-credits scene and the post-credits scene.

Cast and Crew Information

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man / Tony Stark
Chris Evans as Captain America / Steve Rogers
Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow / Natasha Romanoff
Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk (motion capture) / Bruce Banner
Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk (voice)
Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye / Clint Barton
Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson
Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill
Stellan Skarsgard as Selvig
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts
Paul Bettany as J.A.R.V.I.S.
Alexis Denisof as The Other
Maximilliano Hernandez as Agent Sitwell

Written by Zak Penn (story) and Joss Whedon (story and screenplay).
Directed by Joss Whedon

Premise

A threat has appeared that is more than any one hero can handle. Nick Fury puts a team together that may be able to stop this threat.

High Point

I like the Hulk and want to see more of him. That’s a pretty significant feat.

Low Point

Stan Lee’s cameo comes very late, to the point where I was distracted looking for it. This is why Hitchcock learned to put his cameos at the start of the film.

The Review

This is an original movie when it comes to execution, not concept. It’s accurately adapted, aside from the fact that this particular lineup wasn’t used in the comics until a couple of months ago. I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects are great, including effective use of 3D with bright light levels. No complaints here at any point of the movie. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story is exactly what this stage of the franchise needs: we understand the stakes within five minutes, and then move from action sequence to action sequence with character-rich interactions. I give it 6 out of 6.

The acting is bang on. Ruffalo seems at home with his character as those who have already appeared in several other movies. The casting, basically, is so perfect that you’ll forget these people are acting and see nothing but the characters. I give it 6 out of 6.

The production is extremely well done. There’s an extended tracking shot in the final sequence that is truly incredible: one continuous shot reveals the actions of every member of the team, in at least medium shot, and they are nowhere close to each other but at least one team member is on screen at all times. This doesn’t play like a director adapting a script, this plays like a director’s vision that was transcribed into script form to communicate with the cast and crew. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response was great. They nailed these characters, including the Black Widow and Hawkeye. Do not judge this by the trailers; dialog that seems out of character in the trailers is just out of context, and characters that don’t get a lot of screen time weren’t in the trailers to avoid certain spoilers. I went in with very high expectations, and those expectations were exceeded. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this is exactly the movie we’ve been waiting for since Iron Man hit on May 2, 2008. I give it 6 out of 6.

In total, The Avengers receives 39 out of 42.

11 replies on “Movie Review – “The Avengers””

  1. robertcr5 says:

    So. Did you like the movie. :)

    I can’t wait for the DVD but, alas, I must. (Heavy tears falling.)

  2. The mid-credits teaser does an excellent job setting up the next Marvel Films plot arc.

    Thanos!

  3. Fez says:

    I saw it yesterday and it’s every bit as good as I possibly could have hoped for, and then some.

    To keep things light on spoilers, I agree on many of the above points. I admit I had my doubts about Ruffalo as Hulk but he smashed all of them. I’d want to see another movie with this.

    The cast worked great together, especially when bickering.

    My only regret was leaving after the mid-credits teaser. I’ve heard there was more after the full credits and despite my better judgement, we left (also partly since I was with a 7 year old who kept insisting the movie was, in fact, over :-)

    Sometimes I wish on these reviews there was a way to give bonus points, since it’s not entirely fair to judge such a film on originality in some respects.

  4. Fantastic! DC had best bring their “A” game if they ever want a JLA movie to be half this good.

  5. JD DeLuzio says:

    Probably the best comic-book superhero movie, which is a remarkable achievement, given how much it has to juggle. Whedon took the things that made the original Marvel comics popular among kids, nerdy loners, and pop-hipsters, and updated them, so we get violent heroics, over-the-top villains, impossible tech, angsty brooding, amusing quips, and odd fashion choices blended with a sense of how absurd this is, somehow made workable onscreen.

    My low point: I accept that Iron Man has a suit that violates all known physics (and let’s not get started on the science behind Banner’s transformation), but the key to good fantasy is playing within your own rules, however bizarre or ridiculous those rules might be. The film violates these rules when people without costumes or superhuman powers can get thrown threw glass windows or fall at high speeds without being seriously injured. I recognize these are nits, but the film generally does so well playing within a set of fantastic rules they kind of annoyed me.

    I’ll accept Loki’s invading aliens and their apparent lack of plan (other than “Show up and smash stuff”); presumably, they enjoy violence and want to send a message to the rest of the world with this bit of theater. Still, shouldn’t they be better-equipped?

    Mid-credit surprise gives us the standard teaser for the next film. The post-credit bit may irk some people who wait for it, but I loved these little heroes in mundane moments in old Marvel comics when I was a kid, and it was fun to see one here.

    Finally, did anyone else notice the number (42) on the Quinjet that brings Cap to the carrier?

  6. PuppetSocko says:

    This film has some of the best action movie quips in action movie quip history.

    Thor’s follow-up to noting the Loki is his brother, for example.

  7. octa says:

    A really good movie that finally did many of these characters, who have been fleshed out for decades, justice.

    I do have some low points in no particular order. Copious spoilers:

    1. Banner’s transformation was very inconsistent.
    2. The laughable resolution to the invasion was identical to Independence Day’s. An homage perhaps? In both instances it was a severe case of Deus Ex.
    3. The team had possession of the sceptre. A vital component of the cube, yet they simply treat it as a GPS. At the very least I would think Thor capable of using it in some way like his brother.
    4. Where are the Fantastic Four and their building? X-Men? Even a minor mention should have been made. Something. Anything. Are there three separate Marvel Cinema Universes that we have to track now?
    5. Loki’s plan to be taken to the flying carrier was really ham-fisted. None of it was very convincing. Everything they accomplished could have been done without him being taken prisoner. With how easy Hawkeye took one engine out, I’m sure they could have taken the whole ship down in a matter of seconds.

    • Fez says:

      I took 1 to be that at first he was fighting it, the last change was welcomed and on purpose
      For 2, the resolution wasn’t really the same, the nuke wasn’t needed to stop them, it was just a convenient way of disposing of it… also, no computer viruses in sight :-)
      3. – Agree there, but perhaps he thought it might corrupt him somehow?
      4. It would be hard to explain since they share an actor in common! Captain America is/was Johnny Storm but from what I have heard it was inter-studio licensing BS. Probably can’t even mention them for legal reasons
      5. I got the distinct impression that was the whole point, he wasn’t needed to finish/progress his plan and this way he was a major distraction/diversion and could cause some chaos. Making them destroy themselves probably seemed more interesting to him than merely killing them or taking down the ship. He is a trickster after all…

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