Review – The Avengers (2012)

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With Adolfo being swamped at work for the week, he actually wrote me up and asked if I still wanted to do my Avengers review, like I suggested in the latest episode of FORCED PERSPECTIVE. Having realized that I still haven’t been able to get to my promised-review for The Five Year Engagement, I said, “sure, why not.” And, alas, here I am.


Haven’t seen The Avengers yet? Want the scoop on the biggest film of the year (so far)? Then look no further as I, SportsGuy515, give you the full Avengers-experience in this review. Featuring a star-studded cast which includes Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as The Incredible Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, directed by Joss Whedon, this is The Avengers.







The Avengers REVIEW


Very rarely does a single event have such a profound effect on a society.


1969. Man walks on the moon.


1971. Man walks on the moon. AGAIN.


Then, for a long time, nothing happened. Until May 4, 2012. When the world began to bear witness to what many are calling the GREATEST superhero film ever made – The Avengers.





But before talking about the film itself, I should probably start at the beginning as far as my anticipation for the film. As many of you heard on FORCED PERSPECTIVE, yeah, I was pretty excited; although not as excited as Adolfo was. And THAT’S an understatement. I was a huge fan of the Iron Man films up to this point. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Incredible Hulk and Captain America films, even if I didn’t enjoy them as much as Iron Man 1 and 2. Thor, I gotta be honest, really didn’t interest me, which is why I waited until about two months ago to finally see it (in preparation for this movie). Which is funny considering that much of the plot for The Avengers references elements that took place in Thor. So, in my opinion, out of all these films, the ones I would say that you HAVE to see before The Avengers for the plot to make sense, are Thor and Captain America, without a doubt.


Now, onto the actual film. This was one of the few times in my movie-going career that I decided to check out the 3D (the last five were Titanic, Star War: Episode I: The Phantom Menace, A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas, The Lion King, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon). And, rest assured, when The Dark Knight Rises hits in July, that will be the VERY first time that I experience a film in IMAX 3D. Really excited for that one!


As far as the 3D in The Avengers goes, it’s some of the best I’ve seen in the relatively small life-span of 3D’s current incarnation. In fact, the last time I remember the 3D being anywhere this good was when I saw Transformers last year. It’s clearly evident that a lot of the shots filmed had 3D in mind. Hawkeye’s arrows shoot at you through the screen. The Hulk’s fist comes at you as if you were his next target. Captain America’s shield swings around the screen, almost as if it has a mind of its own. Iron Man’s smoke-trail while flying around the devastated city looks as if it could give you carbon monoxide poisoning. Background objects never looked clearer or sharper. Thor’s hammer looks like it’s going to completely smash the first five rows into dust. I can go on, but you get the idea. If there’s any 3D film that’s (so) definitely worth the money, it’s this one.





Plot-wise, it’s pretty coherent, even if it has a couple of TINY flaws; but then again, that’s always the case of ANY film with this much action going on throughout. I’m not sure if any of the plot was inspired by a particular Avengers storyline from the comics (like, for example, The Dark Knight Rises being inspired by the Batman stories “The Dark Knight Returns”, “Knightfall”, and “No Man’s Land”), but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. Making Loki the villian was a smart move, as the audience has already been introduced to the character through Thor, so the film didn’t have to waste time explaining who this guy is or why he’s dangerous, as opposed to introducing an entirely new-to-film villain (which WAS hinted at in the post-credits scene for a possible Avengers sequel).


Of course, much of the action sequences in this film require a lot of suspension of disbelief; but then again, this is a SUPERHERO/COMIC BOOK movie, so I’m not complaining one bit. In fact, the action is rather breathtaking and absolutely dazzling, for lack of better words. I think Adolfo said it best in one of his Facebook posts regarding this movie: The Avengers is, quite possibly, the best comic book film that actually feels like you’re experiencing a live-action comic book before your eyes. But not only is the action mesmerizing, I loved how the film was able to mix the pseudo-serious action with quite a lot of humor. I was a part of a great audience when I saw this on Sunday, and each and every one of them caught all the subtle (and not-so-subtle) humor of some scenes, and erupted with a mixture of laughter and clapping, accordingly. The funniest characters? Tony Stark/Iron Man’s quirky comebacks and self-confidence consistently got the most laughs, although there is ONE scene involving Loki and The Hulk that, if you’re not on the floor ROARING with laughter afterward, then you officially have no soul. That was possibly the funniest scene I have ever witnessed in a superhero film, and I mean that in the most positive way possible.


Which brings me to my final topic: the acting, which, quite frankly, is as good as anyone is going to get out of a comic book film. The standouts are Robert Downy, Jr. (who brings so much charisma to the role and practically steals every scene), Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, and (surprisingly) Mark Ruffalo (who I’ve been a big fan of ever since 13 Going on 30) as Dr. Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk. On top of that, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow was pretty badass, while Cobie Smulders (b.k.a. Robin Scherbatsky from How I Met Your Mother) really didn’t get to do much, as her character (Maria Hill) wasn’t featured too often, but she did provide great eye candy (as did Johanson in the Black Widow outfit…SMOKIN’!). Chris Hemsworth as Thor wasn’t anything special, nor was Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and Samuel L. Jackson was Samuel L. Jackson (which I hope doesn’t come off as an insult, because it isn’t. Necessarily.).





Now, to the ultimate question that I’m sure you are all wondering right now, especially based on this film’s RECORD-BREAKING WEEKEND (final domestic numbers come to about 207 million dollars; add to that the 441 million it made overseas already, and you’ve got a grand total of roughly 648 MILLION dollars within about a week and a half. AMAZING). That question is simply this: is The Avengers the GREATEST superhero film of all-time? Off the top of my head, NO. I still think The Dark Knight is slightly better, but if I can be frank, that’s just a preliminary opinion. I intend to have my final answer on this film by the end of the summer (after all, The Dark Knight Rises could end up blowing this thing out of the water. Time will tell, of course). By then, I’ll have my feelings on The Avengers, for the most part, solidified.


Nonetheless, this film is still a tremendous feat in cinematic history. Not just because of its record-breaking box office, or its cast of familiar characters. It’s this film’s ability to simply have you grab a drink and some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the ride, without questioning anything about it. Last year, I said that Transformers: Dark of the Moon was the “popcorn movie” of the summer. This year, that title goes to (and will most likely stay with) The Avengers. The rest of the summer’s slate of movies have officially been put on notice – it’ll be tremendously difficult to equal or match the entertainment value, or for that matter, the overall greatness that this movie has. If you’re a movie buff, a comic book fan, or even Joe the Plumber, and you deny yourself the opportunity to experience this EVENT, you are doing yourself a GREAT disservice.


The Avengers is a film that is meant to be seen by anyone with a pulse. That is all.




Conclusion


Pros
-Tremendously entertaining
-3D that will make you feel like you’re fighting alongside The Avengers
-Decent-to-GREAT acting (Downey Jr., Evans, and Ruffalo = standouts)
-Awesome special effects/action sequences (even if a little silly)


Cons
-A little too predictable







FINAL SCORE: **** ½ (4.5/5)






And that’ll do it. As always, any questions, comments, death threats, investment offers, or feedback in general, send an email to sportsguy515@aol.com


Be sure to check out all the great stuff here at SuperfriendsUniverse.com, including Superfriends vs. the World, Does THAT Suck #2 (coming soon), the new episode of FORCED PERSPECTIVE, and more!


Don’t know if I’ll be back for another review before the next FORCED PERSPECTIVE; if something peaks my interest before that time, then I’ll throw a review up here, for all of my gracious readers to behold.






Until next time, I’m out!

SportsGuy515

SportsGuy515

Cinephile extraordinaire, a budding filmmaker, and host of Forced Perspective. A resident of NY/NJ, he spends most of his time looking for new movies to watch and learning the craft of filmmaking. You’ve probably also seen him hanging around Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium at some point. If you see him approach your movie theater, be sure to let him in – he’s the guy in the Yankees cap!
SportsGuy515

About SportsGuy515

Cinephile extraordinaire, a budding filmmaker, and host of Forced Perspective. A resident of NY/NJ, he spends most of his time looking for new movies to watch and learning the craft of filmmaking. You’ve probably also seen him hanging around Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium at some point. If you see him approach your movie theater, be sure to let him in – he’s the guy in the Yankees cap!
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