Avengers Review[SPERLERS ASSEMBLE]
Iron Man – A character cast so well, it rivals the Chris Reeve Superman legacy. Downey is Stark, and I actually never want to see anyone else in this role. His place on the team makes sense, because it’s actually Tony that’s the key here, and not “the Iron Man weapon.”
Captain America – I pretty much buy Evans as Cap, although I loved him as The Human Torch, but Cap is a character they haven’t quite nailed yet. He wasn’t bad at all, don’t get me wrong, but he doesn’t have the same incredible in-the-pocket feel that some of the other characters do. More on this later.
The Hulk – Everyone told me that: 1) You’ll never miss Bana & Norton, and 2) The Hulk steals the show. 1000% right on both counts. Ruffalo brings a physicality to Dr. Banner that neither one of the previous men did, as well as a monster-right-beneath-the-surface Jekyll & Hyde struggle that’s truly a comic geek’s joy to behold. Another one that is a dead on bullseye. I actually can’t look at Ruffalo the same way any more. Now I actually believe he IS the Hulk. That’s how intensely he nailed it.
Thor - Chris Hemsworth again brings the right amount of gravitas to a role that easily could’ve been the silliest character; but Joss and Chris take Thor seriously, as Brannagh did in Thor’s own movie, and you believe it again here. Thor, unfortunately, is a part of one of the movie’s few flaws, but that is not a complaint, just an observation. More on that later. And I love movie Thor more than I’ve ever loved comic Thor.
Black Widow – Scarlett does a fine job here. I give the lion’s share of the credit to Joss, as he knows how to write female characters extremely well, and absolutely every component that makes Black Widow, well Black Widow, is on display here, from her trademark bottle red hair, to her accent, to her manipulative ability, to her combat training, to her costume, to her Widow’s Bite. Loved it. I personally would’ve preferred to see Cobie Smulders or Emily Blount in this role, only because I feel that they may have embodied Natasha in a different way. But Scarlett still does a great job here all the way through.
Hawkeye - Aw man. AW MAN. This movie took Hawkeye to a whole new level, one I didn’t even imagine was possible. Hawkeye’s comic costume would’ve been a disaster here, but Joss wisely kept him in a practical costume that made sense. But the focus here was on Clint’s true talents…the ability to see, and aim, like a hawk. Just incredible. He was brave and badass from start to finish. Just awesome.
Loki – Just incredible. This is another spot on bit of casting, writing, and directing. Hiddleston conveys every element of the Chaos God’s character so extremely well, from his hurt & jealousy over Thor, his trickster nature, his ego, his desperation…just masterfully paints the perfect picture of Loki. And, you don’t even have to be a comic fan to understand Loki’s plans & motivations. Brilliant.
Nick Fury – ….how could this ever be wrong? The Ultimate version of Fury is Sam Jackson. So, win win win. The only thing I felt was not in large enough suppy was the traditional Sam Jackson angry snark that he brings to every role, but we did get the one great line about the council having made a “stupid ass decision.” That was the Nick Fury I wanted to see more of, but Sam L. Jackson’s still the man.
And the overall physical look of all the characters worked as well, not just Hawkeye. It looked like those heroes walking out of the comic and onto the screen. Obviously we’re dealing with a mix of the ‘mainstream’ universe and the ‘Ultimate’ universe, but we knew that going in. Honorable mentions to Cobie Smulders as Agent Hill, although she’s Wonder Woman to me now. Alexis Denisof was The Other. Wow. And this is the most I’ve liked Paltrow as Pepper Potts yet.
This will forever be referred to by me as the ‘No Excuse’ movie. This movie, especially with Joss as the director, proves that not only can you do serialized television, you can do serialized movies. This is why I don’t want to, and never again will, hear people’s bullshezzar about Smallville being good. Or about the Star Wars prequels. This movie is a prime example of what non-lazy writing is supposed to look like. End of.
The basic premise of the movie is a continuation of the events of Thor’s movie, Loki being motivated by discovering his true parentage, and being cast out of Asgard, to exact vengeance on Thor by destroying the world his brother loves. Loki also basically decides to establish his own kingdom and godhood since his stepfather and brother will never acknowledge him the way he wants them to. Just seamless. The Tesseract and the research team are all there, and it all makes sense. The opening sequence was incredible; Joss knows what a badass weapon(Loki’s scepter) is supposed to look and sound like. Fury’s contingency plans, Hawkeye & co being turned to the dark side, all masterfully done. It brilliantly sets up the conflict, a conflict large enough to actually require the assembling of the world’s mightiest heroes. Bravo.