Why I Love... The Avengers!
I'm back! After a heavy bout with writer's block after seeing The Avengers, not only is that cured but Whedon has managed to resurrect the sparks of creativity in me. I'm a Whedon fan, been following his work since Buffy and the only work of his I never bothered to watch was Dollhouse (I just had the sense that Fox was never going to let it last and sadly I was right). So being the Whedon fan I am, the second I heard he was going to be directing the movie starring my favorite superhero team...I was extremely excited.
I've been an Avengers fan since I can remember. Hawkeye has always been one of my favorite Marvel characters and I would latch on to anything with that A on the cover. (One of the first real comics in my collection was Avengers West Coast #100) Obviously, I, like any other comic or Marvel fan, have been following every one of these Marvel movies so far with the bonus credit scenes and the introductions of the expanded universe, wondering just where the big pay off would be coming from.
This movie gave us that pay off in spades. In fact, I can personally say in my very humble fanboy heart and mind, this may be the best comic book movie ever. It's just pure unadulterated fun while the predecessor of the title (The Dark Knight) was much more serious and darker in tone. This movie embraces everything about the chaotic nature of superheroes, throws it into a blender adds a bit of magic and some aliens and lets the whole thing explode out on to the screen to such amazing levels that you'll be smiling every few minutes at something new being said or done.
If you're worried about any of your favorite Avengers being overshadowed, I can ease your fears as no one character truly gets the spotlight; every single character on the team gets a moment to shine. From Hawkeye showing his skills to Widow finally breaking out of what seemed in Iron Man 2 to be very heavy wire work, it's really all here.
In fact, in the last half of the movie I honestly believe Hawkeye and the Hulk steal the show during the big resolution of the film and all the chaos surrounding it. It's also fun to note that in a world full of gods and guys in high tech suits of armor, the guy wielding the bow and arrow, the guy carrying the shield and the girl with the guns manage to steal the show with some truly impressive hand to hand combat choreography that I think was some of the strongest fight material.
Now stepping back a little, I was a huge fan of the Norton Incredible Hulk movie. I was incredibly apprehensive about the studio replacing him as I thought he made a fantastic Banner. I can honestly say Mark Ruffalo's performance throughout the entire movie is a highlight of the film and something that just fed completely into the relationship between Bruce, Captain America and Tony Stark.
The relationships in the film were very much the core of the film as well. From Tony and Steve having to deal with each other's polar opposite opinions to Clint and Natasha's truly complicated relationship it's very much the core and heart of the movie.
Each actor's performance is incredibly strong and well directed. As I mentioned just a few short paragraphs ago, when the characters shine it is very much about them. Seeing Captain America struggle to become the man we all know and love from the comics is downright fantastic. He's definitely our eyes throughout the film. Coulson being given a bit more characterization from what we saw in Iron Man 2 was a treat and new characters like Mariah Hill are given some fun stuff to work with.
The action and fight scenes of this movie are very much what we've been seeing each Marvel play with and evolve to get what we see here. From the solo fights of Captain America or the Black Widow to the big group moments of the Hulk/Thor or the trinity fight it's truly something that you do not want to miss.
I think what I love the most about this movie is the fact that Whedon managed to embrace everything that we love about comics, throw it on to the big screen and go "here you go" and truly let the audience see just what makes comics fun. You root for and care for these characters.
Smart writing, witty acting, truly enthralling fight scenes, strong CGI, a truly surprising end credit scene (you will geek out if you are a huge Marvel fan. Also there's a second credit scene literally at the very end of the credits, so stay till the very end) This movie is truly what comic book movies should be!
Score: 10. Seriously, what Dark Knight did for the genre....Avengers does something completely different and truly embraces what it is leaving you smiling and nerding out as you see years of work coming together on the big screen for one of the biggest pay offs I've ever seen.
Eric Ratcliffe/Reviewer, Podcaster and Columnist
Eric is a writer/pop culture journalist/interviewer who is currently working on pitching a project named the Hunter chronicles. When not reading his weekly stack, Eric can be found watching dvd's, playing on his 360 (gamertag: Zack Hunter) or just surfing online trying to find a scoop or two. Eric is a prolific writer, podcaster and convention reporter here at Comic Related and on TheOuthousers.com. Eric shops at TJ's Collectibles. Visit them on the web at www.tjcollect.com!
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