Every nerd across the globe can breath a collective sigh of relief because Marvel’s THE AVENGERS directed by Joss Whedon (FIREFLY, SERENITY) is arguably the best superhero action movie to date. THE AVENGERS is unique in that it is the first comic book movie to establish their characters in standalone movies first and then bring them all together for one epic movie event unlike anything seen before in film history. THE AVENGERS has been five years in the making starting with IRON MAN back in 2008 followed by THE INCREDIBLE HULK, IRON MAN 2, THOR, and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. If you saw THE AVENGERS without properly seeing the five films before it in advance, then you are not only doing yourself a huge disservice, but you are likely not the self proclaimed nerd you think you are. Shame! Why people would not see all the films leading up to this event is beyond me and I urge everyone who has not seen THE AVENGERS yet to do the right thing. In any case, THE AVENGERS is an extremely successful movie that brings together a stellar cast under the direction of a phenomenal director. THE AVENGERS has everything a nerd could ask for including a kick ass group of iconic super heroes played perfectly by all the actors involved, a simple yet engaging story that leaves room for great character development, and some of the best action sequences seen in a movie to date. Simply put, THE AVENGERS is everything it should have been and more!
Besides the main heroes in THE AVENGERS all being properly established in their respective solo films, a huge credit is due to director Joss Whedon for successfully pulling this movie off so well. I could not have hand picked a better director for this job. Whedon has continuously proven to audiences that he can handle a large team-based cast in projects such as FIREFLY, SERENITY, BUFFY, ANGEL, and my personal favorite, his run on the comic book series ASTONISHING X-MEN. It is a dream of mine for Whedon to one day direct a film based off his ASTONISHING X-MEN run! Cyclops deserves it! Anyways, Whedon’s ability to write wonderful (often humorous) dialogue really shines here and is perfectly suited for a superhero team-up movie.
I imagine people may complain about THE AVENGERS not having a truly remarkable story. THE AVENGERS takes place shortly after the events of all the solo movies mentioned above, mainly CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, and tells the tale of Nick Fury agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) as he gathers up a team of super heroes with the hopes of stopping the evil god Loki and his army from taking over earth. All the heroes must band together and stop this threat before it is too late. That about sums up the plot. Sure it is pretty straightforward, but this film is all about the characters, their interactions, and how a group of unlikely heroes can put their egos aside and team up to save the world. Remember folks, THE AVENGERS is based off a comic book so if you find yourself critiquing the plot too long, you just don’t get it. THIS is what going to the movies in the summer is all about.
THE AVENGERS truly shines because of the characters involved and the actors portraying them. Robert Downey Jr. (SHERLOCK HOLMES) as Iron Man is in top form and is as cool as ever. Every time he is on screen he steals the show and it feels as if I am watching IRON MAN 3. He shares some of the best lines in this film and his quick wit, big ego, and ability to kick ass are all in tact here. Chris Evans (THE LOSERS) returns as Captain America and it is great seeing him continue to shine and evolve into the leader he is destined to become. Chris Hemsworth (CABIN IN THE WOODS) returns as the god of thunder Thor where he continues to protect earth as promised. And last but not least, we have Bruce Banner/The Hulk portrayed by Mark Ruffalo (SHUTTER ISLAND) instead of Edward Norton (FIGHT CLUB) who portrayed the beast in 2008’s THE INCREDIBLE HULK. I have to admit that I was bummed when I learned that yet another actor was going to portray Hulk. But let me tell everyone right now that Ruffalo’s Hulk stole the show for me and was by far the best part of THE AVENGERS. Ruffalo perfectly embodies the character of Bruce Banner and audiences finally get to see a wonderful version of this character that I believe is the best one to date by far. Watching Banner and Tony Stark (Iron Man) “nerd out” together was priceless and their chemistry was top notch. I won’t spoil any of the details, but Hulk fans can rest easy knowing that this is the best version of Hulk in a movie yet.
Besides our four main heroes, we are also accompanied by Scarlett Johansson (THE ISLAND) as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner (MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL) as Hawkeye, Samuel Jackson (PULP FICTION) as Nick Fury, Clark Gregg (THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE) returning as the likable Agent Coulson, and newcomer Cobie Smulders (HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER) as Shield Agent Maria Hill. And we cannot forget our main baddie Loki once again played by Tom Hiddleston (WAR HORSE) who does an absolutely awesome job and seemingly has a lot of fun with the role. There are just so many characters to talk about and swoon over in this film that I simply cannot keep track. The main thing I need to express here is that each and every character (whether it be a main hero, villain, or peripheral character) does a stunning job in there respective role and not a single one of these actors is a weak link. The cast is simply stellar and I enjoyed watching them every second. The chemistry the main heroes have is unparalleled, each character gets his or her moment to really shine and deliver a memorable moment, and seeing all of these characters battle in the same frame is often overwhelming. There were way too many moments in this movie where I was beside myself barely containing just how cool it all was. As a lifelong nerd, I am overjoyed.
I am pleased with the classically simple (yet engaging) story and more than pleased with the characters and the actors who play them. What we are left with is the pure entertainment value and the action sequences. I can safely say that any shortcoming this film may have is extremely overshadowed by the pure amount of fun you will have watching it all unfold. THIS is by far one of the most entertaining movies I have ever seen in my life. From the moment the film started, I was glued to the screen and was treated to one memorable moment after another. As I mentioned before, each and every character gets their moment to shine and the powers these characters posses are jaw dropping! Iron Man’s suit is as cool as ever with a couple new tricks up its sleeve, Thor harnesses his lighting powers in full force, Captain America kicks all kinds of ass with his shield in hand, and Hulk simply owns in every scene his is in and smashes the crap out of everything in sight. The action is this movie is so successful because Whedon often pits the main heroes up against one another testing their limits and when they finally do come together and work as a team it is a spectacle of epic proportions. Seeing all these heroes battling side by side during the last 30 minutes or so of this film is arguably one f the most epic things I have seen in an action movie to date. So cool. I could write for days about all the battles and memorable moments this film offers, but I think you should just see it for yourself. Let’s just say that I am more than pleased and that is mostly due in part to how cool Hulk is in this film. HULK SMASH!!
I love just about everything Joss Whedon’s THE AVENGERS has to offer. Marvel pulled off what was seemingly impossible with this one and it paid off in a big way. The story may be simple, but it is in classic comic book fashion and leaves a lot of room for the characters to interact and develop. The iconic characters in this film are all amazing and have their moment in the spotlight. I could not have asked for a better group of actors to portray these characters and was overjoyed when i witnessed Hulk get the big screen treatment he rightfully deserves. And to top it all off, the action sequences in this film are epic and memorable creating one of the most entertaining movies to date. So after all these years of patiently waiting I can safely say I am happy with the result and cannot wait to see what Marvel has in store for us next. I will look forward to these character’s solo adventures just as much as the prospect for the inevitable THE AVENGERS 2. I just can’t get over how cool this movie is and you can bet your green ass that I will be seeing this one in theaters at least one more time this summer.
Final Score: 10 out of 10