HBM Reviews: Marvel's The Avengers
Well, I did it, everyone. After missing out on Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America, this weekend I did my duty as a comic book movie fan (no matter how minor) and went to see Marvel's latest cinematic venture, The Avengers. Even after only seeing 2 of the disguised commercials for this movie, I would probably say I'm fit to review this movie, seeing as how I consider my knowledge of these characters adequate enough.
First off, let me make a few things clear: I never really read any of the comic books for these characters.* I've grown up with my knowledge of these guys mostly coming from cameos in other Marvel projects, reviews, and my father, who's been an avid Marvel fan seemingly his whole life. I never really learned anything about their personalities, just that Captain America has a shield and is obviously patriotic, Thor is the Norse God of Thunder, and Black Widow is a sexy spy. I never knew who Hawkeye was, so I wasn't too attached to him when the movie began. However, I can set all that aside to enjoy this movie, right?
I'll start on the plot (remember, spoilers). Basically, SHIELD, the secret government agency, has found some magic Rubik's Cube called the Tesseract, which has UNLIMITED POWER. Loki, Thor's adopted brother and enemy, is somehow teleported to the location of the Tesseract to take it to open up some portal to make aliens blow shit up for no reason. Also, he has some spear that makes anybody it touches his slave, which includes Hawkeye for most of the film. So the head of SHIELD, Nick "Samuel L. Jackson" Fury, decides to make use of his after-credits cameos from the other recent Marvel masterpieces to form the Avengers, a team of kick-ass superheroes to stop Loki's needless rampage.
So Captain America and Iron Man attack Loki in Germany and capture him, but then Thor shows up, and everyone forgets what logic is, and Iron Man actually holds his own in a fight against the grisly god. Cap shows up to end the fight, and Thor agrees to co-operate with SHIELD to retrieve the Tesseract. While this happens, Hawkeye attacks the giant fortress-airship-boat-thing, causing explosions and a fight between Thor and the Hulk for no real reason. Black Widow manages to knock Hawkeye back to his senses, but Loki escapes, with Thor and Hulk scattered. So the portal is opened on top of Iron Man's new skyscraper-vacation house-thing, aliens invade New York, and this is where the movie really kicks ass. For this last half hour or so, every main character is given at least a couple awesome moments, especially Hulk. He just tears the shit out of the aliens and beats Loki in a second! So after the portal is closed and Loki defeated, Thor teleports him and the Tesseract back to Asgard and they all live awesomely ever after... OR DO THEY?!?! After the first part of the credits, one of the aliens sets up an obvious sequel hook, talking to his master, who ends up being some dude named Thanos.**
Now, onto the actors. Obviously, Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark, we all know this to be true forever. Scarlett Johansen is sexy as all hell, but what else would you expect from her? Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most badass black dudes ever, and shows it by being incredibly intelligent as Nick Fury, but also managing to shrug off a fucking bullet wound in the beginning, and taking down a few mooks toward the middle. The other SHIELD agents are okay, but I have to question why Robin from How I Met Your Mother is there. Not a nitpick, but it's just strange to me.
Mark Rufallo was great as Bruce Banner, coming off as a guy who's seen it all, is in complete control, and just has this kind of endearing cockiness to him. When he needs to rage, though, he fucking rages. The guy who played Captain America was alright, but I think he just seemed a bit too used to the fact that he was frozen in a goddamn block of ice for decades. Thor seemed a bit too pretty-boy, he wasn't as muscular as I thought he should be and his beard wasn't nearly long enough. Seriously, if he shaved it off, he could join a Boy Band. He was good, though very hammy. Just about everyone else was at least decent.
Now onto Loki, my main complaint about the film. I didn't see Thor and didn't read the comics, so I don't know if he's supposed to be like this, but he just wasn't what I expected. Wasn't Loki the Norse Trickster God? He should've been more of a troll to everyone, not the calculative, patient guy he was. The guy playing him did a good job, making him seem very cocky, but his hair was very strange, though what would you expect from the Trickster God. Also, why the hell did they have to build him up like this huge threat, then have ONE GUY come in and smash him into the floor like nothing? Loki's like an afterthought compared to the invasion! Probably my least favorite Marvel Movie villains.
Obviously, the action and effects were top notch, keeping you glued to the screen the entire time. I really liked Bruce Banner's Hulking Out sequences, especially the 2-second long one in the climax. The aliens were very impressive, all the awesome blasts were just awesome, the movie is just awe-inspiring! Though the movie had a $200 Million budget, it seems to me like it was more of a $500 million budget, the effects are that awesome! Everything looks so realistic! Well, as realistic as giant flying alien-worm-whale-things can look.
In conclusion, Avengers is my pick for Movie of the Fucking Year. It shows that Marvel still has it when it comes to film adaptations, and got me hyped for the next films in it's mythos, and even more hyped than I already was for Amazing Spider-Man, which I'm definitely seeing opening week (The last time I did that was Yu-Gi-Oh The Movie. I don't regret that)!
HBM, Signing Out!
EDIT: So... I saw Thor and... I have some things to take back about Loki. In a nutshell, he's no longer my least favorite Marvel movie villain.
Also, LOL at this being my 69th post!
* Well, I did have a book that had some of the first Hulk comics in it, but I lost that years ago somehow. Damn you, constant movage of furniture!
** I only know that name thanks to Wikipedia. Isn't the internet a wonderful place?!