I usually try to lower my expectations before a big film I’m eagerly anticipating comes out with the rule being that it can only go up from there. Well, I couldn’t really do that for the Avengers. I was buzzing all night thinking about seeing it at 0900 Friday morning. And I’m happy to say that it was indeed EXCELLENT! But is it the BEST Marvel film to date? You know, that’s a really tough question. I guess I’d say Iron Man, Captain America, and the Avengers are each just about tied for first, because I love them all, but for different reasons. Thor is respectably in second-place with the Incredible Hulk and Iron Man II both being deeply flawed and essentially unnecessary to the overall saga.
wouldn’t have worked so well without the viewer having already been invested in
the lives of Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor, and Loki. Each of their films was so character-driven
and laid a solid foundation for their roles to build upon in this movie, which was
to be expected. (It was cool to finally
get a brief glimpse of Cap on Ice right out of Avengers #4!)
However, what I didn’t anticipate was how well fleshed out Natasha
Romanoff (the Black Widow) and Bruce Banner would be.
Let’s face it, Scarlett Johansson was little more than
eye-candy in Iron Man II. She’s still pleasing to watch here (despite
her shorter-hair), but she had such a prominent role too. Think her super-power is her fighting
prowess? Think again, because this lady
can talk her way out of any situation.
She’s an expert at interrogation even when she seems to be the one in
the more vulnerable position.
Mark Ruffalo is now the fourth actor to play Bruce Banner and
he’s the best since the late-great Bill Bixby.
Mark now owns that role. His
soft-spoken, smoldering anger was wonderful to watch. I meant what I said about the Hulk film being
unnecessary. You didn’t need to see what
went on before to understand and relate to his character. And the Hulk…WOW! They FINALLY got him right! He moves and acts just like the Hulk should. I also
loved the way he maintained Mark’s “look” after the change. I heard they weren’t going to make another
Hulk film. That’s too bad, because I
think it could be great based on his performance. I wouldn’t even mind seeing his origin again,
only with Ruffalo.
Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson, the wonderful thread that cemented
the continuity of the series, really got to shine in this film too.
There were a few minor, minor blips (one literal) in the
movie. Jackson’s Nick Fury appeared a
bit stiff to me. And it seems to be very
difficult to catch people in the throes of panic without making them look like
they’re waiting a tad too long for the impending action sequence. Also, I’m always amazed at the limited number of comic creators they
acknowledge in the credits. One thing
this film didn’t lack was excellent special effects. They were tremendous.
I’m glad that Alan Silvestri was on tap again to do the film
score; I really liked what he did for Captain
The six films as a whole are an astounding achievement
maintaining a singular vision (especially considering all the different
directors). Joss Whedon was definitely
the man for the job for putting together this ensemble as both director and co-writer. His dialogue was spot-on too (Anyone want to guess what my favorite Captain America line was?) It really was well-balanced for all the
principals and a perfect capstone to all that came before.
Be sure to stay to the very, very end for an extra, extra
Don’t forget that it’s Free Comic Book Day today!!!