The Avengers (2012)
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Director: Joss Whedon
Writers: Joss Whedon, Zak Penn, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Scarlett Johansson, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård, Gwyneth Paltrow, Stan Lee, Pat Kiernan, Thomas Roberts
Voice Cast: Paul Bettany, Lou Ferrigno
Synopsis: Nick Fury is director of S.H.I.E.L.D, an international peace keeping agency. The agency is a who's who of Marvel Super Heroes, with Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When global security is threatened by Loki and his cohorts, Nick Fury and his team will need all their powers to save the world from disaster.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Intro
Marvel Movie Universe Lead Up To The Avengers
The long anticipated "Avengers" movie is finally here. After so many years of hype, there's only two results that one can expect. It'll either live up to the hype, or it'll become a giant disappointment. There will be no in between. Does this movie live up to the hype of being the first superhero film to feature multiple characters, from different film franchises, to assemble onto one team up movie? Or will it suffer from having too many characters to where the story itself will be mindless dribble, and become all flash, but no substance?
It's been hinted, since the ending credits scene of the first "Iron Man" movie, that an "Avengers" movie was well into the works by Marvel Studios. For those who aren't familiar with the "Avengers", then allow me to briefly explain. The movie itself is based on a comic book by Marvel Comics, where it features various superheroes teaming up to fight the forces of evil. Many of the members each star in their own collective solo comics like "Captain America", "Iron Man", "Thor", "The Incredible Hulk" and etc; while featuring other characters that aren't as well known like "Hawkeye", "Black Widow" and such.
Unlike most superhero films, Marvel Studios has been planning this move for quite sometime. It started with "Iron Man" and "Incredible Hulk" in 2008, and then continued with "Iron Man 2", "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger"; with each film hinting at their inevitable team up. Needless to say, four years is a lot of time to build up hype for this movie; thus it's either going to become one of the best superhero films ever, or it'll fail miserably. As I said earlier, there will be in between with this film. Before I delve into my analysis of this film, I would like to first go over my thoughts on the previous Marvel films leading up to this one first.
I'll admit when the first "Iron Man" movie came out, I thought it was one of the best superhero films ever conceived. As for it's sequel, I was less impressed by it. "Iron Man 2" came off as a watered down sequel because it threw in too many subplots at it's audience. "The Incredible Hulk" essentially stole a lot of plot points from "Iron Man" that it was nothing more than an above average film at best. As for "Thor", I was fairly unimpressed by it to say the least. Don't get me wrong, I can see how some people would like it because of it's unique concept of combining Norse mythology with superhero lore. However, the it's fails to live up to it's potential, as it features a half baked romance, inconsistent special effects, and an uninteresting atmosphere around the Earth settings. Needless to say, my hopes for expecting a great "Avengers" movie wasn't that high after "Thor", as it seemed like Marvel Studios forgot how to make great quality movies. Of course, that's when "Captain America: The First Avenger" film came along.
Granted, it wasn't one of the best superhero films that I've ever seen, but it was certainly far better than any movie that was put out by Marvel Studios; with the notable exclusion of "Iron Man" respectively. Long story short, "Captain America: The First Avenger" totally re-established my faith in the upcoming "Avengers" film.
Anyway, after four years of waiting, does the "Avengers" film live up the hype? Or is it another disappointment? Well, lets get into that now. Picking up where "Thor" left off, the top secret agency known as SHIELD is researching a mysterious cosmic cube that is said contain almost unlimited energy. Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the Norse god of mischief, somehow manages to invade SHIELD's base, and he steals the cube for himself; while hypnotizing a few subordinates to assist them. One of them is namely Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who many comic fans know as the bad a** rogue archer of the "Avengers."
It's from here that SHIELD proceeds with the "Avengers Initiative", and even feels it's best to recruit "Iron Man"; even though they rejected him originally in "Iron Man 2." However, desperate times call for desperate measures. Unknowingly to the "Avengers", Loki isn't working alone, as he has his own army to invade and enslave Earth. But where did this army come from? Is Loki truly the mastermind behind the whole thing? Or perhaps, he could be nothing more than some lackey acting on behalf of a potentially more dangerous being. I can't really say, as it wouldn't be fair to readers if I gave away too much of the story.
However, I would strongly recommend all readers to watch the movie all the way through to the very end of the credits. I only say this because there's two after movie scenes. One scene where it leaves open for a potential sequel; midway through the credits. And, there's a rather hilarious one at the end of the credits featuring the "Avengers" cast at a restaurant.
The special effects for this movie is pretty much what you'd expect, and there's definitely plenty of action in the film to satisfy any superhero fanatic out there. Although one has to worry that with this many characters, doesn't that mean there's potential that this film could be all flash and no substance? One would probably think that considering how watered down "Iron Man 2" was with too many forced subplots, but you'd be wrong to assume such a thing about "The Avengers."
Granted, there are a lot of characters that this film takes time to develop, and there are a lot of subplots in this movie as well. And to be honest, if you've never seen any of the previous films leading up this one, then you'll probably be lost throughout most of this movie about who some these characters are. Sure, "The Avengers" isn't exactly the hardest movie in the world to comprehend, but some of the story won't make any sense unless you've seen the prior ones leading up to it. Little things like why the hell Thor (Chris Hemsworth) shows up out of nowhere, or the brief references to the events of the previous movies leading up to "The Avengers."
Having said all that, "The Avengers" surprisingly has one of the most engaging character driven stories that I've ever seen for a superhero film. Not only does Joss Whedon do an excellent job developing the characters, but he also still manages to give each main character enough screen time for the audience to connect with them. Plus, you have to almost love how the movie manages to mesh the personalities of these characters together; while still finding the right balance between action and story. Sure, there's a lot of subplots in this movie, but many of them connect well with each other, to play a part of a bigger story that it never feels watered down as one would expect. If anything, the subplots inter connect well with each other, and play a part in the film's main story arc. Although, I would never dare say this is the best superhero film that I've seen, but it's definitely one of the better ones out there, and arguably the most innovative.
As for the cast, all the actors played their parts rather well. None of their performances were too over the top, nor was the acting downplayed at all in this feature. And, as I mentioned earlier, Joss still managed to devote enough screen time for each main character, so the audience could connect with them.
To answer everyone's question about whether or not this film does live up to the hype, I'll simply say this. It not only lives up to the hype, but it surpasses the hype tenfold. Granted, audiences knew going into the movie that they were going to see an innovative action packed superhero film, but it wasn't expected that it would feature arguably one of the most engaging stories ever written for a movie of this genre.
Although, I'd love to give this movie a perfect score, but I can't ignore the fact that there are certain details that won't make a lot of sense to audiences if they've never seen the prior films leading up to this one. Granted, it's not a complex story, but I would definitely recommend readers to catch up on the prior films before watching this, to understand the references. Overall, I would have to give this movie a three and a half out of four. Definitely one of the most innovative and best superhero films out there. If you haven't seen this movie yet, then I'd highly recommend it.
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