Joss Whedon's Movie The Avengers Is The Best Superhero Movie Ever Made So Far...
Joss Whedon’s Avengers Is The Best Superhero Movie Ever Made… So Far…
Imagine having all your best meals in one setting, and, moreover, having all those meals being mouth-watering delicious to your taste buds - that is what I felt like watching the new Avengers movie. I was once again that little boy in the Hamlet of Saint Paul’s, on the Island of Saint Kitts, salivating and sneaking off to read the latest Avengers comic book. I should have known that I would have more than enjoyed the Avengers movie because it was directed by Joss Whedon; speaking of Mr. Whedon, I am biased because I have enjoyed his work for a long time… this is the man who gave us two of the greatest televisions series ever, “Buffy-The-Vampire-Slayer” and “Angel” and it was only a matter of time before such stellar auteur work would be witnessed by a wider audience on the silver screen. I must also commend Mr. Whedon on his bravery of having characters involved in interracial relationships on the aforementioned Buffy and Angel… and with said relationships between Black men and White women, unlike the current wont of the light-skinned Black girl and White guy… but I digress, back to the Avengers….
The sheer beauty about the Avengers movie is that every superhero gets his or her time on the screen and it works - no one, unless he or she is rabidly selfish, is going to complain about this hero or that shero ‘hogging’ all the dialogue or action sequences. Speaking of sequence, none is wasted because the writing is so excellent: you will laugh, applaud, moved to sorrow/pity or sheer terror when you have to. The acting from the cast is way beyond par… it is the crackling fire dialogue worthy of any Oscar script. Scarlett Johansson is a stand out and an apt example of the great writing in the Avengers movie: watch Miss Johansson being tortured, yet speaking as if she has the upper hand; and, watch her again gleaning information from the bad guy, Loki, the demigod, as to the latter’s purpose for attacking Earth. Another aspect is the growing malignant banter between Iron Man and Captain America because the latter thinks that the former is selfish and a playboy with an armor… leaving those of us in the audience hoping for a throw-down between the two.
The script also tuggs at your heart strings because we also feel the burden of Bruce Banner being unable to control his alter ego, the Hulk, that monster part of his person.... Bruce Banner in the opening scene of the Avengers movie is doing what amounts to penance in what looks like Brazil as payment to society… and lastly, the reluctant demi god, Thor, who is slowly getting accustomed to being the protector of an ungrateful world and fending off the half-divine sibbling rivalry. I do not want to give away the action sequences... but, permit me this one, which, to me is one of the most satisfying I have seen in a long time; this is where the Hulk put a most welcomed beat down on the bad guy, Loki - it comes when Loki, in his most grating of arrogance is commanding the Hulk that the behemoth should bow down and worship him - if anyone does not applause during this sequence, he or she is indeed made of stone.
Another standout in the Avengers movie is Samuel L. Jackson… playing the role of Nick Fury - Mr. Jackson is so good that I almost forgot that the Nick Fury in the Avengers comic book is White. In the movie, Mr. Jackson has that lethal cucumber-cool look, attired in his trade-mark black trench coat and bald dome - he is also manipulative and benignly Machiavellian - if there is such a term - in getting the mission done: see the scene where Fury uses a beloved character’s death to foster unity among the superheroes. Even the love scenes are done with skills – take the budding relationship between Pepper Potts (Paltrow) and Iron Man (Downey), although brief, it is tasteful and it leaves the audience wanting more and wondering how it is going to play out. To underscore how careful the screen writers were... there is a scene where Iron Man and Thor are going after Loki and Captain America wants to join the fray, whereby he is told by Johansson’s character that to leave the fight to the upper crust super heroes because they were about to confront a demi god. Captain America retorts that he only knows one God; this line is so right for the Captain America character because he is from an era (the 40s) when God, America, mom, and apple pie were part of life unlike the so called enlightened cynical posture most of us hold today.
Before the Avengers movie, I measured movies in this genre by Christopher Nolan’s superb take on the Batman series – for me now… it is Joss Whedon’s Avengers movie. I suppose I will have to wait until next Summer when the new Batman movie comes out to see if Mr. Nolan retakes the crown from Mr. Whedon. Incidentally, in that same vein of thinking, I wished that George Lucas and James Cameron would have employed better writers for their respective otherwise great science fiction movies. I still cringe over the awkward dialogue and love scenes between Anakin Skywalker and Princess Amidala. I know that the stuffy, elitist voters of the Academy seldom recognize actors in this genre - otherwise, long before Heath Ledger, they would have recognized and awarded the late Ricardo Montalban for his brilliant performance in “Star Trek- The Wrath of Khan.” I hope that there is a change afoot in the Academy’s recognition for movies in this genre, starting among the Avengers’ cast, director, and screen writers.