Since the release of Iron Man, Marvel has been building up to a movie featuring several of their characters working together. I’ve been wanting to see The Avengers (2012) for a long time now.
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The Avengers (2012) builds on things that have happened in the previous movies Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger. This movie can technically stand alone, but some things will make more sense if the other movies have been seen first, especially Thor.
I am only going to briefly discuss the plot of The Avengers (2012). There are no spoilers for the movie in the review. A few things I mention could be spoilers for previous Marvel movies, especially Thor. You have been warned.
** Minor Plot Discussion **
Loki turns up on Earth and puts a plan in motion to gain control of the planet, taking over a few important people in the process. Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. recruits a team - Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk, Captain America, and Thor - and tries to find a way to get them to work together to deal with Loki and the army he is bringing.
** End of Minor Plot Discussion **
There is a short scene a few minutes into the credits that seems to be setting up something. I’m guessing it is for the next Avengers movie, though I don’t know for sure. There is another scene after the credits are completely over. That scene isn’t as important, but it does tie back into something mentioned during the movie and I enjoyed it.
The Avengers (2012) is based on the Marvel comic books featuring the team. I haven’t read any of them, so I don’t know if anything from the movie came directly from one of the comic books. I have seen the animated movies featuring the characters, and I know that there were a few different members of the team in them that aren’t in this movie. I’m not that familiar with the team, so I don’t know how accurately the members are portrayed. I think the movie can be entertaining for people who aren’t as familiar with the comic book versions of the characters.
Things start happening right away, showing how Loki starts his attack. Some of what is going on does tie back into events from the other movies, especially where Loki is concerned. He poses a huge threat to the safety of the planet and he is the ultimate motivation for the others to work together. Having the Earth be threatened isn’t exactly a new idea, but the way it is done in the movie works really well, making things interesting and entertaining. The plot really isn’t simple since a lot is going on, but it isn’t too complicated either. Things get resolved in a way that makes sense given what happens in the movie while also leaving open the possibility for more movies.
Like has happened in some of previous Marvel movies, there is a good amount of humor in The Avengers (2012). The humor doesn’t make the movie a comedy overall, but it does help lighten the mood a bit at times. I think the humor works but some viewers may feel differently. There isn’t any gross humor, something far too many movies turn to. The humor mostly comes from things that are said, usually by Tony. That fits perfectly with his character and he behaved in the two Iron Man movies, making quips in all sorts of situations. He’s always gotten some funny things to say, but I think his lines are even better in this movie. At one point, Tony pokes fun at Thor’s outfit by referencing Shakespeare in the Park. Director Joss Whedon also wrote the screenplay, and I definitely see his touch in Tony’s comments.
There is a lot of action in The Avengers (2012), something that I expected before seeing the movie. I think there could be more action in this one then there has been in the previous Marvel movies. The action definitely receives a lot of attention, but not at the expense of the story. When characters fight, there is a reason for it in the story. This is the first time that most of the characters have met and things don’t always go smoothly. There are a lot of fights throughout the movie, first between members of the team - which are pretty cool - and then with Loki and his army. Even with all that going on, the violence isn’t really excessive, though there are a few things that might upset younger viewers. I don’t consider this a movie for children and think parents should probably check it out before letting their children see it.
While there is a lot of action in the movie that gets nonstop later in the movie, there is absolutely no annoying shaky camera work. It never looks like the camera is bouncing around on a trampoline, so you can actually see and appreciate what is going on in the action scenes. The audience can tell who is beating the crap out of whom or who blew something up without getting dizzy or being on the verge of a headache. It’s wonderful to actually be able to keep track of what is going on during intense action scenes. Thank you Joss Whedon.
Several things in The Avengers (2012) - Iron Man being able to fly - wouldn’t work without special effects. They are needed to make everything work, but I don’t feel like they take over from the story. The effects are very well done. Some of the effects are really cool, like when Tony changes to a new version of his Iron Man suit later in the movie. It is showing in 3D as well as the regular 2D version. I saw the 2D version, so I don’t know how the 3D looks. I did read that the 3D was done in a conversion after the movie was filmed.
The main characters, as well as some of the supporting characters, have been introduced in the previous movies. That allows for the development to be built on what has already been started. Clint Barton/Hawkeye was only briefly introduced in Thor, so he is less developed than many of the others. Jeremy Renner does well with the part even though he doesn’t receive as much attention.
Nick Fury has mostly just turned up briefly before this movie. He is around more this time, trying to find a way to deal with Loki. Samuel L. Jackson is good in the part. Agent Coulson is back, helping to get the team together. Clark Gregg is good in the part. Maria Hill is another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who works closely with Nick. She is more of a supporting character, so Cobie Smulders doesn’t have as much to do.
Tony is still a bit arrogant at times, but he is good at dealing with different things. He does have flaws, and I still think that is part of what makes him so likable. The fact that Robert Downey Jr. is so good in the part doesn’t hurt either. He is perfect as Tony. Gwyneth Paltrow is in a few short scenes as Pepper Potts, Tony’s assistant and love interest. It would have been nice if Pepper had been around more with Tony, but I understand why she wasn’t. Paul Bettany provides the voice of Jarvis, the computer system for Tony’s home and Iron Man suits.
Steve Rogers/Captain America is still struggling to adjust to living in a new time. He still has the mentality of a solider and believes in following orders without question. That does cause him to clash with Tony at times. Chris Evans handles the part well. Natasha Romanoff is an agent who is highly trained in fighting without any extra powers. There is still some mystery surrounding her. Scarlet Johansson is fine in the part. Men may enjoy the tight outfit she wears in many scenes. Bruce Banner has found a way to deal with his issue and he tries to help people. Mark Ruffalo is fine in the part, but I do miss Edward Norton as Bruce.
Thor turns up to deal with Loki. Thor believes that he should be able to take Loki home and deal with him there. I like Chris Hemsworth in the part. Stellan Skarsgard is back in a few scenes as Eric Selvig, the character he played in Thor. Loki has gotten some kind of staff that gives him a lot of power and he plans to take over the Earth. He does enjoy stirring up trouble, but he also wants to be worshiped by everyone. Tom Hiddleston is really good as Loki. Alexis Denisof does the voice of a character only identified as The Other, a character that helps Loki. Stan Lee is back in another small cameo.
Paul Bettany - Voice of Jarvis
Robert Downey Jr. - Tony Stark/Iron Man
Chris Evans - Steve Rogers/Captain America
Clark Gregg - Agent Coulson
Chris Hemsworth - Thor
Tom Hiddleston - Loki
Samuel L. Jackson - Nick Fury
Scarlet Johansson - Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
Jeremy Renner - Clint Barton/Hawkeye
Mark Ruffalo - Bruce Banner/Hulk
Cobie Smulders - Agent Maria Hill
Joss Whedon - Director
The Avengers (2012) is a wonderful culmination of all the little hints from the previous Marvel movies. Maybe someone at DC Comics will make some notes and the long wished for Justice League movie can be made. Fans of the Marvel movies should definitely check this one out. Joss Whedon has made a great superhero movie that is a must see. This does make me wish that he had been able to make the Wonder Woman movie, though if he had, he may not have been able to make this one.
This review is part of elvisdo’s 2012 Funny Pages Write-off.
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