What happens when you put a handful of Earth’s mightiest heroes into one two-hour film? You would normally expect a film that is spread too thin, with lack of a proper direction (too chaotic). Thankfully, The Avengers is not a “normal” movie. By this, I simply mean that it was written and directed by Joss Whedon. Adding that to the line-up of incredible actors and performances, The Avengers is one of the greatest superhero films ever made, and will surely give The Dark Knight Rises a run for its money.
At the spearhead of the film is Joss Whedon’s script. Not to give him all the credit, I would like to give Zak Penn some recognition for the story elements. Penn has wrote many superhero flicks, and is something of a veteran to the formula. However, The Avengers doesn’t shine in its plot. No, the script-writing that I am referring to is the dialogue and character portrayal. While it is enviable that the film could use more screen time for some of the freshly introduced characters, Whedon gave each of the stars enough time to define their personality while entertaining the audience. The characters “entertain the audience” with moments of over-the-top, and sometimes hilarious, action sequences that left the auditorium clapping. As if this wasn’t enough, the entire film, from start to finish, was absolutely hilarious. Joss Whedon is known for the charm and humour that he pumps into his projects, stemming as far as The Cabin in the Woods, a horror film. The Avengers is certainly no exception.
Behind the hilarious script is an action-packed film made to please a core audience. Marvel fans don’t need to be introduced to these new characters, such as Hawkeye. With that said, one must keep in mind that this is a blockbuster film, and it should be somewhat accessible. If there is any notable flaw with the film (as minor as it is), it would be that newcomers will be utterly lost. Some of the characters were not given equal treatment prior to the film. Hawkeye and Black Widow have not been given their own movie, which ultimately has undermined their presence. Furthermore, those who haven’t seen the “set-up” films (Ironman, Ironman 2, Thor, and Captain America) will have troubles keeping up with the plot. I should emphasis the importance of watching Thor before The Avengers.
Speaking of Hawkeye, his unfamiliarity with the general public isn’t the only dent in his character. (minor spoilers) The decision to make him go rogue – against his will – in the prologue of the film gave the viewers no time to fall in love with the character. Black Widow, on the other hand, has an excellent introduction in the film, in addition to her appearance in Ironman 2 (end spoilers). Even so, these complaints hold almost no ground in retrospect, especially when weighing out the pros and cons.
Each character had their moments to shine, but the star of the film was easily The Hulk. Let it be known that I have never been a huge fan of The Hulk. Rightfully so. In recent memory, no on-screen adaptation has done justice to the character. That is, until today. Mark Ruffalo has set new standards for the green giant, one that will be particularly hard to surpass. The gold was in his delivery, both as Bruce Banner and The Hulk. Much of this praise is interwoven with the recent remarks made about Whedon’s script, but Ruffalo deserves much appreciation.
It is hard to say that The Avengers is one of the best comic book adaptations, but it certainly places its name among the crowd. From V For Vendetta to Watchmen, The Avengers fits nicely in the list of classics. Additionally, The Avengers completely lives up to the hype that dates back four years while simultaneously being the best Hulk film to date. The Avengers is a roller-coaster ride of laughs and thrills; one that you’ll want to ride again and again.