Robot 6

The Fifth Color | The Avengers movie I’ve been waiting for

thank you, uproxx.com!

Why yes, I did enjoy the film.

Where do I start?  There are so many things in the Avengers movie that it’s super difficult to find just one idea and use it to explain that this was … this was a dream come true.  In my lifetime, there is a big-budget Avengers movie written by and starring incredibly talented people, and everyone I know is going to see this. Not just a few friends with a bootleg tape we can groan over, but a real-life movie full of real live people who have no idea that Hawkeye is deaf in one ear or that the Avengers have a charter by which they elect chairmen to lead them.  But there they are, selling out seats in midnight showings, crowding theaters overseas, all there for the excitement of seeing these characters do heroic deeds on the silver screen.

I once asked Geoff Johns at a signing if he liked the (at the time) new Teen Titans Go cartoon show.  Johns was writing a very in-depth and classic Teen Titans run in the comics, and I would have thought that the incredibly anime attempt at storytelling might have irked him.  Instead, he told me that he loved the show and that it was amazing that thousands of kids who watched it now knew who Cyborg was.  As I left the theater and two teens passed me by in delirious midnight showing glee and shouting to one another about “Oh my god, Arrow Guy!  I thought Captain America, but- ARROW GUY!!” I think I get what Johns was talking about.

So where do I start?  At the amazing fact that this movie even exists and will make tons of money?  At the continuity kept between this movie and the rest of Marvel Studios productions?  With all the massive character development or all the massive action that took place around (and during) the character development?  In fact, this movie has so much going for it, it’s nearly overwhelming to watch.  If anything, its great success as comic book storytelling brought to film could be its greatest detriment.

WARNING:  I’m going to try and not reveal too much as far as spoilers, but it’s safe to say that’s going to be difficult in a movie this awesome.  I’m just going to want to grab you and shout, “Oh my God, Arrow Guy!”  So if you’ve seen the movie or just want to read about someone who has, join us in the link below!

The short short recap: Avengers is a story about SHIELD fighting a power-mad Loki who steals a portal to deep space.  In deep space, there is an army of aliens who want to conquer the universe and have made a deal with Loki to do this very thing, starting with Earth.  Heroes from four different movies come together and have what is commonly known as a “misunderstanding fight.”  They resolve their differences in the face of imminent peril, then everybody fights.  EVERYONE.  Guess who wins?  By the end of the film, everyone is placed in position for the next great gathering of heroes and the Avengers have been sold to the public as a legitimate superhero team.

A man with a bow stands toe-to-toe with a Super Soldier

Absolutely nothing feels out of place throughout the film.  I’m incredibly impressed with the level of detail and attention Joss Whedon managed to find with, what, six major superheroes at once?  This doesn’t count the three SHIELD agents who all get their moment in the sun, plus the main villain and Dr. Selvig, who has enough lines and importance to be a key character in the plot.  That, my friends, is a lot of characters, but no one takes a backseat to the fab four movie-starring heroes and everyone has motivation and an arc to complete.  Okay, maybe not so much for Maria Hill, but you can’t say she was a throwaway character.  One of Joss Whedon’s strengths is ensemble pieces and he shines as the director as much as our heroes.  Even the Whedonisms I personally don’t care for (all the snappy patter dialogue, “killing a beloved character,” the petite young girl who kicks everyone’s butt) seemed to be self-aware.  Captain America knows he’s not going to be great at the pop culture references, Black Widow wasn’t exactly petite nor a young girl but an accomplished assassin and …  well.  That “killing a beloved character” as motivation for everyone else was right in step with Nick Fury’s ultimate plan.

All the characters have their places and hit their marks with expert care.  From Iron Man’s casual devil-may-care attitude to Captain America’s forthrightness to even Loki’s need to dominate mankind as the God he is, I don’t think there was a moment where I had to step around any leaps of logic or just assume this would be explained later in the novelization.  The “misunderstanding fight” that’s as much a part of comic book storytelling as a cape and tights was an honest series of misunderstandings or the machinations of a larger, malevolent force.  The build up between meeting Bruce Banner and seeing the Hulk for the first time is a slow simmer; when the Hulk is unleashed on a hapless SHIELD hellicarrier (how sad is it that Battleship shows as a trailer before this movie? The hellicarrier was way more awesome than those boats), there is a sense of tension and a near-horror movie delivery as the Black Widow is chased by a rampaging green monster.  While I might prefer Edward Norton’s delivery as Bruce Banner, I think this is the finest adaptation of the Hulk to the movie screen as we’ve gotten yet.

Earth's Mightiest Heroes

The Avengers movie is so good that it’s difficult to imagine someone not liking it.  It’s fun, it’s fast, it’s heroic and well performed.  In fact, this and the Captain America movie now stand side by side as fantastic example of the comic book storytelling style.  The Avengers movie is very simply put, comics come to life, with all the four color fantasy that entails.  But there are movie fans who don’t like comics.  There are comic fans who specifically don’t care for the cape and tights set.  The Dark Knight is an amazing balance of both dramatic comic style heroics and deep cinematic storytelling, so it hits a broader audience appeal.  The Avengers, in comparison, is so cranked to 11 on all of the tropes and styles that have been prevalent through all the Marvel movies I would say, that its extremity won’t be for everyone.

There’s a lot of technobabble in the beginning.  Everyone is crazy quick with a comeback for every line.  Some locations seem staged as we move along.  And yes, seeing Iron Man 1 and 2, Thor and Captain America will give you the whole story.  I’m not saying it’s a perfect movie because I’m not a movie reviewer. I’m a comic fan and I’m saying that in style and in function, the Avengers is a dream come true.  Maybe it’s because the director has written for comics, maybe it’s because every smart-mouthed line coming from Robert Downey Jr. seems so off-the-cuff and natural.  Maybe it’s because we’ve reached a point in our special effects team and computer design that the Hulk and aliens and our own backyard can be so well-suited together on the silver screen.  Perhaps it’s the fact we can finally finally finally stop seeing origin films and get to the heart of the matter in these kinds of movies.  I don’t know what it is that conspired to make the Avengers movie what we have today, but this is the movie I’ve been waiting for.

But maybe that’s an old fashioned idea…

News From Our Partners

Comments

24 Comments

Yup, gotta agree. Being a longtime comic geek, i got a real kick out of the reaction from the audience. Im thinking, ‘see! this is what ive experienced all these years when reading a great comic! Now go out to a comic shop and enjoy’!

el_caifan

Thank you for a Fan’s Review! For a lot of us, this movie is 100% VALIDATION of our investment of
imagination & our willingness to take the ride. The Reveal of the next Big Bad sends chills down my
spine; no spoilers shall pass here, but MAN-OH-MAN, I can’t wait for him to make his play!

just being honest

May 5, 2012 at 10:41 am

A limp script with space-filling dialogue, a paper-thin plot, an unthreatening villain, a middling soundtrack, and tv production sensibilities all add up to a not-perfect movie.

Fans are over the moon right now, reviewing the last 30 minutes (the big fight action) and forgetting the first hour and a half.

Really? What movie were you watching?!!

el_caifan

First hour was a little slow. I’d completely forgotten that fact by the second.

I absolutely loved this movie!!!!

Maybe now, if this thing REALLY rakes in the dough, DC/Warner Bros. may finally get off their duffs and start working on trying to out-do this with a Justice League film. Face it, people–we NEED a Justice League movie to balance out the Marvel/DC yin-yang. It MUST happen.

Saw it in Hong Kong over the week end. Absolutely love it. And the audience was clapping at the end. Rare for Asians. Just show how much we in Hong Kong enjoy this. Am going to watch it again weeks from now.

I just loved Marvel’s Avengers. I thought it was smart and the impressive cast really delivered! When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

First, let me say that I’m not a purist. I don’t feel that a movie of adaptation of comic book characters have to follow the comic exactly. The Christoper Reeve Superman movie set the standard and showed that when you respect the source material and treat the characters as real and not as cardboard cutouts or stereotypes a good movie can be made. Not a good comic book movie, just a good movie.

Great movies started being made with the comic book characters when they started fleshing out the characters and understanding their motivations.

This is what helps make The Avengers a great movie. The individual movies clearly defined the characters and their motivations. Even without seeing those movies, it’s clear to the viewer that those motivations are in conflict as the heroes assemble. Helping to give us the obligatory hero vs hero fight,which is handled very well. It’s not just tossed in for a hero fight, it actually contributes to the story.

In fact therein lies another reason for the greatness of this movie. Not a single frame is wasted. Every move, every frame, every line contributes to advancing the story or revealing something about the character(s).

The movie opens on an alien world with Loki and an alien (not a Skrull). During the trailers the sound system was pumping. So I know it worked. Yet it was hard to hear clearly in this scene. Were they mumbling? This was the only time the sound was bad and my first disappointment.

My second and last disappointment was the title sequence. Was this an after thought? After months of pushing a well designed Avengers logo in our face. The title sequence shows a poorly designed logo.

The Avengers is an awesome, entertaining movie.

Saw the movie and loved it. I re-read my entire Avengers collection prior to seeing the movie because I was so pumped for it. My run starts with the oldest issue I own (15) continues through the Thomas, Englehart, Shooter, Michelinie, Stern, Simonson, Byrne, and finally most of the Harras run (I dropped before the Crossing) and picks back up with Busiek. I bought the Johns, Austen, and Bendis runs but got rid of all those issues because they never felt like the Avengers to me. The movie feels like the Avengers to me. And I’m glad that it doesn’t have that much of an Ultimates influence (IMO) so that Mark Millar can stop taking credit for the whole thing. I can’t wait to see it again!

sell it like it is

May 6, 2012 at 9:53 am

So it made over $600 million worldwide. Do the Kirby heirs get a penny of this? Heck, sounds like Millar should get some money too since they borrowed all kinds of plot ideas from his books

You can now go back to wetting yourself over the “weekend box office record” and forget everything I said

RegularSyzedMike

May 6, 2012 at 10:09 am

Good movie…even though Hawkeye and Black Widow were in it! They successfully made me like a super hero team for the first time! (I haven’t historically liked team ups of “super” individuals like Avengers and Justice League…always preferred true teams like X-Men. It’s also why I don’t watch NBA basketball anymore)

My only problem with it is how Hulk could suddenly focus when he was needed. That was corny even by comic book standards.

I Heart Catman

May 6, 2012 at 11:19 am

RegularSyzedMike:

No, it wasn’t. Not at all.

The first time his change was provoked. It was a self-defence mechanism; as they alluded before that Hulk saved Banner’s life from a lethal dose of gamma radiation.

The 2nd time he changed was out of his own free-will. There’s some cut dialogue with the custodian that apparently elaborates further on his transformations, but this was pretty much implied when he said he’s “always angry”. By not fighting the monster he had more control.

And hey, suckerpunching Thor in the head when they were teaming up doesn’t really demonstrate full control and focus, does it?

RegularSyzedMike

May 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Still corny. It’s okay…I still liked the movie so you can sleep easily!

And Thor had it comin’!

I was surprised at how well Avengers tuned into that real comic book feel .. this one may be worth watching in more than once!

@RegularSyzedMike

The last scene of the Hulk film w/ Ed Norton established that Banner had a substantial level of control over his transformations. It’s consistent with the movie continuity.

I really enjoyed the film – one of the best comic-book superhero adaptations to date. Superman is the best IMO, but my childlike enjoyment colours my judgement.

The only misstep in the Avengers script was the interaction between Tony Stark and Cap, specifically TS’s total lack of respect for Cap at the beginning of the film, and throughout until the end. All I kept thinking was, is TS forgetting Cap is a WW2 veteran? Does TS go to veteran hospitals and take the piss out of them? Does he mock Veteran’s Day and Rememberance Day? Is he as much of a douchebag as he’s acting? ‘Cause no matter how you look at it, he’s disrespecting a WW2 veteran in the film. It was totally our of character for the TS I know.

@Cjorg

You don’t have to apologize for Superman. I saw it for the first time about a year ago – and it is a great film. The tone and characterization are pitch perfect. It is a really, really good film

RegularSyzedMike

May 7, 2012 at 10:06 am

@Rich:

Then why couldn’t he control it when he fell and ended up chasing the one person that hadn’t talked sh#t at him?

That’s where I found the flaw. I know it’s just a movie (hint) and I understand it was a needed plot device but yeah…

sandwich eater

May 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm

I loved this movie. It was what I always wanted when I was a kid. However, unlike the reviewer, I think Mark Ruffalo was the best Bruce Banner. I really want to watch all the individual movies and the Avengers as a marathon.

Marvel is definitely doing better with its movies, but DC has always had better animation. So I guess that kind of evens out. Hopefully the new Superman movie next year will be the first step in building towards a Justice League movie.

The movie was alright but far from great.
There were a lot of things wrong with the film.

@Aj

Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of “greatest movie ever” but I’ve yet to hear any real concrete reasons why it was good. In other words, if you can’t put your finger on it, there’s probably nothing to put your finger on. The closest people have come to giving examples of what made it great was the Whedon humor throughout

I felt Loki was an unworthy villain;Thor could stop him alone. There were a good couple scenes that probably shouldn’t have made the cut. No one was pushed to their limit. The ending fight scene didn’t deliver, the aliens went down easy, they just had numbers. Loki went down very easily, 3 of the top 4 Avengers had there way with him in the movie. And the happy ending after they’ve won was different because usually movies wanna add a twist to the ending, but that part I dnt have a problem with. But dnt get me wrong, the movie had a lot of good parts which made it a good flick. I just think this movie made people seem easy/kid-like pleased with basic stuff.

Leave a Comment

 



Browse the Robot 6 Archives