Assemble! The Avengers Review

The moment has arrived!

For months, I have not stopped talking about how much I wanted to watch the movie, and this morning just after the stroke of midnight, I finally got to experience The Avengers. All day long, I was counting down the minutes on my Facebook page and when I was in the car on my way to the theater, I was practically vibrating with anticipating and excitement. Decked out in my ‘Loki’s Army’ shirt with my limited edition Avenger’s cup, I settled in my seat and strapped myself in for the ride. It was worth it. And just in case anyone is wondering – Yes, I am going again tonight… and again on Sunday.

So, here it is – my review of The Avengers. I’m going to try and keep it as spoiler-free as I can, but since I’m going to be going into detail about the performances specifically, if you don’t want anything to be ruined… you should probably stop reading now.

Joss Whedon wrote a great script, putting his flavor of writing into it without over-doing it and keeping true to all of the characters. Anyone who doubted his ability to direct a big blockbuster explosion-fest will have to eat their words – the combat scenes are crisp and clean. The story maintained the integrity of the previous films, each having offered glimpses of what was to come with the team meeting up and with The Avengers, seamlessly allowing each of those characters to go off to do their follow-up movies (Iron Man 3, Captain America 2 and Thor 2) without any confusion. That Marvel had the foresight to plan out the interwoven storylines between several films only strengthens the feeling that each of these heroes live in the same universe.

Now, onto the individual performances. Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man. He has this uncanny ability to capture all of the intricate details of the character while delivering laugh-inducing and witty dialogue. Without the subtle nuances in his acting arsenal, Stark might come across as one dimensional – the joker – of the bunch, but because of his impressive list of film credits, Downey adds depth to the genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist. Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans (as Thor and Captain America, respectively) are engaging, both playing the “lost in the world” type characters and each still standing out on their own. Their dialogue isn’t nearly as fun as Downey’s, but when their chance comes, both of them sell it. Their characters are the truest of heroes, both looking out for Earth’s best interest while many of the other members of the team have other motives.

What surprised me the most was Scarlet Johannson’s performance as Black Widow. Now, maybe I shouldn’t be shocked that Whedon wrote an awesome part for the only female member of the team, but she worked it hard. From her first scene to the last, there was no question as to why she was there and often, she was what kept the team together. The relationship (while seemingly only professional) between her and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) was believable, when the pair were on screen, I didn’t once doubt that they had been working together as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents for years. Watching them actually made me really excited about the prospect of there being a film where they were both featured.

Mark Ruffalo’s take on Bruce Banner was endearing. Choosing to play the isolated scientist more shy and awkward made him likable almost instantly, which was a smart choice considering that before The Avengers, the role had been played by two other actors. And while I would like to give him credit for the Hulk stealing the show, most of it should be given to the CGI team that worked tirelessly to make the big green monster both menacing and hilarious.

Here is my one and only beef: I feel like Loki as a character was under utilized. As the God of Mischief, he’s known for backroom dealings and sneaky betrayals and I felt that he could have been interchanged with any other generic Marvel villain. Now, saying that, I want to make clear that this has nothing to do with Tom Hiddleston’s performance as the lost Asgardian. As usual, he knocked it right out of the park. Not only was he able to keep up with the playful one-liners fired out by the super team, but that constant internal struggle of the troubled brother still trying to step out of Thor’s shadow still shined through. There was a desperation in the character, that need to prove himself to be Thor’s equal, and that might explain why he was less subtle and conniving. Also, falling into the Bifrost for however long, is bound to make you a little crazy and power hungry.

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