Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Reviewed by: S. Tran
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston
Running time: 142 minutes
To the folks behind The Fantastic Four, this is how you do a team superhero movie. The Avengers is a fun filled comic book brought to life. The combination of action, humour and high production values will entertain everyone.
The film brings together a number of Marvel superheroes who have had their own films over the last few years. Iron Man (Downey Jr.), the Hulk (Ruffalo), Thor (Hemsworth) and Captain America (Evans) are brought together by Nick Fury (Jackson), the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., a secret organization. Think of the FBI on steroids, in the case of the Hulk lots and lots of steroids. They are needed to battle Loki (Hiddleston) who is back with a plan to take over the Earth.
The plot itself isn't in and of itself anything special, typical comic book fare. What makes this movie much better than it may have been is the sharp writing by Joss Whedon who rewrote the original screenplay. Whedon understands what he is doing here and makes sure that the movie is, above all, fun. This is something directors too often forget because they want to make everything so cool. Whedon does cool very well but I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard at a movie which says a lot considering The Avengers isn't even a comedy.
Another great addition to the film is Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, the Hulk's alter ego. I've never been a huge fan of Ruffalo in the past but his nerdy interpretation of Banner was right on. If you are a guy who can turn into an unstoppable killing machine you are likely going to be a little nervous around people and he plays the part better than any of his predecessors.
The same can't be said for Evans though as he is completely miscast as Captain America. In the comics Captain America is a leader of men. He inspires those around him and is the living embodiment of America. Evans has none of those qualities. Instead of coming off as inspiring he looks more like a member of a boy band. The role should have been cast with an older actor who could project those leadership qualities. Even the costume they designed for him looked like it was made by a fan for comicon, although admittedly, making a costume that is supposed to resemble the American flag look cool is probably not easy.
The big set pieces were handled well and entertained the audience although there were a couple of scenes during the final battle that didn't quite work. They seemed to lack a bit of polish or that cool factor that was in the rest of the film. I think the problem was that after seeing Thor, the Hulk and Iron Man running through walls and flying around it was a little tough for team members like Black Widow (Johansson) and Hawkeye (Renner) to compete by shooting little guns and arrows.
Still this was a great time at the theater and definitely worth your money.
4.5 out of 5 Stars