Marvel’s The Avengers
Marvel movies are hard to write about now because they follow the same kind of formula for the most part. They invoke discovery, awkward moments that end up being corny yet comedic, and glitzy action amongst relatively easy plot lines. That’s what set last year’s film apart from the other two releases. I am of course talking about X Men: First Class, amongst Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. The latter two were good, sure, but First Class was gritty and much more compelling. It was a definite change in the Marvel universe. The cheese was good cheese. The action was all necessary. The plot was deep. Now let’s fast forward to this year’s first big comic book film, Marvel’s The Avengers.
One thing is for sure. It. Is. A. Ride. You get exactly what you have paid for. The action is constant and always necessary, since the movie thrives on said action. The action doesn’t work as a punch line or a way to touch up a shoddy film. The action is what the film is all about. What helps make this happen is the fact that each of the characters have had or been in a previous film. We don’t need time to get to know these characters. We already know them. Even Hawkeye, who had his thirty second debut in Thor, is familiar to us as a man who follows his own word but stays very by the book.
We already know everyone, and yet this film does not feel like a sequel. Yes, there are many moments that make it a sequel (such as Thor’s connection to Loki and Black Widow’s involvement), but it’s just so fast paced and in a hurry, you just somehow get used to everyone and every thing. Every character is easy to get to know, so that’s not a bother. That’s the good thing with comic book films. They’re made up of characters that are very built up on structured typing that you will know that Tony Stark is arrogant yet bold and that Bruce Banner is so smart that he’s frantic. These obvious types are also what help carry on the plot, so that is very beneficial. We’ve had comic book movies with terrible characters (see Raimi’s Spiderman), so it’s not like it’s normal for these kinds of films to have recognizable characters like these (but this genre does help). Basically, this movie can be divided into two aspects: Its characters, of which I have gone over enough, and its effects, which I don’t think I have to explain at all. If Marvel films were ever good at one thing, from Spiderman to even Daredevil, it’s the effects (well, don’t look at that old Captain America, I don’t even consider that film real).
The acting, to combine both aspects, is good, but what else was expected? This works with the effects because they react to what is “there” so realistically. Everybody seems like a hero (even Chris Hemsworth, who wasn’t too spectacular in Thor but seems to have improved a bit now). One person, however, steals the show. Can you guess who it is? Yeah, that’s right. He’s in his forties, his career’s been better than ever this past decade, and it’s Mark Ruffalo. Sorry, I’m sure you expected Robert Downey Jr., who is of course great as usual, but Ruffalo, filling in for Edward Norton, not only fulfills his duty, but he may even have one upped Norton (which is not an easy task). In fact, Ruffalo may have been the best Bruce Banner yet. Maybe because he’s the most “new” character in the film simply because he’s the only actor that wasn’t in any of the films leading up to this film, but Ruffalo still stuck in my mind more than any of the other actors. So, the pacing is fast, the action is great, and the characters are pretty well made. What else is there to talk about?
Nothing, really. As I said, the plot revolves on the characters mostly because, well, there are so many. It’s a neat idea and it works, but it doesn’t make the movie entirely re-watchable. I’m sure you could re-watch it and that you will want to re-watch it, but Marvel’s The Avengers is mostly visual fare and a fun ride. There isn’t much depth, but for a lengthy visual exhibition, should there be? Always, yes. Depth is what sticks with you the most after a film. Nonetheless, for what it’s worth, Marvel’s The Avengers will leave a lasting impression that it kicked some ass. You will re-watch it for its thrills and not for its depth. This will probably wear out for some, maybe not for some, but it still poses a threat.