Friday, 27 April 2012

Xcursus: The Avengers Movie Review!

Yup, today (27 April) THE most awaited movie of the year (yeah, for you DC boys as well- admit it :P) released out here in India & I went for the first day first show! :D Read on to know what I thought about The Avengers, I've tried to keep it spoiler-free. Also you'll find a generous sprinkling of downloadable official Avengers wallpapers as well as some brilliant artwork released by Mondo for each of the Avengers.

Obviously the main reason this movie was so eagerly anticipated is that it's got 6 superheroes packed into one MEGA film! SHIELD Director Nick Fury rounds up this motley group of superheroes- Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow & Hawkeye to form the Avengers & fight the menace that Loki unleashes on planet Earth.

Marvel Studios entrusted the mammoth task of helming this epic movie to Joss Whedon. I was relieved after knowing Whedon was in charge- could we expect anything less from the guy who gave us the (beloved) Buffy the Vampire Slayer series? PLUS he's a comic book writer as well, having written Astonishing X-Men amongst others. So we all know the guy can deliver & he does. In spades.

Besides directing, Whedon has also co-written the script (with Zak Penn), & you can definitely see his stamp throughout the film. The witty lines, the quick & crisp pacing, AND most importantly, the ample justice given to EACH character (yes, even the minor ones) to shine in their own respective capacities. The character interactions are immensely entertaining.
Right from the ego clashes at the beginning to the camaraderie at the end, the movie is PACKED with "moments"- Black Widow getting completely terrified while dealing with Banner & "the other guy", the constant schoolboy bickering between Stark & Steve Rogers, the powerful dynamic between Thor & Hulk- they're all in here. I'm also glad that Joss has made it a stand-alone film, so it's okay if you haven't seen the individual movies of the respective heroes as he's cleverly woven it all in.

One thing that Whedon has ALWAYS excelled in is character development- ALL the characters have a definite arc. What's great is that for Joss, it's not just all about the explosions & spectacle- he ensures his film has heart & you are moved to feel for the characters & not have an indifferent approach to them just cause they're heroes. The human side of each character shines through.

The action is amazing & will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time, rooting for these heroes to win & save the day. Hulk & Thor bashing each other up is one of the most entertaining scenes in the movie! The climactic battle is pretty spectacular too. I especially went- *.* -with this one particular scene where in one sweeping shot Whedon manages to catch amazing moments of each of our heroes being badass against the alien army summoned by Loki (& that's not a spoiler).

On the Visual Effects front, you are in for a treat. The Helicarrier? She's a beauty. I love how they actually made it look so practical that even a non-comic book fan wouldn't go, "What the frick is that??" Hulk? This is how Hulk should have been all along- super-realistic, full of emotion, & erm, BADASS! The aliens & their ships? Spectacular- some real good scenes to behold. Again, very believable, not at all distracting. Overall, some pretty flawless work from the VFX team out here.
           
Now onto the performances. Robert Downey Jr. is THE reason that Iron Man is my fave Avenger! As the tongue in cheek & unabashed rebel of the team, Downey's performace as Stark is top-notch, as always. I've read in some interviews that he's known to do quite a lot of improv & you can definitely see that this guy loves, no, LIVES this character! Chris Evans as Cap is great as the ever-sincere, & sometimes naive, man out of time. Mark Ruffalo is actually the first actor to ever act AS Hulk in a live-action movie through the marvel (pun intended) of motion capture. So it's all Ruffalo's movement & emotion showing through that helps uplift this Hulk in leaps & bounds. Trust me, if you loved Edward Norton's Hulk, you'll forget all about that one after seeing this.
                         
Chris Hemsworth as Thor also excels in his role, who like RDJ, seems to be born for this role. He really uses his gravelly voice & towering physique to translate the grandeur of the God of Thunder. Unlike in Iron Man 2, this time round Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow is not just all about looking hot, but she also proves why she deserves to be an Avenger inspite of just being a human with special skills. Johansson does a bang-up job as Widow & it's great to see her take full opportunity of the meaty role she's given here (oh & she IS Russian in the MCU! Thank God!). Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye is also good but personally I found his role a wee bit under-developed. At the end of the movie, despite all the tweaks they've done to his archery equipment, I still felt there's only so much a guy with a bow & arrow could do whilst fighting alongside a Super Soldier, a demigod, an engineer extraordinaire with his own power suit. AND a Hulk.

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury? Another great performance. I cannot even imagine anyone else in that role! The ever-amiable & affable Agent Phil Coulson by Clark Gregg is just such fun to watch. There's guaranteed laughs from EVERY scene he's in. Being a How I Met Your Mother fan, the announcement of Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill definitely got me excited, but honestly, I was pretty wary about how our lovable Robin would be able to transform into the tough Agent Hill. Smulders, however, does a commendable job & if Whedon is to be believed, she's done most of her stunts, so she's really shown that she's more than capable to do action roles too. And lastly, the villain himself- Loki by Tom Hiddleston. If you found him menacing in Thor, you ain't seen nothing yet! Hiddleston successfully portrays a villain of many facets & layers, so complex & powerful. Loki's true array of power as the God of Mischief is put on full showcase here & you will thoroughly enjoy it.
^The awesome Avengers art released by Mondo. OMG that Iron Man poster! I wants! *.*

That's all well & good but I do have a couple teeny niggling issues. First, about Hawkeye- personally I think Ant Man would be a more deserving member to have on the team cos a) he was one of the founding members & b) you'd go for Hawkeye instead? Really?? I can only hope that Ant Man & Wasp are in Avengers 2. Second, I saw the film in 3D, but I dunno if it was the glasses at the cinema I watched it at, but the bright vibrant film went SO DARK with the glasses on! I'd suggest watching it in 2D first & then 3D (if you insist :P). I'm gonna be watching it next in 2D, as I'm pretty sure I'm gonna enjoy it a whole lot more!
^More mind-blowing Mondo artwork! Love that Black Widow poster- minimalist but oh so clever!

So after reading this big-ass review what's my final verdict? An EXTREMELY well-deserved 9/10. With a story that is true to the essence of the Avengers comics, The Avengers almost effortlessly manages to serve the audience with entertaining action & a whole load of laughs. Add to that the terrific character development & the power-packed performances, this is ONE superhero movie you DO NOT wanna miss.

7 comments:

  1. Loki: funny name, but still a surprisingly effective villain

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  2. I'm not reading the review because I'm going this weekend. I'll come back and comment then. It's so cool that you got to see it early!
    - Maurice Mitchell
    The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
    @thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, my review is absolutely spoiler-free, but it's your call. :) In short- I gave it a 9/10. A MUST WATCH! No, a must MULTIPLE WATCH! Catch it when it comes out there n then read my review & tell me wotchya think... :)

      And to say that we got it earlier out here is cool is a big understatement LOL! Man, I've been waiting for this ever since it was announced in what- 2008...? lol

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  3. I really loved the movie but I think I will possibly enjoy it more once the blu-ray is out. I know and put together a lot of stuff between the lines since I am a Marvel fiend but they didn't explain how Thor & Loki even came back from the end of Thor. Cap's seen in the end of his movie kind of setup his role in the modern day world but I really wanted to see Fury explain everything that had happened to him like they did in the Ult. Avengers animated movie (Again, I think that will be covered with the blu ray release).

    That aside most of your review was spot on, I can't begin to explain how awesome Whedon gave all 6 monster egos ample screen time to kick ass and impress. I almost wish they would not do solo movies and just do Avengers now, it's like the bar has been raised, why should we go back? And if we do, we should have some minor cameos in them. Also, I know it would have been difficult but the supporting characters (War machine, Jane, Peggy, etc) should have been fleshed out a little more. I am nit picking but overall I would give this a 9/10 myself

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  4. Finally saw it last week. Awesome film! You're right about the team dynamic and Ant Man & Wasp must be in Avengers 2!

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  5. The Avengers manages a pretty tough feat! The story is long, but never boring and even though it takes time to develop, it's like a simmering pot that we all know is going to explode at some point!..and when the pot does explode, it explodes like no other superhero movie has ever done!

    First off having Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Hawkeye, The Black Widow and Nick Fury in one movie seemed impossible to give each character their due, but The Avengers does just that,(Fury could have been better utilized and I can't get used to Jackson playing the part.) I grew up with the scruffy cigar chomping BADA$$ white guy version from the 60's), but this film pulls off the impossible! I never once looked at my watch in it's two hour and twenty five minute length. Besides having a very ambitious story the action sequences are the best I've ever seen in a film of this nature.

    The film has many comic moments which had the entire audience roaring with laughter with the Hulk (who is properly sized for once) delivering in spades this time around ( I guess they owed the character that much after two sub-par feature films). He and Robert Downey Jr. steal the show and give us those classic moments a popcorn film of this magnitude needs to keep everyone focused in on the fact that this is a film about comic book characters. Each character is given time to shine and having origin films for the main quadrant helps a great deal. I can't imagine how they're going to top this one?!

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  6. Say man, I decided to share this in our weekly link list. Check it out along with the other reviews!
    - Maurice Mitchell
    The Geek Twins
    @thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

    ReplyDelete

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