Before you start reading this, you need to know that I am a superhero-movies enthusiast. Those types of movies always manage to thoroughly entertain me, whether they get critical acclaim or not and whether their die-hard fans think they’re good or not. Case in point? I enjoyed watching Captain America, Thor & Transformers (please read on) among others.
The Avengers, a movie that has been hyped for years, has been well received by critics. But I would be the first to tell you that critics loving a movie isn’t always a recipe for a good movie. Is this the case here? Definitely not. Once again, my inner superhero fanboy was awed at what was happening on screen in a movie that brought together not one but four superheros from four different movie franchises that he likes.
Bringing in characters from the movies: The Incredible Hulk, Captain American, Thor and Iron Man, The Avengers manages to create a story weaved out of the fabric of all those movies. The Tesseract, which first appeared in Captain America, is a source of unlimited energy. It is also sought after by an alien species using Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the exiled brother of Thor, as a key element in its plans of dominating and destroying Earth. In order to deter those plans, Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) decides to bring together a team of superheroes: The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). Helping Fury in his plans is agent Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johanson) and Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner).
Despite some sequences in the dialogue being trite and somewhat cliché, as is expected from movies of the sort, The Avengers doesn’t leave much room for you to dwell on such shortcomings. There’s always something taking place on screen: when it’s not a special effects-loaded scene that has been fine tuned to perfection, it’s a quirky, fun, or hilarious interaction between the characters of the movie.
The director Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy, has managed to give a movie where he balanced comedy with the sci-fi aspect impeccably. The leeway he gives the characters to breathe and let their wings stretch is very welcome. Whedon knows how to set up the character interactions. He knows which characters to place together, he knows who’s the gunpowder to the other’s lead. He knows how to work the chemistry of the superhero characters. The overall effect gives the movie an organic feel that is at odds with the underlying theme it’s working for, giving a product that is quite interesting in its contrast.
As mentioned before, the special effects in The Avengers are top notch. The camera work is really well done. The performances by all the actors involved are engaging, especially Robert Downey Jr. who definitely takes the cake when it comes to being the most engaging and interesting of the superheros. Chris Evans, as Captain America, is the refined old-fashioned man full of confusion and disorientation. Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo give way to some needed comic relief. Scarlett Johanson is stiff at times but she’s beautiful enough to get away with it. Jeremy Renner is terribly underused.
However, despite its flaws, The Avengers left me thinking at some points how much better the Transformers movies would have been had they been taken this route. There’s something about this movie that is simply charming and captivating. As the movie culminates in an epic battle scene in New York – speaking of that, how many times has New York been destroyed and rebuilt by Hollywood? You’d think it’s the new Beirut – and some hilarious comment by Robert Downey Jr. about shawarma, you don’t want The Avengers‘ last minutes to tick away. The movie entertains you for the entirety of its duration. It will make you laugh and it will make you catch your breath. There are no dull moments. I don’t know about you but I just can’t wait for round two.