Review of “The Avengers”

Captain America

A Captain America cos-player at Gen Con 2011

I just saw “The Avengers” (the one with superheroes; not the one with Emma Peel and a guy with a sword umbrella). I know, I know, you’re now expecting me to gush on for about nine hundred words about how awesomely fantabulously cool it was. Well, I’m not going to do it. Other people have already done that (such as this one that doesn’t have any spoilers).

I mean, sure, as soon as I walked out of the theater I wanted to turn around and buy another ticket. Not the point. “Avengers” reviews have been going up for days and days now, most of them gushing (with this one exception that I could find, which actually isn’t all that negative but which DOES have several spoilers). No need for me to gush any more than that.

The thing is, I never even really liked the “Avengers” comic books. They seemed more like Raman noodles than beef stroganoff  (to make a food metaphor, since I’m hungry). Why put a bunch of superheroes together who are much cooler when they’re separate? Or at least, why read that when you could read the X-Men? Also, I was never a big fan of the Silver Surfer. Not that that has much to do with anything.

However, “The Avengers” movie started needling into my brain early on. Oh, sure, when I first saw the after-the-credits teasers with Samuel L (I Plan to be in Every Movie That Ron Perlman Isn’t) Jackson about the “Avengers Initiative,” I rolled my eyes. “Whatever,” I said to myself. “Cheap marketing ploy for an ensemble movie that will have too many heroes and too many villains, which is what always happens to a superhero movie franchise two or three movies in (See “Spiderman 3” and the 90s “Batman” movies for examples).

But then I heard that Joss Whedon was going to be directing. I love Joss Whedon. If I were a woman, I’d have Joss Whedon’s robotic love-children. I love the actors Joss Whedon works with, I love his writing, and I love his plots (okay, “Dollhouse” was a little off for me, but that comes to us in a world that spawned “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Firefly,” and “Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog”).

I also loved Robert Downey Jr’s “Iron Man” movies, and I liked “Captain America” quite a bit, even though it seemed like (SPOILER) they had to push awfully hard and fast through the action at the end of the movie to get Cap to the present day so he could join the Avengers Initiative (END SPOILER). I can’t say I’ve been overly fond of “The Hulk” franchise, but they keep changing Bruce Banners on us. Also, the Hulk is one of the few franchises where the main character (the Hulk, not Banner) is CGI most of the time. For that, I can watch “Shrek.”

Oh, and “Thor” is good fun.

But I think what may have clinched it for me was Agent Coulson. Other than Samuel L as Nick Fury (stepping into the shoes and the patch — er, not stepping, I guess — of David Hasselhoff’s Fury from back in the late 90s), Coulson was the binding glue that held the various movies together. His wit, humor, and general good-nature made me — and nearly everyone else in the geek verse — want to see him get his own comic book series movie. And he sort of did, with a series of web shorts.

I’m glad it all came together to get me to want to see this movie. I’m even more glad that the movie was worthy of the hype: the Hulk stole the show — both human and CGI versions; the snippiness between the characters and their obvious insecurities and hang-ups made them what they needed to be — human — to hook the non-geek movie-watching folk, and their hero-ness that finally shows through leads to awesome ass-kickery that hooks the geekier movie-watching community. Joss Whedon excels at ensemble casts and letting everybody get their chance to shine — in this case, it meant that even the non-super-powered characters have their parts to play.

And Agent Coulson is cool.

But I’m not going to talk about any of that. Already been done. Don’t want to be repetitive. No, it’s completely irrelevant that I went into a movie hoping for the best (having been promised the best by critics, reviewers, and my friends) and came out filled with joy — not because the movie surpassed my expectations, but rather because “The Avengers” was a fun, joyful ode to filmmaking and heroes being heroic. In that regard, it reminded me of early Spielberg and “Indiana Jones” and the original “Star Wars” movies).

Instead, I’m going to talk about the previews.

Holy crikey, there were a lot of previews!

Go see “The Avengers”.

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One Response to Review of “The Avengers”

  1. xamotdb says:

    Also enjoyed the movie quite a bit. Good review. Wrote up one of my own, late to the party and all. Here it be: http://fragsandbeer.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/late-to-the-party-reviews-the-avengers/

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