The Avengers (2012)

I went to see the Avengers, or Marvel Avengers Assemble as it’s known as over in the UK for the reason of getting it confused with the Ralph Fiennes classic of the same name. Still the best film name getting changed would be Dracula 2000 being changed to Dracula 2001 in England, for obvious reasons.

I tried to see it twice before hand, however the first time, the cinema was sold out and the next time the car park was completely full. So I thought, this film must be really good.

The basic plot is that the villain from the film Thor has acquired the weapon from the film Captain America. Basically. This then causes the agents over at the Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division to unite “Earths mightiest heroes to help take down the bad guy.

I went to my local cineworld twice to see this film, and I found my opinion the same on each viewing and this is it. It’s an okay film but that’s it, I wanted to like it more but I couldn’t help but find it a good three star film. Perfectly entertaining whilst it’s on but once it’s over, it left no lasting impression and it was gone.

Hate to say this but Spoilers ahead, probably.

That’s not to say it’s not a good film, it is. I think Joss Whedon has done a terrific job on something that isn’t an easy project. Every character got their equal screen time and pulled their own weight I just think there are more things wrong than right. You can sit and just treat it like disposable light entertainment but if you look even only a little bit you’ll find faults.

I read in an article that in order to keep the film from bein a total “sausage fest” (his words not mine) Joss Whedon put lots of ‘strong’ females in the film to try and balance it out. This would have been fine if he hadn’t over done it. Like every member of staff on the helicarrier is a woman, half model half sheild agent. Then you have Scarlett Johansson who in Iron Man 2 was made up to be Samuel L. Jackson’s personal assistant, there is even one seen in which Jeremy Renner is asking her about it and saying something like, “you were a spy and now you want to be a soldier, what’s going on?” You kind of have to agree with him. And sorry to nitpick but also her dialogue is poorly written, for instance, there is a scene, which is seen in the trailer where Robert Downey Jr says “i’m bringing the party to you” and he is then seen being chased by this giant robot thing now as soon as that big thing comes round the corner Johansson wittingly remarks, “I don’t see how that is a part”. This is line would of maybe passed off as fine had it not been for what she says about 15 minutes later. She’s about to jump up onto one of those alien flying mopeds and Captain America, played by Chris Evans is like, “Are you sure you can do this?” and she replies, “Sure it’ll be fun”. Had anyone else said that, she would have been like, “I don’t see how that is fun”. You can’t just turn your head round on witty dialogue like that in less than a second. Sorry to stay on the topic of the lead female roles but, I found Cobie Smaulders to be a very wooden actress and thought she had been extremely  miss-cast and thought that if Whedon wanted a serious female lead to out way all the men, he shouldn’t have cast really attractive young people in this type of thing, it worked when he did it in Buffy but the main thing with Buffy was that she was in high school.

Trying to thing of the good, before I bombard with the bad. There are some delightful little cameos from the most random of actors, such as Jenny Agutter, Jerzy Skolimowski and Harry Dean Stanton, which to be honest were the little gems of the film.

I think everyone pretty much agrees that this is the best rendition of the Hulk ever. With Mark Ruffalo actually being a believable Bruce Banner and also doing the cgi of the Hulk himself, with Lou Ferrigno doing the voice, which was a nice little reference as, Lou Ferrigno literally is the Hulk.

Back to the bad, just the things that happen. That sounds very vague. But things just seem to happen for the sake of them happening, like the last half hour for example, no one is using there brains, everyone’s using there fists, or hammers, shields, arrows, which ever. And this would have been fine had the heroes thought about stopping the bad guys from coming in. Like for instance when trying to figure out how to stop this machine, none of them think that what turned it on, may also be able to turn it off. Simple things like that. Instead they just smash up an entire city. But hey, it’s pretty fun to watch.

But originally back in the 90’s Joss Whedon was set to direct x-men and has in the past done some writing for the x-men comics, so I had theses high hopes for something more mature but then I guess that is what x-men might just be. A more mature version of the Avengers, which isn’t all that surprising as the Avengers assemble to fight and the x-men assemble to be accepted. But any way, back on topic, the only thing truly missing from the Avengers is Wolverine. Hugh Jackman better be in the sequel.

Another thing this film reminded me of, and this probably isn’t a good thing is the Star Wars prequels, in particular episodes I and II. In the way, that much like the droids in those films, the enemies pose no threat at all and there only real strength is that there are millions of them. As most of the aliens are defeated in one hit, two at most. This next one also leads me into my next point quite well. Conveniently, much like in episode I of Star Wars, after the big main ship is destroyed, every alien minion just dies. For no reason what so ever. Strangely convenient, much like the Hulk managing to control his anger just before the aliens arrive. These little things could have been resolved easily just by spending more time on things. The film isn’t even that long in general.

Also, one more thing. There’s a problem with Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson’s character. His answer to everything is just whip out his pistol and aim. No matter the distance or likely hood of him shooting anything. He’s supposed to be the leader of this big agency that unites superheroes. You expect better. Also, again, there’s headache educing camera angles to introduce his character. It’s not uncommon to use a worms eye view camera angle looking up at a character to show their superiority. But when you have the camera almost at his shoes looking straight up for his first 5 shots its nauseating. I really glad they ditch it after the first scene. But the film only really picks up about half hour in, when Thor confronts Loki. But this is no surprise that  I found this the case as, out of all the build up films to the Avengers, Thor was, in my opinion the better of the films.

Stellan Skarsgar (with both arms) is good, no surprise that Clark Gregg and Tom Hiddleston pretty much steel the show and Robert Downey Jr once again does a good job of playing himself. But at times I did find him too cocky but did find his reference to Point Break hilarious.

I think it’ll be interesting to see how they go back to doing individual films and I really hope they wait five years or so before they decide to reassemble.

F.O.T.M.

For what it’s worth, a very good attempt at the Avengers idea. A good piece of entertainment that will offer some escapism for as long as it’s on the screen. Maybe I expected more, but either way received less. A moderately good 3 star film.

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