As we sat in the theater, the Marvel logo flashing before us, I looked over at Dan who had tears in his eyes. I thought back to my last article and I hoped that the movie I had waited on for the better part of a decade wouldn’t disappoint. Those of you who read my last article know I bluntly stated that Joss Whedon had such tremendous tools at his disposal, that if The Avengers wasn’t an amazing film, he should give up filmmaking and start raising yaks in the Himalayas.
As the movie progressed, riddled with so many tension causing camera movements and fast cuts that I thought the editor and director of photography were screwing with my head, I immediately started noticing bits of Marvel fame. While I won’t out all the references for people, Marvel fans should look out for Project Pegasus and some LMDs. The usage of special effects were almost gratuitous (of course how could they not be in a movie with Iron Man, Thor and the Hulk). I think at some point Joss Whedon must have sat down and said “Hell, look at this budget, I’m going to blow up more shit than Michael Bay can imagine.”
The effects were in fact more than just “special.” They were spectacular. This wasn’t a surprise however, because I’ve learned to expect great effects in such films. In fact, an absurd amount of money must have been sent on the visuals. The first half of the film introduces amazingly detailed sets, and the second half happily destroys them. I was more worried about the cast, the characters, and how they interacted than all the visuals, unless the visuals were bad. Then I would have blasted them.
Cobei Smulders gets a chance to play a Maria Hill that sadly has not appeared in the comics. She’s a Maria Hill who shows why she deserves her position.
Robert Downey Jr. needs no critique for his portrayal of Tony Stark, a man he was born to play.
I will say that I was surprised at Scarlett Johansson. She was strong and vulnerable as the Black Widow, and yet she never truly was vulnerable.
As For Mark Ruffalo , replacing Ed Norton as The Hulk… He actually did a great job. I still prefer Norton, but I liked Ruffalo. Also, the Ruffalo lipped Hulk looks a bit too much like an ape for my tastes, but that’s more of an opinion than something of concrete fact.
As For Thor, my one complaint with him has always been his lines. They are well written and delivered, but as a comic book reader nothing hits harder than the casual epicness of a norse or even olympian god. I will not blame Chris Hemsworth for not delivering what may be impossible, or Whedon for not writing dialogue that may not fit in with modern tastes.
As for Nick Fury, he is everything that he should be. He is the spy, the manipulator, and in the end possibly the truest believer.
Overall each of these characters seemed true to their comic book form. Stark gets on brilliantly with Banner, and of course clashes with Cap, true to form. Each character’s dialogue is tailor-made to suit them, and no line seems forced. Loki, both venomous and charismatic, fights like a trickster god should, in every way, every plan within plan. The one thing I didn’t see coming was Hulk being used as comic relief. At one point (you will know which) I laughed so hard I was light-headed. Truth be told this movie kept me glued to my seat for almost three hours and when it was over I still wanted more. Joss, you do not get to go to the Himalayas this year, those yaks will have to farm themselves.
One final thing: Stay after the credits to see the cameo that marvel only hinted at years ago at Comicon.
Picture Credits: Disney Dose
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