Thursday, May 10, 2012

Avengers

I already mentioned my movie-going experience for The Avengers earlier this week, when I was complaining about crowd behavior and saving spots in line.

But what I didn't go into was the movie itself. For some reason I'm not entirely sure what else to say other than I absolutely loved it and I want to go see it again already.

To be fair, I loved all of the lead-in movies with the exception of Edward Norton's turn as The Hulk since I haven't seen it. But I actually will defend the Eric Bana version from time to time because despite not loving it, I think it took a lot of risks and did a lot of things that we've started to do now. It just had a poorly conceived villain and some really lousy script problems. I also thought Iron Man 2 wasn't up to the standards of the first one. But in general, I've enjoyed them all on one level or another.

But what is genius has been the casting, at least since Robert Downey Jr. became Iron Man. Each of the main cast seems perfectly created for their roles. Chris Hemsworth is pretty much Thor and I can't imagine anyone else doing the Norse God justice. Chris Evans embodies Captain America so perfectly.

I don't know how much influence Joss Whedon had over the casting of anyone except Mark Ruffalo, so perhaps he inherited this cast but the fact is that they are what makes this film. Each one of them is so perfect, and Ruffalo? Let's hope nobody else ever tries to play The Hulk again (though thanks, Whedon, for getting Lou Ferrigno to do the Hulk's voice).

Perhaps that is Whedon's great strength as a director-working with ensemble casts and helping them to really bond and create great cinema. Because I can't think of many recent action OR comic book movies that I've loved more. Sure, there were some plot holes. But the battles were pretty strongly choreographed, the characters had much more depth than anyone could have expected them to...all in all, it was a ton of good fun.

Each character has a motivation for their character that comes from much deeper than anything on the surface or anything that we see. Because these actors brought that to the performance, and Whedon brought that to the script. Black Widow especially has an amazing amount of characterization often tossed into small lines that aren't focused on. I consider her a very powerful female character as well, because she is physically strong while still maintaining a sense of self. She uses her femininity to her advantage without taking advantage (except, perhaps, of villains). She's a character that could have been so different and instead was one of the strongest ones on the team.

In case you were wondering, Captain America was my clear favorite by the end of the film. But they all made me like them more with every scene they were in. And Whedon didn't forget to make us laugh every so often, which is the most overlooked and most vital piece of a successful action film.

Overall, I'd say if you were one of the twelve Americans who didn't go see it last week, you really should go this weekend.

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