Marvel’s The Avengers
The Avengers: Justice served?
Box office hulk Marvel’s The Avengers used Thor’s hammer to smash records its opening weekend, grossing over $200 million in two days flat, the largest-grossing opening ever in North America. This makes previous champion Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2’s $168.2 million the Bruce Banner to Avengers‘ Hulk.
The CGI-and-action sandwich is based off the classic Marvel comic series of the same name. Six ill-fit superheroes/demigods join forces to defeat twisted deity Loki in his attempt to end the human race. Each hero is set up with a personal complication to conquer along with Loki in their quest to save the earth.
This naturally leads to numerous battle sequences between the avengers and their adversaries, as well as each other. The movie thrives during its action sequences, the meat of the picture. They’re exactly what its massive audience wanted, and do not disappoint.
My issues with the movie arose in between the epic battles. The script tries to balance one different back story/development arc for each of the heroes, on top of the battle against Loki. The educated fan most likely had no problem following along, but for someone like me, who jumped head first into the film with zero prior knowledge, following the characters’ lengthy conversations was fairly difficult. Once again drawing a Harry Potter comparison, it’s like watching one of the later films of the series without reading the books or seeing earlier installments and being expected to care about characters you know nothing about.
Rather than proceeding to nitpick this completely satisfactory flick, I’ll instead rank the Avengers based on their power, story line, and overall impressiveness solely in this film. (And making fans rage at how outrageously ignorant I am.)
6. Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) – This one is easy. Hawkeye impressed me a grand total of one time during the film, when he shot one of Loki’s creepy Chitauri behind his back. Without turning his head. Regardless, girlfriend was easily brainwashed within the film’s opening five minutes, and spent the following two thirds fighting against his own friends under Loki’s control. Un. Acceptable.
And hasn’t anyone told him that Hollywood already has its iconic bow-stringin’ arrow-slingin’ hero for the year? (click the link)
5. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) – As I organized this ranking in my head during the film’s slow parts, Black Widow started out near the top and gradually slipped to the bottom. Her introductory scene, in which she tricks information out of three criminals and then proceeds to effortlessly demolish all three while tied to a chair, was one of the movie’s highlights.
But she never lived up to that scene later on. Despite Johansson delivering one of the stronger performances of the film, the only thing I know about her character is that she’s Russian. But, is she even a super hero? Or was she just a really flexible and smart Russian? These questions haunted me the entire film, and were never answered. And frankly, I didn’t feel at all compelled to look them up.
4. Captain America (Chris Evans) – I’m just going to be honest and admit that Captain America never stood much of a chance on any list ranked by me, because his hair annoys the hell out of me. Seriously. I never saw Captain America because of his hair. Not even kindergarteners get away with mushroom tops anymore.
Major points gained for the fact that his ever-glistening shield can withstand a strike from Thor’s hammer. Major points lost for spending most of the lengthy airship battle hanging over the ship’s edge for his dear life.
Because he slipped on a carpet.
All he had to do was pull the red lever for Iron Man.
America had an arc of trying to become the leader of the Avengers, which succeeded in showing that even though he is a super soldier, he still was a human once and has humane imperfections. It was an interesting change in perspective and provided likability and development and kept him away from the bottom of the list.
3. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) – A thunderstorm started outside as soon as I typed this, so I better hurry. Everyone’s favorite Norse deity is in the middle of the list because, even though he is arguably the strongest of them all, the script was kinder to the top two. Thor’s sole story arc was, need revenge on brother, roar.
While the script neglected him, the CGI did not. Almost every movement he made looked like it was performed by a legitimate god, which could not have been easy to create. His very first appearance on the screen, when he zoomed through the sky and latched onto a moving plane like a magnet to a fridge, was sped up to appear otherworldly.
Actually, it’s Chris freakin’ Hemsworth we’re talking about. It was probably slowed down.
Thor: Have a care how you speak. Loki is beyond reason, but he is of Asgard. And he is my brother.
Black Widow: He killed eighty people in two days.
Thor: He’s adopted.
2. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) – I hate myself for putting him this high. I don’t know why, but the second he started talking, he irked me. I probably just couldn’t handle his genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist words.
My spontaneous vendetta against him soon subsided, however. The script catered to him the most, giving him the most screen time and the best lines. Though he was far from the strongest (Thor owned him three times in his first ten minutes on screen), I went from indifferent, to disliking, to grudgingly liking him by the end of the film.
1. The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) – Hulk destroy other Avengers. Ruffalo simultaneously served as comic relief and the emotional backbone of the film while he was human, then completely demolished everything that came into his path when he morphed into the giant, sassy, and above all bad ass Hulk.
Though I wasn’t as thunderstruck as most moviegoers, or Loki, I still enjoyed the film, particularly the action scenes. Disney already announced a sequel, with director Joss Whedon stating he wished to take a “smaller, more personal” approach. Wow, exactly what I wanted. He probably read this review.