Paramount did everything right.
They plotted The Avengers out to be the greatest comic book movie of all-time, and they made every single step carefully yet confidently. In an era where it seems that the studios are simply throwing crap at the screen and hoping it will stick for a few weeks, it is truly refreshing to know that, at the very least, Paramount is willing to make a long-term investment in good blockbuster cinema long enough to see it pay off.
From the word go, I knew this was going to work. When Iron Man came out and Robert Downey Jr. just dominated the screen, I felt a change in the wind. I felt that, down the road, awesome was coming – awesome which, at the time, was a whispered rumor of an Avengers movie.
The first statement I made was that they would have to do all the major players in their own movies first because there would be no way to squeeze all those origin stories into one movie. At least not for the big three (Thor, Cap, and Tony). Slowly, dots were connected. A mention of Stark Industries here, a cameo by Tony there, an Agent Coulson here, a Nick Fury there… everything leading up to this point.
Of course, it had massive potential to bomb. The performance of the Avengers movie to collective geekdom would either sound a triumphant call that Hollywood could make a comeback or could condemn it for generations to come.
The scope of it was unprecedented. It would be the first of its kind. A cast of characters drawn from separate films into the same story, uniting as they always should.
And, it was flawlessly executed.
Joss Whedon is a complete genius. His writing and directing only serves to the goal of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He has his own vision in this movie, but he smartly remains within the parameters of the established films before it. Every character has their own unique voice that we have seen before.
No one acts out of character. They are all written perfectly as defined by their original movie. Tony Stark is still a wise-ass genius, Steve Rogers is still an idealist somewhat trapped in the past, Thor is still… well… Thor. You immediately feel that this is the ideal intersection of all the films which came before and time is not wasted in things like introductions or origin stories. This movie is the penultimate sequel. It is the one that all the others have been slowly working towards and the story takes full advantage of that by thrusting you right into the middle of the action.
You see the in-fighting – the conflict from so many extreme personalities in the same room – but you also see the unity within the group and, for once, Hollywood doesn’t smash it all together and hope it makes sense. Things feel natural in a way that they never have in that sort of group-of-misfits-bands-together situation. This is a huge credit to Whedon as a writer/director. He put all the puzzle pieces together and did everything right.
There are so many amazing points to this movie, but I don’t feel I can talk about them. I don’t want to spoil one second of anything for you and it’s far too in-depth to give a synopsis. A few talking points:
– Agent Maria Hill shows up, big shout-out to the geeks who’ve been following since Civil War.
– Mark Ruffalo’s Banner/Hulk stands up almost better than if Ed Norton had been left with the role.
– You get to see the best of every hero in the fight scenes. Not one signature move or gadget is left out.
– Mentions of or cameos by most of the more main characters in the previous films. It’s the little details that get me.
– Hulk vs. Loki
And, for the love of God, if you have any geek cred or comic book knowledge, stay for the scene at the end… It’s a HUGE setup for Avengers 2 and if that movie is HALF as awesome as this one was, we are going to be some very happy nerds. Let’s just say that A2 will probably involve a very fancy glove and I ain’t talking the reanimated corpse of Michael Jackson.
Bidula’s Last Word – 11/10. It broke my rating system. This movie exceeded every possible expectation I ever had. You must see this movie. But, if you haven’t, do the homework and watch the others, too. It’ll be worth your time.
Keep fighting the good fight.