The Reviewing Network’s Favorite Movies #44: Marvel’s The Avengers

Five movies have built up to Marvel’s The Avengers, a movie that at the time of its’ release was a phenomenon. As of right now, it still remains the highest opening weekend maker of all time but of course, Age Of Ultron is right around the corner and went on to gross more than $600 million domestically.

But, was the movie worth it? Let’s take a look at the plot:

It is the sixth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film was scripted and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast that includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Clark Gregg, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, and Cobie Smulders. In The Avengers, Nick Fury, director of the peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D., recruits Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Widow to form a team that must stop Thor’s brother Loki from enslaving the human race.

Now with the last five Marvel movies having to build up everything and lead into this, there was little doubt that this would be terrible but there was still the thought that the buildup wouldn’t work and this would be a disappointment.

To me, this is Marvel’s greatest achievement of filmmaking. This is exactly how you make not just a great special effects extravaganza but a great special effects extravaganza with everything that made The Dark Knight such a great film.

All of the main characters work really well off of each other, especially in the end when they are all working together to fend off the evil threat. The chemistry between all the characters is well done and that’s all in part to the script by Joss Whedon, who gets what it takes to make a good superhero team film.

The cast themselves do a good job especially Mark Ruffalo, who gives us a good interpretation of the Hulk and it’s become clear that no matter who they get to play the Hulk, as long as you have good writing for that character, it’ll all play out well. Edward Norton was a great Hulk because of the writing and even thought the 2003 Hulk was a terrible movie, I didn’t mind Eric Bana’s Hulk all that much.

The film is paced very well and once the last big climax starts, that’s when the pacing really doesn’t come to your mind because you’re just enjoying the film at that point.

Speaking of that third act, that’s the highmark of the film for me. Everything about that last bit worked on all levels, the comedy works, the fights work, the special effects work, the dialogue works, everything just works, it’s perfect.

I do have complaints but they are tiny nitpicks about the film.

For one thing, I didn’t like the way Thor entered into the movie. At about half hour in, he just comes in and they don’t give a real clear explanation to why. All they say is that Odin’s magic brought him there but I thought we needed a better way to bring him into the film.

I also didn’t like the way they killed off one of the characters, I won’t say who but I will say that he was in three of the last five films.

I thought that killing that guy off was very weird, especially since I thought he was coming back for future films but I guess not. In fact, now that I think about it, that death took me by surprise and I guess works better because of that. You think that since Samuel L. Jackson and Mark Ruffalo are slated to come back for more films, you’d think that guy would come back as well but when they kill him off, it’s surprisingly effective and doesn’t feel overdone. At first, I didn’t like that they let him go but now, I thought it worked more effective than I thought it would. So, I guess don’t count that as a complaint against the film.

My biggest complaint with the film is that there was really no need for the villain to be somebody else other than Loki. Loki’s already a great villain, why does he need to be assisted by another villain who barely shows up except for the first scene and in 30 second increments throughout the film. They needed to just make Loki the main villain.

Despite my tiny nitpicks and the fact I hated the villain, I really dug the hell out of this film. It’s not just a great special effects bonanza but it’s a great special effects bonanza that’s on the level of The Dark Knight. The writing is top notch, the direction is great, the cast is great, the story is pretty good, Joss Whedon gets it right and proves that you can have explosions and special effects but you have to write great dialogue to go with it.

I loved The Avengers and I’m going to probably get crucified for this but I’m going to say it, this is the best movie that Marvel has ever made, even better than Spider-Man 2, although by just a bit. It was a good old-fashioned fun and exciting action movie and Marvel’s greatest achievement of filmmaking.

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