"The Avengers" Hit the Mark
On a whim (and because I have the day off), myself and Comic Vine User Tomokata ( http://www.comicvine.com/myvine/tomokata/ ), decided to go see "The Avengers. She will be writing a review as well and this will be mine. So, where to start?
In a word: EPIC!
This is the movie that I had hoped "The Avengers" would be. It pretty much has it all! Action, Humor, catch phrases, wit and everything you expect a comic to be and they have made it into the Live Action Movie without being cheesy and certainly not a "dark" movie, always a concern with anything Joss Whedon does, cheesy or too dark.
As for some specifics, here are some of the good things I enjoyed.
The overall story was really well done. It was a good, strong story. Although I wasn't completely sure about the villain, besides Loki, it took a moment to catch onto who the Chitauri were. For information on them, see The Ultimates, particularly the cartoon movies for the readers digest of the movie version. Even knowing that, I was concerned. If you are, don't be. I won't spoil it, but it worked well, worked out well and they really fit well into what was going on.
Limelight: Each character got to share it. With an actor of the stature of Robert Downey Jr, there is always a concern that he will overshadow anyone else in the movie. No worries there either. The acting was so well done, that each character was allowed to shine in some way, even the CGI Hulk shined. A SIDE NOTE: Tomokata and I had a small debate in the car on the way home about Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner versus Edward Norton. We were both disappointed that Norton was not playing Banner, but I though Ruffalo did a good job and brought the proper amount of "sympathetic" to the character without being a whiny butt. On the other hand, Tomokata thought he added a little bit of a jarring note. On that count, you will have to decided for yourself. I thought he did fine. All of the actors, new and old, rocked the silver screen.
Humor: Yes, it is there, well timed, appropriate and sometimes a touch tongue in cheek (Hulk and Thor, that's all I'm saying, you'll know it when you see it) and you even get a few classic Marvel Lines in there you'll recognize. The whole audience broke up several times while we watched and we were joining right in.
Pacing: The movie was well paced, began (as G-Man noted in his review, before the opening credits) right away and did not let up for the whole 2:30. Yes, it is long but it needed to be. But it wasn't too long. You might not want to get the large coke before you go in. That is a warning and my mistake. Oops.
Powers: Yes, you see them. A lot! If you are a fan of Thor, there is quite a bit of hammer action and Iron Man gets a new armor. You also get to see what happens when Hammer meets Shield. All around, I could have watched it again right away just to see all the characters doing their thing, good guys and bad. Loved it!
Overall Effects: You get it all from Mjolnir to the Shield to a new Iron Man Armor (Mark VII) and on and on. I LOVED the Helicarrier. And the huge alien beasties...I needed a cigarette after this movie, if you know what I mean. It was just that good.
I could go on and on....
Overall: This is easily a 5 Star movie. There just wasn't that much that was wrong with it. As a matter of fact, I found nothing to be disappointed in, particularly with how well the 5 lead up movies set the stage for this one. Iron Man 1 & 2, Thor, Captain America and The Incredible Hulk were tied up nicely in The Avengers and offered a very nice future for Iron Man III, another Captain America and Thor, possibly a Hulk, and I will not be surprised if there is a huge outcry for a Black Widow movie (I've already seen the buzz).
Sorry, I just can't really put my finger on anything. This movie hit the mark. I haven't read any other reviews so I'm not sure what die hard comic fans are picking up that I missed. I'm somewhere between casual fan and die hard as I enjoy reading a lot but have mostly been reading New 52 and haven't read all of the Ultimate Universe comics. Maybe I'll go back and read them now. I have them all, just haven't picked them up and read them. I don't know if that will make a difference.
Whatever bad I see mentioned elsewhere, I may have to reconsider this portion, but as it stands now, I just don't think you'll be disappointed. This is just a fantastic movie and was, surprisingly so. The surprise was that I went in with a completely open mind and was just overwhelmed with a sense of "THEY DID IT! NAIL! MEET HAMMER! DEAD ON!"
So, I am done gushing. My final word? Don't wait for the DVD unless you have a personal movie theater and want to save the ten bucks on a bag of popcorn. See it in theaters. You'll not regret it.