The Avengers is everything a summer movie should be — big and loud and fast and fun. As a comic-book nerd, I was cautiously excited for the movie. Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America were lots of fun. Joss Whedon knows comics and action. That said, team movies are tough to pull off. It’s hard to give multiple characters time to shine while moving a central narrative forward. My fear was that an awesome idea on paper would stumble in execution. I shouldn’t have been worried at all. The Avengers was the most fun I’ve had in a movie theater in a long, long time. Here are some random thoughts (spoilers ahead!) on The Avengers movie.
– Every character had a chance to shine. Tony Stark had the best lines. Captain America had an awesomely dramatic run through Manhattan. Hulk and Thor had amazing power moves. Black Widow and Hawkeye did super-cool spy things. More importantly, each character had a purpose. Stark and Banner had science and tech covered. Thor was the supernatural authority. Black Widow was used for interrogations. Hawkeye called out strategies as the eye in the sky. Naturally, the team was led by Cap. It was a stark contrast to the X-Men movies, which had several characters that made you wonder, “Why are you here exactly?”
– The issue I had with screen-time distribution was that there was too much Black Widow and not enough Captain America. Yeah, I know it sounds insane to complain about excess Scarlett Johansson scenes, but as a comic-book nerd it just didn’t make sense. I know that Scar is hot and adds sexiness to the movie (and my dream in life is for her to own me), but in the grand scheme of the Marvel Universe, Black Widow isn’t all the important. Captain America, on the other hand, is like the father of all superheroes. I would have liked a few more scenes that established his natural leadership skills and the sense of paternal authority he conveys.
– On the plus side, Cap’s lack of scenes prevented a ridiculous man-out-of-time montage. My friend Paul was afraid that there was going to be a silly sequence of Cap acclimating to modern times. The first thing that popped into my head was Austin Powers trying to play a CD with a record player. Personally, I’d love to see a deleted scene of Steve Rogers doing the same thing. Ha!
– The Hulk was a big unknown going into the movie. Mark Ruffalo had the unenviable task of following Eric Bana and Ed Norton. For the most part, he was very good as Dr. Bruce Banner. He was somewhat believable as a science guy that could carry a high-level conversation with Tony Stark. He was definitely believable as someone struggling with the mother of all anger-management issues. Banner was very good…but the Hulk was outstanding! The CG was fantastic. The Hulk looked powerful and menacing. His fight scenes were extraordinary. He even had two bits of show-stealing comedy. I loved his sucker punch to Thor in Grand Central Station. Watching him beat the crap out of Loki as if the Norse god were a rag doll was hilarious and viscerally thrilling at the same time. It left you thinking, “Yes! That’s how Hulk rolls!!!”
– Speaking of Loki, Tom Hiddleston was a charming bad guy. His version of Loki was cool. You’d want to hang out with him…if you weren’t afraid of his maniacal plots, never ending lies, clever schemes, and immense power. Paul and I agreed that he felt like more of a threat in The Avengers than he did in Thor. With all the cool characters and big names in the movie, Hiddleston is likely to get overlooked. Pay attention to his performance. He was a great baddie in the movie and great heroes need great baddies in order to shine.
– As with most modern, mainstream movies, there was a lot of product placement in The Avengers. Most of it wasn’t bad, but there was one scene in Manhattan where it felt like the camera was focused on an Acura for like ten seconds. Giant-sized battle with aliens in the greatest city in the world?!? Let’s take some time to stare at this Acura as we transition between scenes. *groan*
– Clark Gregg was fantastic in his role as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson. This made-for-the-movies character appeared in all the recent Marvel superhero films and served as the galvanizing agent for the team. His deadpan humor was spot-on and his banter with Pepper Potts — with Tony Stark wondering why they’re so familiar with each other — was fantastic.
– The mid-credit teaser totally made me mark out. Frickin’ Thanos?!? I love it!!! That’s definitely one way to go even bigger. The one problem with Thanos is that you need some space-oriented heroes in the mix. Silver Surfer’s rights were tied up with Fox, which is why he wasn’t in the Planet Hulk animated movie. I’m not sure if the Fox deal has expired. I love me some Adam Warlock, but he’s probably too weird for a mainstream movie…and he also has feathered hair. Captain Marvel would make sense and Whedon would be free to kill him off. How about Michael Clarke Duncan as Thanos? He certainly has the voice for it.
– As the credits for The Avengers rolled, I was left totally satisfied. Was it the best superhero movie ever? Probably not, but it’s up there and leaves room for future Avengers adventures. The best thing I can about it is that I’m totally willing to pony up $10 to see it again. Like I said in the intro, The Avengers is big and loud and fast and fun.
43 thoughts on “Random Thoughts (Not a Review!) on The Avengers Movie”
Glad it didn't suck.
Did you see it in 3d?
( im sorry if you said so, but i didnt want to read the article because of potential spollars)
I did see it in 3D and didn't mention it in the article. Great question! There were some neat sequences, but Harold & Kumar still gets props for the best use of 3D ever.
Though I can't say it was better (since I've never seen Harold & Kumar before), Titanic's recent remastering in 3D is one of the best movies I've ever seen. The effects aren't corny or in-your-face, which is one thing I hate about 3D movies in general; they were more subtle with some occasional "Isn't this amazing?" moments.
Looking forward to seeing it. Have to try and find a sitter though. No 3D for me though – gives me migraines.
Thanos! I called it!!
Comment spoiler! Where's a ruler? I want to smack you hands.
Idk why ur calling me a spoiler when u mention it your thoughts
Because I have a spoiler warning in the first paragraph and comments show up on the front-page sidebar. It shall be pushed down soon enough so it's off the front page.
No worries. It's gone from the front page now anyways.
This must be why Black Widow has more screen time than Captain America in the movie.
Perfect Strangers: the game!!
Just saw the movie and enjoyed it overall. Wish it would have cut down on some of the humor that felt a little over the top, but I will let a second viewing eventually help me decide what I thought more clearly.
"his first name is 'agent.'" was my favorite line I think.
That was indeed an outstanding line. That exchange and Tony Stark's rant on the bridge were my favorites.
I saw the movie last night. First off, let me say: Thanks a lot for ruining for me, Tokz. I purposely did not read this article because I didn't want anyone to spoilarz it for me. It's OK, though. My Heat will get you back when we pound Chicago out of the playoffs… again. All you had to do was say:
After I saw the movie, I read the "not a review" of it and agree with most of it. I don't agree with your thoughts on the character's screen times. You can NEVER have enough SJ on screen. My biggest issue with that was that her zipper didn't go down enough… and she was wearing too much clothes. Hold on- I lost my train of though for a moment…
Second, I'd like to touch on a bit of some of the background movies. While it is true that you don't have to see any of the previous stand-alone super-hero movies to get this one, it is beneficial to see Thor, then Captain America, then Iron Man (in that order of importance). You don't even have to see The Incredible Hulk since there is nothing but one line in The Avengers that makes a reference to it. If anything, I think this movie seemed more like a sequel to Thor without having Thor be the main character.
Third, the best line had to be when they all got together for the first time in Manhattan and Cap was barking out orders, telling everyone what to do, then turns to the last remaining member and says: "… and Hulk- you smash." I don't know why, but it brought a big, goofy grin to my face as being so comic-booky cheezy and yet so wholly appropriate. The audience I was watching it with loved it as well judging by their cheers and applause (which they kind of did throughout many scenes almost to the point of annoyance, but I guess I can't fault them for it. I felt the same way they did even if I didn't physically show it). The post-credit scene is probably one of the best and funniest scenes EVER. It is just perfect. It seems like it should be a painting.
Fourth, the 3D wasn't necessary, but it was done well enough as it gave a lot of scenes depth. I would recommend that people save their money and just see the 2D version. You're not missing anything extraordinary.
Lastly, I'm not a big fan of the guy who plays Captain America. It's not that it's a bad choice, but somehow, I still see him as Johnny Storm or maybe just a bit too "wet-behind-the-ears" to be Captain America. I always thought of Steve Rodgers to be just a bit older since he's supposed to be a seasoned war hero and the guy who plays him doesn't visually fit the bill. It's a small gripe to an otherwise stellar movie, but I just had to get that off my chest. As a huge fan of the Ultimates, I love that they pulled the Nick Fury character straight out of the book's pages. Mark Millar would be proud!
The bar has been set pretty high for Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises.
You think the Bulls are gonna make it that far??!! HA. With Rose and now Noah out I'm not thinking the fairy tale won't last much longer (sorry Tokz).
I also didn't think the 3D was necessary. Some cool depth was given to some scenes, but it wasn't worth the hassle of the glasses.
The people at the midnight showing I went to were also cheering to the point of it being obnoxious, I'm not sure why so many people at all the showings I hear about felt the need to cheer during this movie compared to other regular and superhero movies I have seen in theaters.
As far as Chris Evans goes, I sometimes forget that he was Johnny Storm. I do think Captain America could stand to be a little older, but I think Evans is a good enough actor to portray the character well.
Edit: http://i.imgur.com/onws8.png this was too good to not post.
Ha! That was too funny. Ah hipsters; you gotta hate them.
I don't think I spoilers anything! I had called it when they were showing trailers and someone pointed out that it wouldn't be thanos because of the silver surfer rights being tied to another studio. I was just happy to finally have a prediction come through and plus if you read this not a review someone already spoilers it before me. The end.
Thoughts: Not the best comic hero movie ever. I'll still give that nod to TDK with Ironman2 a close 2nd.
Overall I thought the movie was good. I appreciate how there is no time wasted with origin of anything. Unfortunately the final battle sequence is where I enjoyed the movie the most.
I would have preferred them keep the WW2 Capt America uni (the leather jacket that snaps starfleet style) as I've always preferred that one.
The movie needed more Incredible Hulk smashing the hell out of mobs and property. There wasn't enough. Personal gripe I know :) . Hulk whipping the ever living hell out of Loki was by far almost worth the ticket alone. That was pure brilliance to show how badass and carefree the Hulk is.
Lastly…the trailers reminded me that this summer there are quite a few movies I want to see coming this year. We can have another coffee talk about that instead of doing that here if you'd like.
I'll bite. Why or where do u feel that avengers was not as good as tdk or iron man 2?
TDK had an overall better screenplay and was good the whole movie.Ironman2 rocked because Robert Downey Jr simply shines as Tony Stark. Less fuss here about screen time for all of the characters.-Brandon
I thought that iron man 2 lacked more in the final battle scene and that whiplash wasn't that good of a villain to have in that movie. Justin Hammer was an excellent rival more than whiplash and that part I liked but since the battle scene was anti climatic for me at the end that's why I feel it was ok.
I was happy to see WarMachine. I was disappointed he wasn't in the Avengers even as a mention.Sent from a device with horrible AT&T service.
Good point SG. I was thinking about that as well.
I liked that both Tony Stark and Iron Man had rivals in Iron Man 2. I preferred Whiplash to Iron Monger. I don't find Jeff Bridges menacing at all — probably because I've seen Starman too many times. In general, Iron Man doesn't have a great rogues gallery. It's hard to do the Mandarin or Fin Fang Foom in a movie.
Yeah i see ur point but the battle at the end was very meh.
Donner's Superman films FTW.
Lets get four things clear right off the bat, I haven't read anyones comment or even Rpad's article yet, NUMBER 2…great action sequences don't make for great movies, I'm not into Marvel or comics, and it is not my intention to hurt feelings or insult your intelligence. I'm very opinionated.
Now, having said that, let me tell you that I enjoyed the hell out of the second half of the movies' action scenes, particularly the last battle. The CGI was crispy, the sound effects were great (although it reminded me of Transformers, not the only time I felt that way during my viewing) the camera work was INCREDIBLE, and the one liners were fitting and appropriate.
Which brings me to my first gripe, the acting, or should I say strung together one liners. Horrible and not funny unless you know Marvel lore or love to watch CBS. I was really let down by the performances from the majority of the cast. Chris Evans was awesome at times I really felt like he was a young old man haha.
Black Widow…really? Lame, she was just in the movies for her tits and we didn't even get to see them! Well in the movie at least. Someone tell me who the hell Hawk Eye is?
I don't care if anyone says otherwise but to really enjoy that movie to it's fullest you have to have a PhD in Marvel. Strait up. Ok maybe not that, but you def have to have some kind of Marvel background. The movie also assumes that I wasted my ultra rare money dollars on seeing Thor, Captain America (I still haven't watched it Nate), both Iron Man movies, and the seven Hulk ones. Well, I haven't because I'm not into Marvel to that degree. Seeing this movie as a person just going to the movies, I felt the quirky tidbits that comic readers know and love flew right over my head. I recognized when it happened, just didn't "get" the one liners.
Just because a movie has fancy CGI, explosions, star power, and is hip, doesn't make it a great movie. The story was weak, the beginning half dragged it's club foot, and most of the characters are completely un-relatable. Except for the Hulk. Who doesn't want to go apeshit and smash things?
I liked the writing. It's what I expected from Whedon. Do you like his TV/movie stuff like Buffy, Firefly, Serenity, etc.? His dialogue is generally snappy and funny.
He also wrote the first Toy Story (believe it or not).
I was watching it with my daughter the other day and saw his name pop up in the opening credits… I was like "DAMN".
Toy Story turned you into Ron Simmons?
Best. Comment. Ever.
<img src="http://i1149.photobucket.com/albums/o599/N8Ryinz/RSTOYSTORY.jpg" width="400" height="300">
I can't say that I do, I didn't like Serenity and have never watched any of the shows you've mentioned.
I think BB is upset because they didn't have a strong black actor like Samuel L Jackson. .
Sam Jackson was in that movie!? I so wanted him to drop a MF!
He was, right! Then I can't see what why u are hulk ranting about. My sisters don't read comics and they loved the movie. Now since they are dealing with Loki maybe at the very least u should've saw Thor to get a little bit of background on the story. Watch Thor then watch the avengers again when it's on DVD. Maybe ur view of that the movie is only service to comic fans will change.
I agree that the writing was pretty meh. The story was just thrown up there for the sake of making the movie and I didn't feel any thought was put into it. I was thankful that no time was wasted with any origin story.
I also agree that the first hour or so of the movie was stale. I had no problem getting up twice to hit the restroom during that time.
Yes….shoulda had tits and ass revealed especially since she was a redhead. They could have CGI'd the the carpet to match the drapes.
Haha! I agree though TDK is still the best Super Hero movie.
I disagree with that. It's a good movie, but I enjoy watching Batman Begins way more than TDK. TDK is the best super villain movie, though.
I don't think you have to have a PhD in Marvel to like the movie at all. Also, you didn't even have to watch the other movies leading up to this one in order to completely enjoy it. Sure It's a bonus to watch Thor, maybe Iron Man, and the last ten minutes of Captain America so that you are up to speed with him having just woken up in the future. This movie is the cake, all the other movies are just the icing.
Even without watching the previous movies I would say most people who went to watch the movie have had at least a minimal amount of exposure to the characters (you've heard of them all and know the basics). Iron Man built a kick-ass suit and can fly. Bruce Banner gets angry and becomes Hulk. Captain America is a soldier who fights for the American way. Thor is pretty easy to pick up on as well since most people realize he is taken from Norse mythology. If someone doesn't know these things, then 10 seconds on Google can fix that.
Within just this movie we see all of the elements that a good story needs. It has a good plot, character development, (pretty obvious) conflict, and an excellent theme that provided a basis for the whole story:
Loki: Kneel before me. I said… KNEEL! Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It's the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life's joy in a mad scramble for power. For identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.
German Old Man: [Stands] Not to men like you.
Loki: There are no men like me.
German Old Man: There are always men like you.*
This scene really cemented the heart and soul of the movie for me.
Even without knowing much about the characters the movie gave you the character's motivations and explored their personalities at key times (Captain America motivated by the sacrifice of Coulson, Iron Man and Hulk motivated by their desire to help others with their curses/gifts, Thor wanting to have a better relationship with his brother Loki but still recognizing him as someone who needed to be stopped- talk about great inner conflict within a character).
With this comes a good plot that weaves the character development with the Avengers being brought together from their very different lives and being forced to work together to stop a common enemy. I don't see how that can be seen as a bad plot. Strip away the 'Marvel' tinted lens on all of this and that's basically what you have, which is not a bad plot by any means. I think if you are getting caught up on the 'Marvel' aspect of the whole movie then you are missing what is right in front of you. The CGI, explosions, and star power are definitely cool things about this movie; I'm pretty sure the Transformers series has all of those elements too though. I wouldn't make a comparison between Avengers and Transformers though- if you think they are pretty much the same then I'd suggest you take another look at those movies and look at the actual story being told instead of where the characters originated from.
*Taken from IMDB.
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