May 3, 2012

The Avengers (2012)

(aka Nerdgasm!)
Release Date: May 4th
Written by: Zak Penn and Joss Whedon
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, and Samuel L. Jackson.

The hype is true. Believe it.

For us, the Comic Book Movie bar used to be Nolan's Batman; Intelligent, entertaining, visually stunning movies that treated their comic book source material with respect and made them accessible beyond the valley of the shadow of geek. The Avengers is a completely different type of movie compared to the Batman flicks, but it's become our new litmus test for comic book movies.

Because it's a better one.

Joss Whedon is pretty much a Demigod of Geek culture; Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Serenity, Angel, Dollhouse... None of those are my personal cup of tea, but millions of other fans absolutely love his stuff. Boy can write/create. With Cabin in the Woods though, I finally had no choice but to jump on his bandwagon. Add The Avengers to the mix, and I am officially in love with his ability to weave a perfect multi-character narrative.

He is your Geek God now.
The very first Avengers comic was published in 1963. Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, Wasp and Hulk were the original members. They fought Loki. In the near 50 years since their debut, tons of Marvel Superheroes have come and gone from the ranks, they've fought tons of Marvel Villains, and The Avengers is arguably Marvel's most dynamic and popular property. (*again, definitely arguable.)

There is no argument however that The Avengers film is the best Superhero movie ever made. (*I suppose that point is arguable as well, but if you're being honest, nothing they have done to this point has really come close.) Marvel began laying the groundwork for this magnum opus of awesomeness by deciding to make Iron Man, and casting Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. Downey Jr. was one of the best pieces of casting I've ever seen, as he fits the role and executes it perfectly. His casting and performance pretty much took Marvel's movies to the next level.

What Marvel has done, through the craftsmanship of Whedon, is bring 4 franchises together under one banner, and make their amalgamation seem perfect and natural, thus creating a brand new Ultra-Mega franchise. These heroes belong together. Better yet, they compliment each other.

We're not going to do spoilers here, and everyone else is talking about the plot, so we will simply offer up a short list of why The Avengers was such a fantastic experience.

There's lots of action, that's a reason.
-Joss Whedon at the helm- 2012 is his year, by far, and his touch with storytelling and love of all things geek are the reason that this movie is what it is. He's given us real characters, a solid storyline full of drama, action and humor, and he didn't make it campy or sardonic. He made it feel real, and dire. Necessary.

-The Team- There are no extras here. Black Widow is as important and dynamic as Iron Man is; Hawkeye, though he does get the least time to shine here (because of the plot), is every bit as cool and kick-ass as Captain America is. Thor is Thor, so you know he brings his A-game. Even Nick Fury, Coulson, and Maria Hill kicks ass. Everyone has their moment to shine.

-Oh yeah, we forgot The Hulk- We really didn't forget him, it's just that he deserves his own separate heading. The Hulk had the best moments in the film. Mark Ruffalo was perfect as Banner, and when he finally Hulk's-out, he's even more perfect; his exploits are jaw-dropping and goosebump-inspiring.They finally got The Hulk right on screen, and that's saying a lot because we loved Edward Norton's version.

The Show Stoppa!
-Nothing is forced- Everyone having their moments to shine is great because none of it was forced, for the sake of them having their moments. There was no "Wait, have Black Widow do this, because she has to do something." Everyone did what they did because that's what they do. Natural and real, that's how it plays.

-It brings the funny- The movie is funny as hell, but not because it plays it for laughs or is goofy, as many Comic Book movies before it have been. No. The funny bits come from the dialogue, mostly courtesy of Tony Stark. It's fitting humor, especially in the early going, where most of it is.

-It flat out rocks- It's impossible to reference specific things that rock lest we spoil your experience of seeing those things happen so we will list a few very vague references that you will totally get after you see the movie.

Note, these could be kinda spoilery, so read on at your own risk! The smash, the arrows. the mid-air, the jump start, the one way ticket, "Bruce?," the lightning, the secret, "There was one more person you managed to piss off...," the puny, the catch, the CPR, the fact that Black Widow is naked underneath her skin tight suit (true story), 400%, the in-fighting, the out-fighting, and the mid-credits scene... speaking of which, the possibilities brought to life by that scene are insane.

Stay for the credits.

The Avengers is an A+ and it deserves to be. As an experience, and with the way Marvel laid the ground work and let it build to this crazy, awe-inspiring crescendo, I'll be surprised if any other flick this summer matches it for pure entertainment value (That is really up to Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises to decide.) Comic Book fan or not, if you have even the slightest love for summer blockbuster actioners, then you really have to go see this movie. Even if you don't, still go. You'll have a hell of a time, we promise.


I would Avenge them anytime, even if one of them has a ridiculous name. Sorry, Cobie Smulders, but come on...


  1. Just got back....Holy Shit.....Amazing movie!! Never before have I seen a STANDING OVATION after a movie!

  2. Wow, a standing ovation... that's awesome. It deserves it.

    I'm going to catch it today with a full crowd in Imax, and I hope there's a standing O... I've never been present for one of those.

  3. I've seen this one four times already, including the Ultimate Marvel Marathon, and everything you said is completely true. Each time I've seen it, it's played to a packed house... and to the most enthusiastic crowds I've ever seen. Everything in this movie works brilliantly.

    The Dark Knight richly deserves all the love and credit it receives, but The Avengers is the best comic movie ever made. No question!

  4. Great review. I agree with everything you wrote. Best superhero movie ever. Loved it.