Film Review: The Avengers
● By Justin Buettner
The Earth is under attack by an alien army led by Loki, brother of Thor. Nick Fury, the head of SHIELD enacts the Avengers program that collects the world’s most remarkable heroes together to form a team to battle the bad guys that no one else can match. The only question that remains is will the collection of oversized ego, muscle and smarts be able to work together as a team?
The Avengers is a masterful achievement on several different levels. It’s big, over the top spectacle and despite all the high end effects imagery on display the most amazing part of this summer thrill ride is the quality of the script and story. Joss Whedon, the writer and director, somehow took several larger than life characters and devised a story that gave them all moments to shine not only in battle but also small character moments. Michael Bay already proved that mass destruction on this scale could be put on film, but what Joss Whedon does differently is that he never loses sight that the movie is more about the characters than the action. So instead of just noise and eye candy, we as an audience care what happens to these characters. More importantly the characters in the movie care about what is happening around them. This movie has heart and purpose in addition to the action and effects.
The Avengers is the type of movie very few people could have made. The balancing act that Joss Whedon does in putting this film together is masterful and I would argue that he may have been the only man for the job. His strength comes from writing ensemble entertainment as witnessed by his development of the popular television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly in addition to his feature film writing credentials that include Toy Story and Speed. What may have qualified him the most was his work in comic books, as he is a fan by nature and his familiarity and embrace of the comic book heritage gives him an unique approach to this franchise. He is a fan first. Whedon knows the medium and what he manages to do is make a big over the top action movie that is fun, that is serious when it needs to be, that includes humor at just the right parts, and he packed the film with moments that were just cool! In essence he made a comic book come to life.
The one character that stood out the most that didn’t wear an iron suit (Robert Downey as Tony Stark is without question one of the most brilliant casting decisions in film history) was Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk. This was the first time they actually got the character right on screen. The Hulk steals all the best scenes in the movie including one sequence that had the entire sold out theater laughing, cheering and clapping at the same time. It won’t be long before a new Hulk movie starring Ruffalo will be announced, he was that good in this movie.
When superhero films have turned so serious thanks to the Dark Knight, it is very refreshing to see a superhero film that packs so much fun. The Avengers just set the bar very high for summer movie entertainment. This summer still includes The Amazing Spider-Man and the eagerly awaited Batman Rises but it’s hard to imagine one of those films getting as much right as the Avengers did. This was the perfect summer action movie for all ages and a great way to kick off the 2012 summer movie season! Hands down the best movie of the year by far!
- As an aside, this movie features not one, but two extra scenes during the credits for those that have time to wait.
Films like the Avengers : Iron Man, X-Men 2, and X-Men First Class
Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.