Three writers from Cinegeek had the opportunity to take in an advance screening of The Avengers. Rather than each of us, or even one of us, writing a spoiler filled review we decided to condence our comments down to a paragraph or two and share our thoughts with you here. A more in depth spoiler riddled review will come after the film’s release but for the time being you can see what our impressions of the film are.
The Avengers is the culmination of one of the most complex, yet simplest stories every put on film, or films. It breaks down to good vs. evil. The scope of the story is epic though, the most epic ever attempted in film, or successfully attempted at anyway. One can rightfully argue that the Star Wars Saga is just as epic and it too takes place across six films. The differences are many but the primary difference is the consistency in the movies. The worst of the Marvel films, The Incredible Hulk, is at least 7 out of 10 on our rating scale. The Star Wars films can’t claim that success. The Avengers is a true climax to the story full of clever dialogue, blockbuster action, some predictable plot twists and some true shockers. It’s the best film in the series and a must see. I expected greatness from this film and I was not disappointed. It’s a comic book movie in every way and that’s possibly the best thing I can say about it.
Avengers is AWESOME!! This is the movie that Marvel has been building to since 2008’s Iron Man and it has been worth the wait. Who could have imagined that a single movie would be the sequel to five other movies and be better than any of the originals? Marvel has struck gold with this franchise and the man at the helm of Avengers, one Mr. Joss Whedon, has just walked through the door of the A-List VIP room.
Without getting spoilery let me point out a few things to watch for. First, Mark Ruffalo knocks it out of the park as Bruce Banner. I am a huge Edward Norton fan and loved him as Banner in The Incredible Hulk but Ruffalo transcends playing Banner and becomes Banner. Second, Hulk is the star of the show. Never saw that one coming. Thirdly, this is an Avengers movie with Joss Whedon directing not a Joss Whedon movie about the Avengers. Think Astonishing X-Men. And finally, in last year’s Thor we were introduced to the Cosmic Cube and Avengers continues Marvel’s cosmic universe by introducing a major player during the movie’s coda. Just like last year when I walked out of Captain America my only thought after seeing Avengers is, “I can’t wait for what’s next!!”
I can’t think of a movie I watched with such unbridled joy and excitement as when I first saw The Avengers. It’s a comic fan’s dream come true. Joss Whedon’ expertise for ensemble casts and superhero tales made a spectacular film. Everyone was perfectly cast and expertly acted, with even newcomer Mark Ruffalo making me forget that anyone else had played Bruce Banner. All the Avengers get their due screen time and development. The fights, they’re all stunning, vibrant, and full of action, utilizing every hero equally and to their strengths. I want to say that you can go into Avengers without having seen the prior Marvel films. Technically, I think that’s true, with the characters explained well enough, but I couldn’t even consider recommending that. This movie doesn’t build to a climax. It IS a climax to an almost 13-hour film, and every minute is worth it.