The Avengers Review
The Avengers PG-13 Nick Mantegani 5/7/2012 EN121 The Avengers is a Sci-Fi/Action movie directed by Joss Whedon. It is rated PG-13. The movie stars a vast assortment of stars, including Robert Downey Jr. , Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson and more. It was released in May 2012, and is available in a 3D format. The Avengers is the first movie in an ongoing series.
The film acts as a sort of sequel to several films made by Marvel Comics, including Iron Man and Iron Man 2 (starring Downey, 2008 and 2010, respectively), The Incredible Hulk (Edward Norton, though the character has been replaced by Mark Ruffalo, 2008), Thor (Chris Hemsworth, 2011), and Captain America: The First Avenger (Evans, 2011). In The Avengers, ancient Norse god Loki (Tom Hiddleston), brother of Thor, gathers an army from an alternate universe to enslave the people of Earth. He acquires a powerful weapon called the Tesseract, capable of destroying nearly anything.
Nick Fury (Jackson), director of S. H. I. E. L. D. , an agency protecting the world, enlists the help of a group of superheroes. Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, and the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) join the effort, and are later joined by Thor and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Though at first the big personalities of the heroes clash and they fight each other, Fury eventually teaches them the importance of working together as a team to defeat the enemy. Fighting alongside each other, the Avengers manage to thwart Loki’s evil plan and send him, along with Thor, and Loki’s army, back to where they came from.
The Avengers is every comic book lovers dream come true. The individual hero movies leading up to the release of this movie were such a success that fans had been salivating to see these extraordinary beings come together and fight alongside each other. Whedon brought the characters together in a spectacular way. The banter between Iron Man and Bruce Banner (Hulk) shows a meeting of great minds. The relationship between the Black Widow and Hawkeye creates many questions that make these two lesser characters seem much more significant, which is important to the appeal of the movie.
The clashing personalities of Iron Man, a self-described “Playboy billionaire” who questions everything and doesn’t play by the rules and Captain America, a man thrust forward in time from the 1940’s who still has his sense of values and morals from the his time, shows two men who have to work together who couldn’t be any different. All these relationships and more are what makes the fact that all these people coming together is truly a remarkable thing and could potentially have been disappointing if Whedon had downplayed any of the elements that makes each character who they are.
Whedon managed to take each character and let them act as they are intended to, such as Stark’s cockiness and Thor’s nobility, and still be able to not glorify or discourage any of them to make the team more significant than the individual heroes. Roger Ebert compares the Avengers to the dogs in the Best in Show category at the Westminster Dog Club. “You have breeds that seem completely different from one another (Labradors, poodles, boxers, Dalmatians), and yet they’re all champions,” says Ebert.
He is right; though the characters differ in many ways, they are all the same in that they have spectacular powers that they use to fight evil. This makes the “team mentality” work perfectly in this film. Never did one character seem to mean more to the group than any of the others (except for when Hawkeye was brainwashed to fighting for Loki, but once he returned, he was just as much as part of the Avengers as anybody). The Avengers did not start acting like a team at first, but once they did, they managed to defeat Loki with relative ease.
The message of the film is that it stresses the importance of teamwork. It shows that no matter how talented the individuals in a group may be, they can’t perform to their best abilities until they all start working together and use each other to bring out the best in themselves. The acting in The Avengers was fantastic all around. Those who were fans of the original Avengers comics (or the individual heroes’ comics) expect their idols to be portrayed accurately, and just about every single one is done so to a great degree.
Ruffalo, Renner, and Johansson do great justice to their characters, and are very likeable and portrayed well. Ruffalo does a particularly good job in showing his struggle to keep his cool so as not to transform into the Hulk. Hemsworth shows that apart from his fantastic resemblance to the comic book character and his obvious good looks, he has the right idea as to what Thor is really like. He is a god and a mighty warrior, but he knows he is not above anyone and will protect the earth no matter what. Evans and Downey both fit their characters perfectly, and their attitudes are correct for who they play.
Samuel L. Jackson does a great acting job in the movie. You cheer for him at times, and then despise him at others, which is always impressive when a character can get that sort of reaction out of an audience. However, as great as his acting was, it seems as if the creators of the recent Marvel Comics movies wanted to put him in The Avengers somehow, so they stuck him in the role as Nick Fury. To Avengers fans, this could be slightly irritating. Clearly he looks nothing like the original character, and the original character never acted like Samuel L.
Jackson, but now Nick Fury will be remembered always by many, many people as a Jackson-like character, which is frowned upon by fans of the comic book. A more accurate portrayal of Fury could’ve been done by George Clooney, who is also a talented actor and, when one compares the two, looks exactly like the character in the comic book. The textbook says, “There is the ever-present danger that all the [special effects] in action, adventure, and science-fiction films will dazzle us but do little to increase our understanding of the world we live in or the drama of human life. (264). The Avengers relies heavily on the use of special effects and CGI to portray the heroes in action or the world itself, from the giant, levitating headquarters of S. H. I. E. L. D. to monsters only Ebert can describe as “Loki’s ginormous slithering, undulating snake-lizard-dragon machine, which seems almost to have a mind of its own and is backed up by countless snakelings. ” Indeed, it would be impossible to show the same movie without as much CGI as was used to make it. However, the heavy amount of CGI doesn’t take away from the acting and story of the ovie. If anything, it enhances the characters in not just a visual way, but it shows the viewer who the characters are and what they are truly capable of. In addition, the 3D format of The Avengers is a nice touch. For decades, comic book fans have enjoyed the adventures of the Avengers and have grown up in love with the heroes in the super group. A large scale movie featuring this group is what the fans have always desired. Each superhero received their own movie, building anticipation for the combining of these extraordinary people.
Whedon made that combination happen, and the actors involved brought these heroes to life in grand style. Works Cited Barsam, Richard Meran. , and Dave Monahan. Looking at Movies: An Introduction to Film. New York: W. W. Norton, 2010. Print. Ebert, Roger. “The Avengers. ” Roger Ebert. com. 2 May 2012. Web. 07 May 2012. <http://rogerebert. suntimes. com/apps/pbcs. dll/article? AID=/20120502/REVIEWS/120509997/1001>. IMDb. “The Avengers. ” Internet Movie Database. Web. 07 May 2012. <http://www. imdb. com/title/tt0848228/>.