For the next submission for this month’s Genre Grandeur – Superhero/Comic Book movies, I present you with a VERY thorough review of The Avengers (2012) by Natasha of Life of this City Girl. If you don’t already follow her site, I strongly suggest that you start doing so NOW! Her site is filled with in depth TV, Movie and Book reviews along with quotes of the week.
It still isn’t too late to send me your review for this month, It’s so simple, all you have to do is send your review to firstname.lastname@example.org before 25 June and I’ll post it.
Now on to Natasha’s amazing review (Warning: This post has some spoilers)…
Genre Grandeur: Favourite Comic Book Movie
Amounts of times seen: Once in the cinema and about ten times thereafter
I am so happy Zoë chose Comic Book Movies for this month! Superhero movies are definitely one of my favourite types of movies to watch. It has all the good stuff – drama, action, romance and just a touch of the unbelievable. There is never ending supply of superheroes flying around, and Hollywood seems particularly excited about adapting comic books these days as it is such a financial dream.
Just to put it out there – I haven’t read any superhero comic books. Ever.In my life. I read a whole lot of books; I have just never felt an urge to read comic books. I know a lot of people love them and they are probably brilliant, but I have never started and am probably now too old to really get attached.
So, back to the Avengers. In the financial dream that is comic book movies, they pretty much broke the record and set it impossibly high in terms of a financial success. I’m not saying that financial success is a sign of success (I mean, look at 50 Shades of Grey), but with the Avengers it was a well deserved indicator.
I get why it was so popular. I myself have seen it plenty, plenty of times and have yet to grow tired of it. I watched it with a bunch of friends, who are all Marvel fans, in a cinema full of Marvel fans and can say that contributed to the amazing first time experience I had watching it. People cheered, people laughed and gasped, no one were on their phones during the movie – a sure sign that something is actually working on screen, and at the end stood up to give a solid cheer.
So, why do I love this so much (which I am sure you couldn’t deduce from the gushing above)
What Happens (via Wikipedia)
The Asgardian Loki encounters the Other, the leader of an extraterrestrial race known as the Chitauri. In exchange for retrieving the Tesseract,a powerful energy source of unknown potential, the Other promises Loki an army with which he can subjugate Earth. Nick Fury, director of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., and his lieutenant Agent Maria Hill arrive at a remote research facility during an evacuation, where physicist Dr. Erik Selvig is leading a research team experimenting on the Tesseract. Agent Phil Coulson explains that the object has begun radiating an unusual form of energy. The Tesseract suddenly activates and opens a wormhole, allowing Loki to reach Earth. Loki takes the Tesseract and uses his scepter to enslave Selvig and several agents, including Clint Barton, to aid him in his getaway.
In response to the attack, Fury reactivates the “Avengers Initiative”. Agent Natasha Romanoff is sent to Calcutta to recruit Dr. Bruce Banner to trace the Tesseract through its gamma radiation emissions. Coulson visits Tony Stark to have him review Selvig’s research, and Fury approaches Steve Rogers with an assignment to retrieve the Tesseract.
In Stuttgart, Barton steals iridium needed to stabilize the Tesseract’s power while Loki causes a distraction, leading to a confrontation with Rogers, Stark, and Romanoff that ends with Loki’s surrender. While Loki is being escorted to S.H.I.E.L.D., Thor, his adoptive brother, arrives and frees him, hoping to convince him to abandon his plan and return to Asgard. After a confrontation with Stark and Rogers, Thor agrees to take Loki to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s flying aircraft carrier, the Helicarrier. There Loki is imprisoned while scientists Banner and Stark attempt to locate the Tesseract.
The Avengers become divided, both over how to approach Loki and the revelation that S.H.I.E.L.D. plans to harness the Tesseract to develop weapons as a deterrent against hostile extraterrestrials. As the group argues, Barton and Loki’s other possessed agents attack the Helicarrier, disabling its engines in flight and causing Banner to transform into the Hulk. Stark and Rogers try to restart the damaged engine, and Thor attempts to stop the Hulk’s rampage. Romanoff fights Barton, and knocks him unconscious, breaking Loki’s mind control. Loki escapes after killing Coulson and ejecting Thor from the airship, while the Hulk falls to the ground after attacking a S.H.I.E.L.D. fighter jet. Fury uses Coulson’s death to motivate the Avengers into working as a team. Stark and Rogers realize that for Loki, simply defeating them will not be enough; he needs to overpower them publicly to validate himself as ruler of Earth. Loki uses the Tesseract, in conjunction with a device Selvig built, to open a wormhole above Stark Tower to the Chitauri fleet in space, launching his invasion.
The Avengers rally in defense of New York City, the wormhole’s location, but quickly realize they will be overwhelmed as wave after wave of Chitauri descend upon Earth. Banner arrives and transforms into the Hulk, and together he, Rogers, Stark, Thor, Barton, and Romanoff battle the Chitauri while evacuating civilians. The Hulk finds Loki and beats him into submission. Romanoff makes her way to the wormhole generator, where Selvig, freed of Loki’s control, reveals that Loki’s scepter can be used to shut down the generator. Meanwhile, Fury’s superiors attempt to end the invasion by launching a nuclear missile at Manhattan. Stark intercepts the missile and takes it through the wormhole toward the Chitauri fleet. The missile detonates, destroying the Chitauri mothership and disabling their forces on Earth. Stark’s suit runs out of power, and he falls back through the wormhole just as Romanoff closes it. Stark goes into freefall, but the Hulk saves him from crashing to the ground. In the aftermath, Thor returns Loki and the Tesseract to Asgard. Fury expresses confidence that the Avengers will return if and when they are needed.
A good, strong villain always makes things worth watching.
Loki: 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.
The villain, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), is up to no good and he is tied to one of the heroes, Thor, making the connection and villainy that much deeper. Loki is flawed and brilliantly evil, and yet there are moments when you are sad with him and understand where he is coming from (I mean, imaging having Thoreal as your brother). Loki found out that he was adopted, and that he came from a race exterminated by his adoptive father, who while he is a good man and leader, can be hard and unforgiving. FYI – this is not a spoiler, it all goes down in the first Thor. So, it is understandable to a certain degree – NOT when he wants to destroy earth just because Thor likes it – and the moments when he reveals his true sadness he makes a confusing case of sympathy and disgust.
The strong build up Marvel gave to the release of the Avengers
I loved that every superhero got his piece of the spotlight before the Avengers came out. Each and every one of them has a story of overcoming either anger, pride, heartbreak, illness or galaxies and they are all complex characters. Trying to put it all into one movie would have been disastrous, not to mention impossible.
Robert Downey Jnr as Tony Stark, the brilliant genius playboy philanthropist
No one, and I mean no one, could be Tony Stark better than RDJ. I absolutely love the guy, his quirk, his attitude and his surprising depth as Iron Man. I loved all three IM movies (the third one least of all though) and RDJ is the strongest, most developed and loved of all the Marvel Characters. His never ending supply of attitude, his defiance against SHIELD and his fondness of saying exactly what is on his brain makes him a never ending source of entertainment.
Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Because he is the guy who took Australian accents from irksome to sexy, and because he is the hottest thing to ever walk the earth. Okay, am done perving.
He is also good in his role as Thor, although his standalone movies aren’t on the same level as the first two IM movies. His connection to Loki and how sad he is to have to protect the Earth against his own brother is crucial in this movie.
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers
I have to say that while Chris Evans is a good Captain America, there are others that could have done just as good a job. He is good, Captain America is the best Avenger there is. He is the most human, has the best values and beliefs, and his story is so sad because he just wasn’t supposed to outlive his friends, and the reason he did was because of all those good qualities that makes him who he is. I see him as the un-appointed leader of the pack because his cool warhead makes him a respectable opponent in battle. The Winter Soldier (2014), came way after the Avengers, really explored his character. *
Mark Ruffalo as Dr. Bruce Banner
There is nothing like a huge green monster to spice a movie up, and I really enjoyed the Hulk and how Banner started being in control when he was transformed. That scene where he punches Thor and where he smashes Loki around always gets laughs out of me.
The Black Widow and Hawkeye
I think they cast Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow just to try and level out all the male handsomeness in this movie, and while she is gorgeous, she isn’t my favourite actress as all time. (And it would be impossible to level out the handsome in this movie). However, I love her name in the movie (NATASHA Romanoff) and the fact that she is such a kick ass girl. I would love to see some development either with her or Hawkeye (even if it is just on the small screen) to develop their characters a bit more. I thought that Jeremy Renner did pretty good as Hawkeye but that he was just a bit underused and had way more to offer than they screen time they allocated to him.
The story, the humour and all the action
I thought the way the Avengers were compiled worked really well. It had some story to fall back on, and a solid villain because Loki already caused havoc before the Avengers. All the heroes had already been introduced in some form and they didn’t just fall out of the sky. There wasn’t any sudden harmonious cheering and fighting alongside one another – they were constantly harping at each other and being competitive. There was constant bickering and a surprisingly correct amount of humour while the wit mostly came from Iron Man. I always enjoy the funny moments in here. There is a constant flow of ego (once again from Iron Man). I actually get the underhanded ways Nick Fury uses to unite his team, but how he was still genuinely sad when Phil Coulson died.
The action reached epic proportions but didn’t feel drawn out. There is a lot of fighting but they kept it short and relatively simple. I enjoyed the special effects and they weren’t too extravagant, merely aiding the story.
Finally, I would state that I think this is an excellent Comic Book movie because it brings impressive characters together in an epic way. If you haven’t seen this, definitely go give it a try!
The Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy
The Amazing Spiderman
The Amazing Spiderman 2: The rise of Electro
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Thor: The Dark World
*Those shoulders on Chris Evans are FINE.
Thanks again to Natasha for this review!