It has finally come to this. Ever since 2008, when Samuel L. Jackson was just an awesome cameo in Iron Man, Marvel has been building up to this film. The only reason Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger existed at all was to promote this newest movie. After four years of teasing, The Avengers has now been released to theaters. Was it worth the wait? Yes. Yes it was.
Chances are that if you’re reading this right now, you can use a computer. And if you can use a computer, you know about The Avengers. I am willing to bet that even if you do, in fact, live under a rock, there is an advertisement for The Avengers under there, too. The premise is simple: Get a bunch of heroes together to beat things up. Somehow, Marvel Studios turned that idea into one of the best superhero films that has ever been made.
If you didn’t see any of the other movies that were basically ads for this one, don’t worry about it. Essentially, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) beat up lots of guys to save the day. There are some other details that are important, but you won’t be lost if this is your first time watching Downey Jr. be a super powered snark machine.
Speaking of Downey Jr., his performance here is just as hysterical as it was in the Iron Man series. The man was born to play Tony Stark and, thankfully, he gets the screen time that Stark’s humongous ego demands. His dialogue is snappy, and Downey Jr.’s performance is a big part of what makes this film as good as it is.
The very best of the entire movie, though, is Mark Ruffalo’s delivery of Bruce Banner and the Hulk. Ruffalo is the total package here. His Banner is a fascinating character that raises philosophical questions about what it means to have The Hulk living inside you. Amazingly, The Hulk is also the funniest character in the entire movie. I don’t know how that is even possible, but it is. I will recommend this movie for many reasons (as you will see), but the best part of the film is Joss Whedon’s brilliant writing. This screenplay is a work of genius.
In the less humorous area, Evans plays the Captain as the typical Boy Scout who clashes with Iron Man at every possible occasion. Hemsworth’s Thor turns out to be the straight man in this circus of oddities. Black Widow and Hawkeye don’t really have superpowers, so I am still as confused as to why they were in this movie as I was before I watched it.
Hawkeye’s ridiculous muscle shirt even comes back to bite him at one point. Clearly, the film itself also thinks of him as more of a sidekick. I was initially skeptical of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) as the main villain, but Hiddleston won me over. The Loki we get here is a lot more menacing and memorable than his usual attempts. They even managed to make his alarmingly stupid costume a bit less so. A good show all around.
It is surprising to me that what I liked most about this movie was the writing and the acting. Originally, it seemed as though Marvel was aiming to make a manly movie for manly men such as myself. While the action is good, the music is great, and the visuals are top of the line, I still think the characters themselves are the best part of the whole show. The Hulk smashing a building while Thor watches his back was awesome, but Iron Man’s buddy routine with Bruce Banner was what I will remember. However, if all you want is to see Captain America and The Hulk smash some bad guys, you won’t walk away disappointed either.
If it isn’t obvious, I highly recommend this movie. If you don’t like superhero films, I would still highly recommend it. The dialogue and performances are so good, you will really be missing out if you don’t give it a chance. Just pretend it is a comedy. Robert Downey Jr. seems to think it is anyway. When you do see it, remember to stay after the credits. Marvel loves to sneak in those extra scenes.