The Avengers

Loki's Conquering League of Morons

         
 

03 May 2012| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

The ultimate lunkhead adventure. The Avengers is the indubitable blockbuster smash in the making rounding up six popular Marvel Comic Book heroes: Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow. The stakes are nothing less than to save the world from the Norse God named Loki who seeks to subjugate earthlings and rule the world. He hopes to do this with invasion assistance by Chitauri aliens who will enter a wormhole from outer space and land on our planet. Is it incorrect to say that all of this is rather goofy? That’s not to say it’s not in a fun way. Even though a few of our heroes are grumpy and have idiosyncratic “baggage,” it doesn’t stop this from being cheerful comic book corn.

Barely a quarter into this nearly two hour and a half comic book extravaganza, Loki (Tom Hiddleston, a British actor) is captured by, not all six, but by a mere heroic duo and detained on a Helicarrier. In the interim, verbal clashes ensue, mostly between Iron Man and Captain America, over why this is far from over. Only Loki, you see, knows the whereabouts of the Tessaract (the mystical Cosmic Cube that can summon aliens through a wormhole), therefore we have no freedom and security amongst our united nations if it cannot be found!

Yet it totally would be over if they just vaulted Loki’s body 20,000 leagues under the earth. Perhaps have the Abu Ghraib interrogation team from the United States Army cajole the Tessaract’s location out of Loki! By having S.H.I.E.L.D. forces hovering in the air instead, for what feels to be an indefinite (with no plan!) amount of time, of course it opens up the chance for havoc.

Were they waiting to put Loki on trial, or something! As a result of ignoring this logic, of course, we get awesome action spectacles in the air on the Helicarrier. And because Loki, the worst threat to our mankind, is emancipated long enough to repossess the Tesseract, we’re graced with the smashiest action climax to ever hit a major U.S. city.

This time, it is Manhattan that is decimated with a billion dollars plus property damage. All of which could have been prevented, but would have that been as much fun? The pyrotechnics and the choreography are more in the vein of George Lucas’ “Star Wars” than Michael Bay’s “Transformers.” In other words, the actions scenes are coherent and are full of swoosh that dazzles us. Thank God.

Here are ten more vital observations you need to look for when you see “The Avengers”:

1. Robert Downey Jr., as Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man, is the only actor who seems to have been given the green light to improv as he pleases. Who else could get away with referring to Thor as “Shakespeare in the Park?”

2. While the effortless Downey Jr. treats this whole comic book enterprise as a lark, a fun way to earn a paycheck, Chris Evans as Captain America strives [successfully] to prove that he can be a great actor.

3. Jeremy Renner, as Hawkeye, is the only cast member to be treating this as a deadly serious drama – but you gotta love his conviction.

4. Mark Ruffalo, seems to be acting the part of Bruce Banner with relish, but, not the part of his alter ego the Hulk who appears to have been brought to life strictly by computer (CGI) effects.

5. Scarlett Johnasson doesn’t mind showing off her cleavage, but she enjoys even more showing off her acrobatic dexterity (with the aid of a stunt double) as Black Widow.

6. Thor, as played by Chris Hemsworth, is too much of a meathead to be of this Earth. No wonder he’s from a planet named Asgaard. I like enunciating that name slow-w-w-wly: As-gaard.

7. Samuel L. Jackson, as S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury, for the first time gets to engage in [human-level] action heroics in a Marvel comic book movie.

8. The Hulk gets to do far mightier, more exciting action demonstrations than he ever got to show in his own individual franchise movies “Hulk” (2003) and “The Incredible Hulk” (2008).

9. Even though “The Avengers” has employed a brand new director in Joss Whedon at the helm, he still respectfully photographs Iron Man with the same techniques as done in his own individual franchise.

10. Gwenyth Paltrow, as Pepper Potts, the thankless assistant to the Tony Stark Corporation, looks younger with strawberry highlights in her hair, and younger in daisy duke shorts.

Marvel artist and creator Stan Lee (who participates in a news interview cameo) has explained as to why these franchise characters are so successful in terms of engaging us emotionally. “We gave these [heroes] interesting personalities and personal problems so people would still be interested in them even if they didn’t have superpowers,” he said, blasting competitor imitations, “Sometimes [artists] makes the mistake of just concentrating on the superpower while the real person beneath the costume gets ignored.” This is a justified and accurate assessment. There’s a good reason why “The Avengers” has been a successful comic book with ardent followers since 1963.

When the curtain goes down and you look back, think about who is the real All-Star of the bunch. Tony Stark? Steve Rogers? Bruce Banner? Thor? Nah, I’m leaning towards the first two. But it’s a heap of pleasure to see them all together at once.

142 Minutes. Rated PG-13.

COMIC BOOK MOVIE / ACTION FANS / BLOCKBUSTER WEEKEND CROWDS

Film Cousins: “The Incredible Hulk” (2008); Iron Man” (2008); “Thor” (2011); “Captain America: First Avenger” (2011).

 

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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