Monday, May 7, 2012

The Avengers *Spoiler-Free Review*

     Well True Believers, this is it. An ambitious project three years in the making. And who'da thunk that the wait would be 100% worth it? Make no mistake; this is everything we've been waiting for since Samuel L. Jackson made that fateful cameo at the end of Iron Man. The basic plot (no spoilers, I promise) is that Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has returned and seeks to conquer the Earth with an extra-terrestrial army. The threat proves too large for any one hero to handle on their own, so Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth),  the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) are forced to put aside their collective differences and work together to save the world as we know it.
     I'll start by discussing the good, then I'll move on to the bad (and trust me, there is VERY little "bad" here). First and foremost, it is impossible to praise this movie without mentioning Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner. Ruffalo plays the role perfectly; a meek nerd who is constantly suppressing this massive destructive force. Whenever he's on screen, there's always some degree of tension in the air; you never know if something's going to happen that causes him to hulk-out. While past Hulks were passable at the very least, Ruffalo completely dominates the role. Robert Downey Jr is also fantastic, returning as the larger-than-life Tony Stark. Honestly, everyone does a spectacular job here; aside from Ruffalo, there isn't really a standout performance. Everyone is equally wonderful. The action hits hard and looks gorgeous. Once the team truly comes together, what follows can only be described as beautiful. Everyone gets his or her moment in the spotlight, demonstrating their character's strengths, both on and off the battlefield. The effects are exceptionally well-done here as well. Previous movies in the Avengers series such as Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk featured good special effects, but this time around, they've pulled out all the stops. Make no mistake, this movie looks GOOD. The diologue is snappy and well-written, leading to more than a few laugh-out-loud moments.
     However, as good as it is, The Avengers is not TOTALLY without flaw. The movie, despite clocking in at around two hours and thirty minutes, flows exceedingly well, to the point where it feels like there was quite a bit cut out. It doesn't feel like anything is missing, it just feels like there was more that the filmmakers had originally wanted to show us (making the wait for the DVD release all the more tedious). The soundtrack is alright, but there's nothing particularly special about it (unlike, say, Captain America, which had that glorious "Star-Spangled Man" song). Honestly, this is pretty much all I can find that's wrong with the movie (I've heard the 3D is lackluster, but I saw it in 2D, so I can't really judge).
     In layman's terms, The Avengers is Incredible. Amazing. Spectacular. Incvincible. Mighty. Web Of (I think I've beaten this joke far enough into the ground). Assemble at your local theater immediately and see it.


Also, just in case you haven't gotten the point by now, you should stay during the credits. This time there's TWO stingers; one is in the middle of the credits, the second (exclusive to the US version) comes at the very end.

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