Friday, May 4, 2012

Some Spoiler-free Reasons Why 'The Avengers' is Great (Hint: JOSS)

I didn't quite know what to expect from The Avengers. Yeah, I love Joss Whedon's work. All of it. But when you're tackling a huge summer blockbuster film like this one, it's tough to get your way and have your style really shine through with all those suits breathing down your neck. Disney suits, too, even. On top of that, I wasn't a huge fan of the second Iron Man, and Mark Ruffalo is a dweeb.

Let it suffice to say that I didn't go into this film with the highest of expectations.

However, get yourself ready to heighten your own expectations: The Avengers is a very good film. And the main reason is Joss Whedon.

More often than not, tentpole films like this one get destroyed when a half-baked story ends up drowned beneath a pile of special effects, pop stars, and an edgy soundtrack with electric guitar-ridden Bob Dylan covers. But Writer/Director Joss Whedon is a talented storyteller, and it really shows.

The subtleties of each character come across as they individually trudge through their own emotional journeys. The debonair Tony Stark is as deliciously snarky as ever (and man is he cool). Captain America's stoicism, Thor's family issues, Bruce Banner's anger management, and even Fury's political struggles (and shiny eyepatch) are all poignantly portrayed. There is intense inter-personal drama and complication. While nothing got as heated or in-depth as it could have, and the villain could have been more motivated for his villainy, it all served its purpose of getting the audience emotionally-vested in what's going on.

But the important thing is that this quality character development is balanced perfectly with what the audience is really there for: explosions and capes and laughs. There are countless fight scenes, each with their own unique twist for added suspense and visual stunnery. You are constantly thrown for a loop as each character is dealt the next impossible task they have to accomplish. The shots soaring through the sky with Iron Man or jumping between buildings with the Hulk leave you feeling like you just took the wildest ride of your life. Like a super awesome roller coaster. With punches and flying. And more awesome.

And not only are the fights and effects spectacular in every sense of the word, but the writing is genuinely witty and the character interactions hilarious. I don't remember the last time I laughed in a movie theater that much. The film plays with audience expectations, exploits superhero stereotypes, and is just plain smart about the way it approaches its combination of high and lowbrow humor.

Without giving any plot detail or specific situations away, I am going to tell you, dear reader, that you should go see The Avengers. Whether you are familiar with the caped heroes or not, you'll have a blast. The writing is clever, the story is fleshed out Joss-style, the jokes are beyond funny, and the action is so action-packed that it should be illegal. It won't win an Oscar, but it will win the hearts of countless Americans with its unique brand of charming action and rakish dialogue.

This movie will break box office records. Everyone can enjoy it, and word of mouth will ensure that everybody will. A sequel will definitely be on its way, if it isn't already. And I'll be the first in line to see it.


Zoomrix said...

I just watched it last night and what I was impressed with the most were the gutsy decisions that were purposefully made that made me go "What!? Really? Is that even allowed in a Hollywood movie?" and those decisions were made without a trace of doubt, which made them that much more enjoyable.


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