Property review: The Avengers (2012)

Photo cour­tesy of IMDB.com

Avengers assem­ble into a sat­is­fy­ing package

When GI first heard there was going to be an Avengers film made, we scoffed. “Seri­ously, who didn’t see that com­ing? And who’s going to be in it?” is lit­er­ally what we prof­fered when we were told the news. We were ini­tially skep­ti­cal in that we’d seen the offer­ings from the Mar­vel camp with regard to Spider-Man 3 and we weren’t buy­ing. No way, no how. But slowly, things changed. The sur­round­ing films were intro­duced and received warm reviews. The devil was in the details, as they say, and it seems the cast­ing made the movies. Well, as luck would have it, The Avengers turned out pretty nicely. So nice, in fact, that we regret our early pro­nounce­ment and embraced the film with open arms. We even paid good money to see it twice.

Our love affair with the good folks at Mar­vel starts within the first five min­utes as Samuel L. Jack­son prac­ti­cally chews scenery with every move and line of dia­logue. It doesn’t hurt that we are huge fans of Jack­son, and thought he was the only choice for Ulti­mate Nick Fury. Throw in the sub­tlety that is Jeremy Ren­ner as Hawk­eye and the glo­ri­ous devi­ous­ness that is Tom Hid­dle­ston as Loki, and we would have been sat­is­fied with every­thing that had tran­spired in that first few minutes.

But then, just as we thought we couldn’t be more amazed than Cap­tain Amer­ica step­ping onto the deck of the S.H.E.I.L.D. Hel­li­car­rier, in stepped the rest of the cast: Scar­lett Johans­son lit­er­ally steam­ing up with the screen; Mark Ruf­falo show­ing the tor­tured and vul­ner­a­ble side of the Hulk and Bruce Ban­ner; Chris Evans’ duty to his men, coun­try and self as Cap­tain Amer­ica; Chris Hemsworth’s pained fight as Thor to redeem or stop Loki at any costs; and finally Robert Downey Jr.’s scene-stealing bil­lion­aire phil­an­thropist play­boy act as Iron Man. The parts, in this case, were strong on their own, but when com­bined hit every note and played every beat to perfection.

Of par­tic­u­lar note were Ruf­falo and Downey. It would take an entire review to point out the sub­tleties and nuance of Ruffalo’s por­trayal of the Hulk, who had the char­ac­ter down to a fine sci­ence. Watch­ing the two inter­act was like watch­ing good poetry on screen. Though Downey has now had two movies to show­case his great tim­ing and wit, it was on dis­play here in all its glory and it was clear that he was the star from the begin­ning. We espe­cially liked how both char­ac­ters were dialed up when nec­es­sary but dialed down enough to share the space with every­one else. That’s a chal­lenge for writ­ers and direc­tors, and Joss Whe­don — who deserves just as much praise as the cast — made it work brilliantly.

Also that which deserves men­tion is the spe­cial effects. The Hulk looked believ­able, and it was accepted that Hawk­eye lived up to his name. All of the char­ac­ters looked and acted in char­ac­ter with their sur­round­ings. Some­one at Mar­vel must have taken notes from the Spider-Man 3 deba­cle, because the effects were outstanding.

If you’re among the three peo­ple on Earth that hasn’t seen The Avengers, it’s time to rec­tify the sit­u­a­tion. Great cast­ing, believ­able plot threads and superla­tive atten­tion to detail and char­ac­ter his­tory? You get that and more with The Avengers. Assem­ble some time to see one of the best comic book movies ever made.

Plot: 10

Like the comics?: 10

Cast­ing: 10

Total: 30 out of 30 or 10

HOW WE GRADE

We score the prop­er­ties in three cat­e­gories: Cast­ing (or voice act­ing in cases of ani­mated), plot and sim­i­lar­i­ties to its source mate­r­ial. Each cat­e­gory receives points out of the max­i­mum of 10 per cat­e­gory and 30 over­all. The per­cent­age is the final score.

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