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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