The Avengers: How to Assemble a Blockbuster
Marvel's The Avengers opens on Friday, May 4, and geeks everywhere shall rejoice. And they should.
The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon, takes the popular superhero characters of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and the Hulk, all of which have their own successful films under their respective utility belts (I'm not going to tell the Hulk that his movies tanked, are you? He doesn't like tanks.), and pairs them with Hawkeye and the Black Widow, both of whom are franchise-less at the time of this writing, to create a team of egos second only to the Kobe-Shaq Lakers. This time Phil Jackson is played by Nick Fury, who is in turn played by Samuel L. Jackson. Nobody plays Samuel L. Jackson (see stink eye, below).
The beauty of The Avengers is that all of the heroes get theirs, an impressive feat when you compare Hawkeye to Derek Fisher and… I'm getting off topic.
People, namely me, were a bit nervous about The Avengers being able to provide ample screen time to all of the major players involved, yet it does just that. Personally, I give credit to Whedon, who has a knack for assembling strong ensemble casts and writing witty banter (see, Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
See what I did there, with the "assembling" in an Avengers post. There's one for you, fanboys.
What I love about Joss Whedon, besides his talent, is that he seems like such a regular guy. Consider the photos below — it looks like Ted from IT photoshopped himself into the film (which is awesome):
The Avengers starts with some crazy space portal/power source doing how it do, and an even crazier Loki, played to perfection by Tom Hiddleston. Loki, as you may recall, is the brother of Thor (an aside — How the hell did they make a whole Thor movie without putting "God of Thunder" by KISS on the soundtrack? Geez, Hollywood, do I have to think of everything?). The brothers don't play well together.
I'll spare you the spoilers, but the gist of The Avengers is that S.H.I.E.L.D leader Nick Fury, made even more badass mofo by Jackson, brings the team together despite some mysterious council members telling him not to. No word on whether or not the council seats are an elected position.
There is tension and jokes and not enough of this:
Then, just when the world needs the Avengers most, the team gets gellin' like so many shoe insoles and kicks a lot of ass.
Robert Downey, Jr., is, once again, the living embodiment of Tony Stark/Iron Man, The powerful Thor and stoic Captain America, are played true to form by Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans, respectively. No relation.
Despite the fact that there have been two Hulk movies, this was the first go at the character for actor Mark Ruffalo, and not only does he do a great Banner, but it is, by far, the best Hulk yet (he was inspired by his son).
Scarlett Johansson is a lot of fun as the Black Widow and has some really great scenes. She is joined by fellow Avengers newcomer Hawkeye, who, it turns out, is kind of nasty. Who knew?
Chapter 14: The Violence
You may be wondering if The Avengers is right for your child, and I'm a bit torn on that. You know how I am about violence (see, Chimpanzee), but I think that the majority of the action in The Avengers is cartoonish enough that most kids will be fine. Sure, there are some scary scenes, and they don't pretend that everyone lives, but if your child is familiar with The Avengers comics or cartoon then they shouldn't have issue with the movie. Bottom line, I'll let my almost 9-year-old see it, but not my barely 6-year-old.
Overall, The Avengers is a very enjoyable, humor-filled, action-packed film, and it is worth a couple hours of your life.
Are you excited to see The Avengers?
Epilogue: The Fine Print
BONUS: I am currently running two giveaways related to The Avengers, one is only open to SoCal residents and the other is for some fun Avengers swag.
All photos courtesy of Disney/Marvel except the press conference picture which I took on my iPhone from about 15 feet.
I attended the world premiere of The Avengers for the purposes of reviewing the film. All opinions, even that stuff about the Lakers, are my own.