If you’re any kind of self-respecting geek, you’ve probably already seen this more than once (or, alternatively, if you’re a lady fond of her eye candy). To the delighted relief of the geekmunity (who have been burned before), this is a great film. For those who know the name of Joss Whedon (writer and director), that was no surprise, but it was nonetheless a delight.
The Avengers are QUITE a disparate group, ranging from non-altered human to demigod in powers, and from billionaire philanthropist to time-refugee soldier by profession. In a not very surprising twist, they don’t get on.
They REALLY don’t get on.
Whedon very cleverly uses the manly bickering to give us action, comedy, and backstory all at once. You really can watch this film without having seen any of the rest, and it actually works – a tremendous achievement. The writers had to balance several films’ worth of backstory and character with a veritable smorgasboard of main character types: they did it. Choosing Iron Man as the main hero was a crucial move, and solved many problems. I liked the villain, too (mostly because he looks human and his issues are very human, so I easily understood his thoughts and his motivation).
There are literally dozens of brilliant moments – extremely funny lines (some that I missed due to laughing at previous lines), good solid action sequences with enough originality and character to keep even me interested, and a few moments of blazing heroism (my personal favourite was a moment at Loki’s first public appearance – and it wasn’t by one of the Avengers).
Thematically it wasn’t all that strong – the main theme is developed through all the manly bickering, and it warms the heart to see the Avengers briefly get over themselves in order to save the planet (….we hope…..), but it’s not something that really hits the heart. There’s another, minor theme in the way the villain is convinced that what the human race really wants is to be ruled. Again, it doesn’t pack an emotional or thoughtful punch – but let’s be honest: this is a comic book movie, designed for awesome action sequences and, hopefully, a lot of laughs. It delivers both in bucketloads.
I already want to see it again.
“Hulk. . . smash!”