Oh boy, what the hell can I possibly say about The Avengers that won’t already have been uttered by bright-faced fanboys as they make their way through the exit line at the local cinema? This is the big one. Well, sort of. 2012 will be notable in years to come as a year full of big ones. It’s not only host to the first ever major comic book crossover adaptation, but we’ll soon be witness to the final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, the extremely long-awaited Alien semi-prequel, Prometheus, and Peter Jackson’s Hobbit adaptation. Oh, and let’s not forget the final chapter of Twilight! (Squeel!) The first of those to hit the big screen though and this year’s big summer kick-off movie was Marvel Studio’s The Avengers. It’s the movie we’ve been waiting for since the fortunate few stayed until after the credits of the first Iron Man to see Samuel L. Jackson show up and talk about the Avengers initiative to Tony Stark. Then (the extremely underrated) The Incredible Hulk came out a few months later and everyone knew that it was true. It was happening. Marvel was actually tying all of their movies together.
And why shouldn’t they? It was a genius move. After all, their comics all exist in the same universe (well, two universes technically), so why shouldn’t the movies as well? So when Marvel started acquiring the rights to their own heroes and creating an amalgam of movies, people started heralding it as one of the smartest business decisions in the entertainment industry. We all knew it would wind up here too, but we were worried. Who would direct the Avengers movie? How will they have enough screen-time for all the heroes without making it three-and-a-half-hours long? What if the actors are busy with other projects? Etc., etc. Any project this big would incur doubts from fans. After all, we wanted it to be good. You can’t just let Joe Shmoe direct and slap together something quick to sell tickets. So, when I found out Joss Whedon would be directing I was a little skeptical, due to his lack of experience with film directing (his only other movie was 2007’s Serenity, which was entertaining, but bombed in theatres), but I was also excited as Whedon is a veteran comic writer and a big Marvel fan himself. I knew that his script would do the characters justice, even if the directing was sub-par. Then I found out Ed Norton wouldn’t be returning as the Hulk. I was a little saddened, but less so when I found out he was being replaced by Mark Ruffalo.
Well, despite the little bumps along the way, I’m here to say that I loved The Avengers. I genuinely, sincerely loved it. And I’m not going to be one of these people that says, “It’s awesome!” because everyone else says it, then 6 months later says, “Oh, it’s so overrated!” because everyone said it was awesome when it came out. Let’s face it. That happens with every big summer movie. The Dark Knight, anyone? No, I really mean that I love this movie and I’ll still love it 6 months and 6 years from now.
Here’s the paragraph where I tell you why I loved it, but it’s kind of hard to express in a whole paragraph, to be honest. I just loved it. It was entertaining, plain and simple. Not only was Joss Whedo’s script great, but he was on the top of his directing game here too. The pacing was good. The laughs came at all the right times, so did the sad parts. All the characters get ample screen time and character development (especially Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner, which makes me happy as Hulk is my favourite Marvel hero). The performances are all solid. And, of course, the action is tight, intense, and fun and the 3D special effects are dazzling. The Avengers was honestly all the awesome I was hoping for. I don’t think I would have changed a thing. If you’re one of the 38 people who haven’t seen it yet, please do so. Hell, even if you have seen it, go again. It’s worth it.
I give The Avengers 5 briefs out of 5.