“The Avengers” Flies into Theaters
May 9, 2012 • 21 views
Filed under A&E
Mark Schwabacher ’13
Marvel’s The Avengers had the most successful opening weekend of any film, ever. Fans lined up by the thousands to see the comic book publishers latest venture onto the silver screen. Few of these fans left disappointed, and the film has received widespread acclaim.
Let me be frank: Marvel’s The Avengers was a fantastic movie. Director Joss Whedon took the generic superhero movie formula and was able to multiply the number of explosions, superpowers, and tightly-clad sexy protagonists by six while still maintaining a completely coherent plot. Ironman, Thor, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye combined to create a movie greater than the sum of its parts.
According to many opinions found on multiple websites, the biggest fear fans had for the movie was that in this team of superheroes one would hog screen time and force the others to accept a more minor roles. Fortunately these fears were allayed. By focusing on each Avenger’s unique skill set even Thor, the immortal demigod of thunder, came across as an equal teammate with Black Widow, whose only apparent superpower is the ability to do a back-flip in a dress.
Credit for this feat rests with the actors. Every actor fit into his or her Avenger perfectly, which allowed them to breathe a little individuality into the characters. Robert Downey Jr. demonstrated the flawless mastery of sarcastic phrasing that made the stand-alone Ironman movies a hit at the box office. Even though his character might not, “play well with others,” Downey’s completely opposite interactions with Chris Evan’s Captain America and Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner triangulate all of the characters unique positions within the Avengers squad.
Loki, the film’s villain, was played particularly well by Tom Hiddleston. Hiddleston’s delightfully quirky personality showed in moments when he seemed almost compassionate for the humans he was trying to conquer. This and his personal interactions with each of the Avengers kept him from being a truly clichéd, one-dimensional comic book villain. The audience can peek behind Loki’s mask of ambition to see a compassionate person undergoing an epic struggle of his own.
The plot itself moved briskly across various locations and topics. Neither the dialogue nor the action ever truly stagnated during the entire two hour movie. It also managed to brief the audience on the backstory for all six Avengers without resorting to a single dull flashback, which was particularly impressive. If anything, the ending can be seen from a mile away, but Whedon has enough twists and turns on the way there to keep the ride thoroughly entertaining all the way through.
The Avengers is a far cry from the lame cash-in that one might expect, and is easily on par with any top rate superhero movie. It certainly raises the stakes for Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, and any superhero movie that follows.