It’s not too often that you see an amusing, character-driven superhero movie.
Led by Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must abandon their differences to defeat Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his alien army.
Joss Whedon, best known for his directing in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Firefly”, is a director who often focuses on characterization. Whedon provides us with an in-depth analysis of the team. It didn’t focus on just one of them, but all of them. The first half of the film examines how several characters, each with complex personalities and troubled character traits, handle attempting to work together. It seems like a story we have all heard before, yet it’s one that is rarely done with such excellent pacing and ease.
It’s often expected of a blockbuster to either be almost completely serious or fully comical. “The Avengers” is a film that shatters both rules. While there are exceptional serious parts, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Downey Jr. is responsible for a large amount of humor as Tony Stark, a brilliant, arrogant man who is even quicker with his wit since we’ve last seen him!
Although each actor has his or her own skillful and unique approach to their characters, Ruffalo’s portrayal of Bruce Banner is unparalleled. Shattering any doubts about his performance, Ruffalo nails Banner’s quiet, intuitive, and conflicted character.
At the close of the film, it is unclear whether or not we are to accept Loki’s slight character change after his inevitable defeat. With his character being viler since we last saw him—thanks to an intense performance by Hiddleston—Loki seems a bit eager to compromise.
While it would make sense that his character changes a little since a small team has just defeated his great army, it still seems fairly sudden given Loki’s otherwise unyielding behavior.
During the summer months, the pressure is too often felt through the audience to entertain enough to make record-breaking sales. Therefore, many of the essential storytelling elements are left out of the equation. However, Whedon takes all of that pressure and smashes it to bits! It not only engages its audience, but it does so with a proper, if not, well-balanced focus on each of its characters, excellent acting, and a solid story.
Jim’s Rating: 8.5/10