Entertaining Peery: The Avengers. 2012, Whedon.
May 5, 2012 § 1 Comment
Usually I go into viewing comic book film adaptations with a mild sense of dread. Growing up in the 80s left me with some very bad impressions that echo to this day. (Very bad Captain America and Punisher films, to be exact.) The new millennium has given us much better fare, but to be honest there are still some dogs being released out there: Daredevil, Electra, Ghost Rider 1, both Hulk films, etc.
So going into The Avengers I had no expectations and had not viewed two of the four lead-up films: Thor or Captain America: the First Avenger. The Iron Man films intrigued me via Robert Downey Jr’s performances so I had previously viewed them.
Joss Whedon does an excellent job helming this film starring an ensemble cast comprised of a mixture of established and rising stars. This is no mean feat and always a challenge for even the most intrepid directors. I was more leery of Zak Penn being involved on the writing team as his track record is not as stellar as Whedon’s, especially on comic book films. However, Whedon wrote the screenplay, so I wonder how much input Penn actually had.
The film does an excellent job in pacing and playing up the tensions between the motivations and egos between the heroes, their own issues, and S.H.I.E.L.D. I especially liked the Hero vs Hero combat scenes early on. These scenes REALLY stoked my desire to see the Marvel Civil War story come to the big screen as a trilogy. All of the main characters and Heroes in Civil War have been cast and have been in other films, including Maria Hill played by Cobie Smulders in this film displaying an excellent jump from the small screen’s How I Met Your Mother.
The film’s set piece action in New York City was one of the greatest Sci-Fi/Fantasy battle scenes I can think of in recent memory and I watch a lot of the genre. It is that good. In fact, the last time I left the theater and said “That was the coolest thing I have ever seen in my entire life” about any film was Christmas of 1993 and the film was Tombstone.
Also, be sure to stay to the end of the main credits for a teaser and until the very end of all the credits for a humorous post-battle scene.
A word about format: I viewed the film in IMAX 3D and have to say I’m not sure the effect is worth the ticket price, the 3D was fairly low key(surprisingly) and I am sure a “normal,” non-IMAX, 2D viewing will be just as impressive.
In conclusion, I give The Avengers 4.5 stars out of 5 and it is not 5 because of the lack of cameos by other Heroes such as Punisher, Spider-Man, Warmachine (Don Cheadle rocks,) or Ghost Rider; especially the first two, since the main battle was in NYC. Otherwise, 5 out of 5!