Marvel’s The Avengers: Movie Man Jackson

avengersposter

 “Because if we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damned well sure we’ll avenge it!”

And this is the story all about how a little blue box turned the world upside down. Director of S.H.I.E.L.D Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) makes his way onto the Santa Fe headquarters of the agency one day during an evacuation. The fabled blue cubed Tesseract is beginning to act funny, and before the research team can figure out why, a portal to another realm opens, and out of it arrives Asgardian Loki (Tom Middleton). Having lost his rule over his homeland previously, Loki has struck a deal with an otherworldly race: If he seizes and gives the Tesseract to these beings, they will be under his control to rule over Earth.

With the powerful cube gone, Fury decides it is essentially code red. What is code read? The Avengers initiative. This is war, and not a war that can be fought singularly by Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), or the Norse God of Thunder. Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, and and others are going to need each other to take down this threat. Getting these guys on the same page, however, may be a tougher war than taking down Loki.

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No matter how many times it is watched, The Avengers still carries a feeling of astonishment, to yours truly at least. Whenever I think of this movie, I think of that semi-iconic scene where the camera does a nice pan around all of the heroes. It is a geek-out moment, and this is coming from a guy who isn’t a comic book nerd. The fact that director Joss Whedon can extract that feeling, or make it from nothing in some cases, is quite the feat.

That is to say that Whedon has made something in The Avengers that works well enough standalone, but the true magic is seeing how all of the other films tied to Phase 1 before it have built up to the specific moment. Some might have been better quality than others, certainly, but at the end of the day they all had enough linkage to each other to comprise the intertwined universe that Marvel envisioned.

It’s little things like, for example, hearing Tony mention to Bruce that Steve is the guy his father worked on. This intertwining gives depth, and also makes the rather simple plot of “taking back item X (the Tesseract) from the bad guy” a bit more substantial and meaningful because the object of attention has had a presence in many of the previous films.

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Where Whedon shoots for the moon and hits the target over and over again are the massive action set pieces. Aside from some lumbering and very stylized hand-to-hand combat, when it is time for buildings to crumble, planes to come down, and intruders to get hammered, blasted, smashed, or “shielded,” the movie dazzles consistently.

Even with the high quality of superhero action in this, the best moments, at least to yours truly, are the smaller moments among the heroes. Unlike some later films that really forced the humor (looking at you primarily, Iron Man 3), the humor here is natural, and comes from well-written lines and the simple clashes that come with these larger-than-life personalities.

Each alpha carries distinct traits that make them who they are for mostly better but worse when forced to assimilate in a group. Watching Captain America and Iron Man spar verbally with different ideologies (really planted the seeds early for Civil War), or Thor flexing his demigod status making it occasionally difficult to connect with others is compelling. One can tell there’s a real comfort level, whether a good guy/woman, a smaller side character, or bad guy, everyone has with their roles, which also applies to the guy who has the least experience with his superhero character. Mark Ruffalo absolutely nails The Hulk from appearance to personality, adding to the spot-on casting that Marvel always seems to bat close to 1.000 on.

Nothing said here about The Avengers by yours truly is groundbreaking, insightful, or newly eye-opening. But years later, it is still clear that Whedon has assembled many parts to create something very whole that will last the test of time.

Grade: A-

Photo credits go to impawards.com, comicvine.com, and fanpop.com.

Follow the Movie Man @MovieManJackson.

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16 thoughts on “Marvel’s The Avengers: Movie Man Jackson

    • You said it best. Obviously there isn’t much different I could say, but I believe effectively melding these personalities is the biggest triumph and something really hard to do, but this pulled it off flawlessly.

  1. I have watched Avengers so many times now and it still holds up amazingly. It’s a great pay off after all the solo movies leading up to it. I can’t wait to see what Whedon does next after his Avengers movies. Great review!

  2. Good review Jackson. Still a fun and exciting movie all of these years later. However, nothing will beat that initial thrill of seeing it for the first time.

  3. I like how you mention that feeling you get with that wrap-around shot of the Avengers united in the streets. I get goosebumps when I see that, and that shot down the street when you see them all kicking ass in their own ways. Such a great way to unite their powers but separate them out at the same time. It was something that film had to do, and Whedon delivered.

    I’m off to see Ultron here in a couple hours and this post just made me so much more excited!

    • Thanks Tom. I’m intrigued with Age of Ultron but probably not amped. I’m seeing after Ex Machina takes my weekend watch, which, after reading your take, is a must watch!

  4. Good, detailed review. I was not as detailed but we agree to similar things. The Avengers Age of Ultron had a good feel to it, though I was missing Loki, and Ultron did not seem that hard to manage, and that the main villian was more a background issue. The real issue was can we make this team work without working against each other. Stark’s jokes were not as sharp and witty as the last one. Hawkeye’s reveal and Black Widow’s attraction to another character seemed in conflict with what we were lead to believe in the previous appearances of Widow and Hawkeye. Oh well. Love the fight scenes and the weird way they created the team-up of Witch and Quicksilver. Not bad from this DC fan’s view!

  5. Pingback: The Fate of the Furious: Movie Man Jackson – MMJ

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