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The Avengers Movie Review

Somewhere out there, other worlds exist. And they have no intention of being friendly, especially when a power-hungry demigod Asgardian is looking for some payback. In a nutshell, this is the villainy you're going to see in the May 4th, 2012 release of the movie, The Avengers. I had the privilege of viewing an early release: It had everything you'd expect. And more. If you're a fan of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, you're going to get your money's worth; and if you've never heard of Thor, Iron Man, or any of the rest of these legendary heroes, you'll in for an action-packed story.

Let's get to the meat, though. Here's the important notes.

The Plot: Loki, Thor's brother, has made a pact with an alien race to invade the planet Earth. To get them across the cosmos, he steals the Cosmic Cube, called the Tesseract. Fearing for the planet's safety, Nick Fury calls in Earth's Mightiest Heroes and forms The Avengers, who work together with difficulty, but eventually mesh together to fight for their survival.

First off, the characters. Most were top-notch, but I felt a couple of them were weak. At this point, I can now say that nobody plays Tony Stark better than Robert Downey Jr.; the two were made for each other. And Samuel L. Jackson actually was the inspiration for this version of Nick Fury, so we needed to look no further. Chris Hemsworth as Thor: perfect. I was also surprised how great Mark Ruffelo did as a burdened Bruce Banner; he came across perfect, had clever quips, and probably to the rest of us, became the most scrutinized actor because he only recently got the part after we learned Edward Norton was not asked to fill the role. Overall, we had reasonable expectations from them due to their appearances in all the prequel movies.

My disappointments came from some of the character designs and writing. Nick Fury: in my book, he's a no holds barred son of a gun. He plays with the big dogs; on the battlefield, he's as ruthless as The Punisher. I didn't see that, unfortunately. Captain America was mediocre to my liking. I'm a big Cap fan and didn't like the costume that much; he looked stiff and kinda thin. (I do realize that the Cap uniform is a tricky, though.) What redeemed the super-soldier was near the end when he started taking aliens down, barking orders, and coordinating the Avengers counter-attack. That's my guy!

Black Widow and Hawkeye were never billed as main draws to the movie; I felt they played well in the mostly supporting positions. I knew Scarlett  Johansson was going to have short hair, but I made amends. She played Black Widow well and the scene were she beat up a russian mob boss and his flunkies while tied to a chair was brilliant. Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) was interesting to me; I wasn't sure how they were going to pull off an archer superhero in a real life movie. Thumbs up, though; he was actually quite good and I loved how he could set his quiver for specialty arrowheads at a moment's notice.

The Action was great: If you ever want to make a successful superhero movie, add aliens or robots; something you can beat up on, which doesn't make you look like a killer. That's what happened here as Loki allied himself with the Chitauri to invade earth. This movie ran almost two and a half hours; although the first hour was slower paced, it seamlessly lead into a much more frenzied last half. Many of the battles were actually disputes between the heroes. The best solo fights in my opinion were Thor vs. Iron Man and Hulk vs. Thor; they really threw down. (No, I mean threw down through buildings, trees, battleship hulls, etc.)
The CGI and Special Effects were excellent. Hulk stole the show, not just with the renditions of the monster, but the writer's portrayal. In the beginning, he was surprisingly psycho-scarey, but by the end, you're laughing at the behemoth's aggressive nature. In all the cases, it worked. Superb.

My only problem, what surprised me the most, was the size of the handguns. I'm thinking Fury and Black Widow would be packing some sizeable heat; instead they were firing off pea-shooters that produce little "bang". I'm not sure why it was decided that they carry very small firearms, but that's how it ended up.
Tied into all this, you had the background and scenery, which I thought was a little dull at times. Much of the film took place on the SHIELD heli-carrier, a floating "city" where they ran their operations; this put us in grey and battleship steel sequences, aircraft cockpits and flight decks. But don't fret; the last half of the movie, aliens are destroying Manhattan, and you can never go wrong when New Yorkers are fleeing for their lives.

Overall, this movie was a success. I though it was going to be difficult to pull off a plot with this many superheroes; there's always a lot that gets left on the cutting room floor when you have a huge cast like this. In my opinion, it was better than any in the X-Men trilogy. There was a great deal of action, and even great moments of humor (sometimes very unexpected, like when Loki calls Hulk a stupid monster and gets throw back and forth before he can finish his sentence. That was incredible.) If you really want an experience, go for the 3D; it adds to the dimensional, sci-fi content because the special effects were great.

Last Note: Stay for the Easter Egg. Most Marvel flicks have a brief scene at the end; The Avengers followed the same pattern and you'll see a surprising character between the credit rolls. And yes, this means more Avengers to come!

This review is a supplement from the Superheroes List Blog, The Superheroes List website, and the Spotlight On The Avengers Movie fan page. If you enjoyed this movie or have another opinion, please feel free to chime in and Check out The List!

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