It’s been a four year drum role leading up to the summer blockbuster, The Avengers and it’s been well worth the wait. It is approaching the #3 place as highest grossing movie of all time (currently at $1.32 billion), and will probably achieve that goal this weekend, but the question becomes: Is it the greatest ever? With all respect to The Dark Knight and tip-toes of anticipation for Dark Knight Rises, here are my reasons why The Avengers is the greatest of them all.
5. It’s true to the comics.
The world has proved the nerds correct: people will pay groves to watch the stories we have been reading for years. This isn’t reimagined or “a new interpretation on the superheroes”– the flaw Hollywood continues to embrace in making superhero movies. No, Avengers is comic mythos. If you want to do a comic book movie well, just tell the story and don’t change anything.
X-Men 3 and Spider-man 3 are so awful, I could stop just by mentioning their names. Both Fantastic Four movies. Ang Lee’s The Hulk. X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Both Punishers. Both Ghost Riders. I can keep going. Where they have failed in the past, Marvel truly gets it right. They honored the superheroes and let them stay true to their comic genre.
4. Whedon took his time.
I remember siting in Iron Man 1, prepared to be disappointed like I had been many times before. Then the plot began to unfold and I literally sat up in the movie theater and said, “Oh, wait! This is a real movie!” I had the same feeling in Avengers. We get the action. We see the powers and skills of everyone, AND we see a plot unfold. You can’t rush bringing together 6 characters. They could have ruined it with horrible lines (G.I. Joe), a terrible plot (see movies cited in #5), bad acting and terrible special effects. Instead, you see a crisis, the need for heroes, trial and error, a tragic loss and then they go to work!
Each of the characters got adequate time on the screen individually and when the action started. This movie wasn’t rushed. It wasn’t Transformers 3 or a Tyler Perry movie, where, “Quick! We’re out of time! Optimus give a speech (Transformers) or throw in a wedding (all Tyler Perry movies) and roll credits!” This thing is a good movie. An actual movie.
3. They ARE Assembled.
This wasn’t Iron Man and friends. We saw each character be add to the team one piece at a time, culminating with Bruce Banner riding up on a moped to join the team. It is very hard to assemble six characters and make it work well. Rumors were swirling from the set that Whedon was in over his head. DC has avoided making a Justice League movie for fear they couldn’t do the team. Yet, somehow, Whedon makes it work. And well.
We see characters from all these movies be brought together by “Sam the Man” L. Jackson as Nick Fury to fight the foes no one else can. And sweet Jesus, they do.
2. Characters are done right!
The acting/lines in the movie blew me away:
Black Widow: “I am in an interrogation. This idiot is giving me everything.” (While she’s tied to a chair.)
Captain America: ” There’s only one God ma’am and I’m sure he doesn’t dress like that.”
Iron Man to Thor: “Shakespeare in the park! ‘Doth mother know ye wear her drapes?!”
Cap to Hulk: “And Hulk. Smash.”
Robert Downey, Jr. is iconic as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Hemsworth rocks out Thor. Evans is believable as Captain America. Scarlett and Jeremy are awesome as Black Widow and Hawkeye. Hulk is by far the best. I could talk about the others but Hulk deserves full respect here. He has been abused throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe until now. He doesn’t sit in the park and look at flowers Ang Lee! You transform him and turn him loose. Hulk should destroy almost as much as the bad guys he’s trying to stop. The scenes with him running through the building to get to the flying dragon and of course his brutal 10 sec. battle with Loki ARE EPIC!
While I appreciate and am a fan of Christopher Nolan’s adaptation of Batman (one that is adequately dark and can in many ways exist in this world), sometimes you just need your superheroes to be superheroes.
Most people know I love Superman, but his movies always have some type of issues: super-speeding around the world to reverse time in 1, the illegitimate child that Lois has in Superman Returns that she isn’t suppose to remember making with him in 2, etc. Christopher Nolan has redefined Batman. Christian Bale is great at the arrogance of Bruce Wayne, but sounds like like a hoarse drag queen as Batman.
No complaints from these characters.
1. It’s made $1.32 billion.
It has either tied or broken every box office record. A movie, people. A movie. You can argue with #1 if you want, but honestly, you can’t. It’s a billion dollars. We can’t figure out the deficit or unemployment or get money to Greece to fix the world economy but Avengers comes out, and there’s a billion bucks sitting right there. Send them to the United Nations and maybe they can earn the world’s leaders some dough.
The standard was Superman. Then Tim Burton’s Batman. Next came was X-Men 2 and Spiderman 1 & 2. Then it was Iron Man. Arguably The Dark Knight. (Maybe just good movies that continued to compete/build off of each other). Either way, it is official: The best, and the new standard is The Avengers. DC better get themselves together (Superman, Green Lantern, Justice League movies) or they are about to be left in the dust like Loki after challenging the Hulk.