Monday, May 07, 2012

Movie Review: The Avengers

This is the Joss Whedon I know. The Joss of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", of "Angel", of "Serenity" and "Firefly", and of "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog". This is the Joss who uses action scenes to set up opportunities to crack jokes. The master of comic banter. The Joss who (SPOILER) isn't afraid of killing off popular characters. George Lucas had his day but has lost his ability to tell a good story. Joss Whedon is my master now.

This was a fantastic movie. I will be getting it on DVD. I may get 3 or 4 so I can watch it on several screens at once. It seems likely that I may see it in theaters again. Seriously, an awesome movie.

If you've missed the Hulk movies, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America you've already missed some damn fine movies, but there's not a lot that you need to know coming into "The Avengers". Here's a quick list for those who have missed the movies. Where things differ from what you may have seen on TV or in comics is explained by the fact that Marvel has multiple universes. These movies occur in Universe 199,999.

During WWII the US Army had a Super Soldier program that they intended to use to make their soldiers faster, stronger, more durable, with a great healing factor. Steve Rogers was the test subject. When it succeeded the Nazi's killed the lead scientist and the man who knew how everything worked. This left Captain America as the only success. His plane crashed into Arctic waters where he froze and was recently rediscovered and revived.

Doctor Bruce Banner was working on rediscovering the Super Soldier serum by using Gamma rays. A lab accident caused him to be irradiated. Now whenever he loses control of his temper he transforms into The Hulk. Bruce Banner hides from society so he won't hurt anyone, or better yet, change.

Tony Stark is a billionaire, genius who owns Stark Industries, former weapons manufacturer for the world. A terrorist attack left a shard of metal in his chest that is trying to burrow it's way into his heart. It is held out by an electromagnet powered by an arc reactor that he invented in a cave in Afghanistan. This reactor also powers a suit of battle armor that he wears to become Iron Man.

Thor is a god.

The hypercube is more commonly known to comic book readers as The Cosmic Cube. It is a source of power far beyond mere electricity, but that's not important right now. The Red Skull used it during WWII to power weapons for his organization - H.Y.D.R.A.

Black Widow and Hawkeye have no particular powers outside of being extremely good at what they do. She's a spy, martial artist, sniper. He's an archer.

Again, you want to see this movie.

It doesn't fall into the trap that the Mission Impossible movies (and so many others) did of having one member of the team being central to the movie and the rest being crap. Everyone has a role, even those who didn't get their own movie. They all get their moments to shine and to screw up. They bicker among themselves, they fight each other, but they become friend and pull together when needed.

The action sequences make sense. They don't shake the camera so much that it's all a blur that covers up bad special effects or the fact that they can't write action. You can see what's happening.

It's hilarious. Remember what I said before about Joss being able to write banter? Remember what I said about him writing action scenes as opportunities to crack joke. All of that. A lot. Very little of it seeming forced. And it compliments the action instead of upstaging it.

You will laugh, you will cheer, you will applaud, and you will gasp. You and everyone else in the room. Most of all, you will sit through the credits. ALL of the credits.

No comments: