“Marvel’s The Avengers” – Review by Zachary “The FilmWizard” Marsh

To open up the summer with proper fashion, Joss Whedon is finally going to unleash the superhero movie many have been waiting for a very long time. This film of course, is ‘Marvel’s The Avengers.’ Comic book fans and audiences alike have been waiting for an ‘Avengers’ movie ever since Samuel L. Jackson appeared as Nick Fury at the end of the first ‘Iron Man’ film. Then, it was announced that audiences all over the world were finally going to experience their favorite Marvel superheroes all in one movie, which in other words (‘Scott Pilgrim’s‘ words to be exact) an “epic of epic epicness.” To get the juices flowing, we as audience members got to meet ‘Thor‘ and ‘Captain America‘ in their own good but disappointing films. 10 months after ‘Captain America’s’ release, we finally have the holy grail of superhero films. I’m not just saying that as something I made up before I saw the movie, I believe that as a 100% fact. ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ is everything any superhero, comic book, or movie fan could want in a movie, and much much more than that. ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ is a masterful piece of filmmaking with a fantastic cast and a brilliant director behind the camera. It already is my favorite film of 2012 and it’s going to be hard for something to top this film.

The cast in this film is just plain brilliant. Robert Downey Jr. is better than ever as Tony Stark/Iron Man. In this film, Stark is cockier, more narcissistic, and just one plain old great character. Downey proves in this film why he was originally chosen to play Iron Man in the first place, along with the other cast members of the movie. Chris Evans gives some great work as Captain America while at the same time improves on his performance from last year’s ‘Captain America: The First Avenger.’ Surprisingly enough, I felt that the character of ‘Thor’ played by Chris Hemsworth was underused quite a bit. That does not say that he was still great in this movie as well. The clear standout of the four main Avengers is Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of both Bruce Banner and The Hulk. As Banner, Ruffalo plays a Steven Hawking type guy who is worried that he’ll become the Hulk at any given point in time. We of course know he’s going to become Hulk eventually, and when that happens, your jaw will drop to the floor. There is even a scene involving him in New York City towards the end of the movie that will just make you stand up and cheer because of how awesome the Hulk is in that scene. The four main Avengers do not disappoint at all, which could be said about the equally as awesome supporting cast.

Tom Hiddleston is fantastic as Loki, the Norse God of Mischief. When he first appears on screen, you know that he is going to cause some serious mayhem on earth! This may be a very bold statement right now, but Loki in this movie was a bit more superior to Heath Leger’s Oscar winning portrayal of The Joker in ‘The Dark Knight.’ Unless Bane in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ can be more menacing and more frightening than him, then Loki might have the award for 2012’s Best Villain locked down. Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg return as Shield Director Nick Fury and Agent Colson respectively. We have really only seen Samuel L. and Clark Gregg in small roles in the previous Marvel films. However in this movie they are awesome and just two badasses throughout. They even manage to make a lot of fantastic one liners that not only are cheesy in a good way, but also carry the story along very nicely.

Scarlett Johansson is also back from her role in ‘Iron Man 2‘ as Black Widow. Johansson is also on fire in this movie. In fact her first scene in the movie is awesome because it shows just how awesome of a secret agent she can be. Jeremy Renner, after his cameo as ‘Thor,’ comes up to the plate as Hawkeye. There are things that happen to Hawkeye that you would never see coming in a mile. Unfortunately like the character of Thor, I felt Hawkeye was a bit underused. That didn’t stop him though from being great in this movie. Colbie Smulders is new to the ‘Avengers’ world as Agent Maria Hill. While being a new member of the MARVEL family might have been a bit too much for this film, Smulders makes herself at home and, like everyone else in this movie, is really good! The entire cast of this movie is spectacular, and that’s where I’ll leave it.

It could be found surprising that this movie is more comedic than you expected, however Joss Whedon is a fantastic writer, so the comedy actually worked. I find it kind of weird to be saying this, but ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ also happens to be the funniest movie of the year so far. I was surprised in a good way of how good the jokes were in this movie. Whedon has the type of funny bone that can appeal to any audience out there. There are even jokes in this film that are funny just because they are funny. There’s no other way to describe it. Joss luckily is just as good of a director as he is a writer. Whedon was the absolute perfect choice to direct this film. While the only other film he has directed, ‘Serenity,’ didn’t get out there well enough, this film proves that Joss has some serious skills and may someday become one of Hollywood’s most prominent directors. He’s not quite as talented as Chris Nolan yet, but if Whedon does go off to do his own ‘Inception,’ I will be first in line for that. I told my buddy before even seeing this movie that I wasn’t sure about Joss, since he’s a big fan of his show ‘Firefly.’ But as many “Whedonites” (cool, I just made something up) would say, “In Joss We Trust.” They were absolutely right on that.

I may be making a bold statement here, but ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ may possibly be the greatest superhero film ever made. It may be hard to believe that with older classics like ‘Superman: The Movie’ and more recent successes like ‘The Dark Knight’ being out there, but Joss Whedon has crafted a well-acted, action packed, and often hilarious movie that deserves to be seen by any movie goer and comic book nerd out there. The performances are top notch, especially from Downey Jr., Tom Hiddleston, and Mark Ruffalo. The movie is well written, both having some clever dialogue and well written scenes, as well as some very funny lines and moments to go along with the action.  To top everything off, the final 40 minute battle sequence takes every action sequence in a movie and amps the scale up 10 notches to make one hell of an intense and fun ride that makes you feel that time has stopped and you’re simply enjoying pure movie magic. “Marvel’s The Avengers’ is one of 2012’s most highly anticipated movies and my gosh does it deserve to be! If there is one movie to really check out this summer, avenge all of the good movies that made no money last year and see this wonderful masterpiece of a superhero movie. However if ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is better than this movie, which seems very likely now that the new trailer has arrived, then 2012 may be the best superhero movie year in the history of film.

4 out of 4 stars

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