After years of teasing and ruining some movies (see “Iron Man 2”) “The Avengers” is finally upon us! Typically Bitter Balcony has some opinions that don’t quite jive with the current thoughts on a film, but this time we can’t even pretend we aren’t really happy with the results. The inclusion of Joss Whedon in this project is what we attribute to the main factor for its success.
Loki, brother of Thor, is a bitter god intent on using an alien army to destroy Earth, which is under Thor’s protection. The only way Nick Fury sees Earth having a good chance to survive is to restart the Avenger protocol (or whatever they called it – and when was it shut down?) and get a cast of heroes to band together against this new foe. The mixed cast of characters causes some friction amongst themselves that could stop them from defeating Loki and the question is raised, “Will they rise to the occasion?”
The screenplay and direction is both top notch giving us plenty of action to enjoy, but also giving us some great moments where the heroes break off into pairs to discuss their strengths/weaknesses sometimes in complimentary ways and others in an accusatory fashion. The conversations of between some of these, like Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, are really great to watch as they explore aspects of their characters. The movie is never dull and is smartly written.
The performances are what you expect from a cast of this caliber. Even Scarlett Johansson finally figured out who Black Widow was and was fun to watch, unlike every moment of her appearance in “Iron Man 2”. The chemistry between Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr was really great and we hope to see an Iron Man/Hulk crossover soon. While we would have loved to see Ed Norton in this film Ruffalo’s work is admirable and a slightly different take on Bruce Banner. Jeremy Renner does a good job, but the character of Hawkeye is just too bland when compared to the rest of the fantastical cast – no spinoff please. It’s pretty cool that they got Lou Ferrigno to do the voice of Hulk again, too.
The project as a whole was a great success financially and creatively. We don’t really care for the idea of a sequel, but wouldn’t be opposed to it if Whedon were directing/writing again. For a project we feared would be an utter mess the results are very pleasing.
On an aside, please please please STOP WITH THE STAN LEE CAMEOS!Trailer:
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Written by: Joss Whedon, Stan Lee
Cast: Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg, Gwyneth Paltrow, Stellan Skarsgård, Paul Bettany, Lou Ferrigno, Jenny Agutter, Walter Perez, Robert Downey Jr., Powers Boothe, Stan Lee