By: Austin Coffelt
Every now and again, a movie is released that changes the way people look at certain genres; Marvel’s The Avengers is one of those movies. This film has been hyped up for a LONG time, many things about it are unprecedented for its time, from the special effects to the superstar cast of characters; this movie is one for the ages. The Avengers are a group of superheroes collected by S.H.I.E.L.D. to save the world, and while one may assume they all get along and gel from the jump and the whole film is sunshine and roses, what actually happens is what makes The Avengers so great.
For a good portion of the movie, most of the characters hate one another, and it takes something completely (for the most part) unexpected to bring them back together and realize the end game is bigger than any one person (or ego). The Avengers are made up of genius playboy Tony Stark as Iron Man, Thor the Norse God of thunder, Steve Rogers, the American super-soldier known as Captain America, Dr. Bruce Banner and his moody alter ego The Hulk, Clint Barton as super assassin Hawkeye, and Natasha Romanoff, the former spy now known as The Black Widow. Each character brings a different skill to the table, with Whedon doing a fantastic job of showing off each of those skills without overloading the viewer with character detail. The movie has a running time of around two and a half hours, but after the end credits start rolling, you find yourself wanting another hour or two of these characters. The Avengers are collected to save the world from Loki, brother of Thor, who strives to rule the world. While my description thus far may seem only a fanboy would enjoy it, this film has every single aspect that a movie lover would enjoy. Between the dry, smartass humor of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark to the no bullshit attitude of Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, this movie has everyone covered. Who, or what, might have been my favorite character is Mark Ruffalo’s turn as Dr. Bruce Banner and The Hulk. This was Marvel’s third try at The Hulk’s character, after attempts by Eric Bana and Edward Norton fell short, and they hit the nail on the head with this one. The character of Banner/The Hulk is worth the price of admission alone for any comic book fan.
One last thing that this movie brings to mind that might be lost in the talk of explosions and star power is the faint idea that director Joss Whedon is hinting at the American spirit at times, trying to use what many consider THE summer blockbuster movie of the year (while I’ll argue that the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy will undoubtedly be the movie of the year), to uplift the average American’s views of a country that has been in a recession for some time. You may or may not be into Hollywood’s love affair with comic book based films as others, but The Avengers is one movie you need to get your ass to the theatre and see. Trust me, if you wait to see this movie on DVD or Blu-Ray, you’ll be mad at yourself for not experiencing this movie on the big screen. This movie might not be a film classic in terms of films like Casablanca or Citizen Kane, but as far as a movie you’ll enjoy from start to finish, it’s a classic in my book.
PS- Stick around for the credits, there’s not one, but TWO extra scenes. One in the middle of the credits, and another at the end of the credits, in true Marvel fashion.