Monday, May 07, 2012
Movie Review - The Avengers
If you're unfamiliar with the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" over the past few years or where The Avengers takes us, here's a quick sum-up. Look back at the last few years of superhero movies: Iron Man (1 and 2), The Incredible Hulk (apparently they're ignoring the previous "Hulk" movie from 2003), Captain America, and Thor. Take each of the films in this universe and overlap them to see where they have common ground and then bring them together for the ultimate superhero mashup.
First let me admit that I have not seen all of the films leading up to this movie. Specifically I haven't seen the Incredible Hulk or Captain America movies. That said, it is a testament to the writing and direction of this film to say that I was not lost at all in the plot nor did I feel like I missed out on anything major by not having seen them (though I do now have a desire to go back and watch them). This is one of many places where I felt like this film really worked well.
Knowing that this is essentially a sequel to 5 movies, they had to decide how much backstory and exposition they would include to bring people up to speed. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they did very little exposition or lengthy narrations of backstory. Rather, they assumed the audience was smart enough to follow along and connect the dots delivered through very quick dialog snippets, plot points, or minuscule flashbacks or news reels.
Each major character received his own solo introduction segment that didn't act as an "origin" or "history" lesson but rather showed us "real world" situations for each character that brought us quickly up to speed on their history, characteristics, mannerisms and motivations. I think the one whose history is important and is made least clear would be the villain Loki…but they give enough of his current actions to help you quickly determine what kind of character he is without having to understand exactly what happened in Thor.
The main threat of the film comes from Loki wielding a mysterious form of power and plotting to bring an alien army across the universe to destroy the Earth. While that problem is looming from the very beginning of the movie, in many ways it stays in the background…Loki and his team create brief skirmishes throughout the film but they're not the source of much large action until the end. Instead we are thrown into the conflict of trying to get this very diverse (and headstrong) group of people to work together in a cohesive manner.
In short, this is probably the best Super Hero movie I've ever experienced and it's definitely up there in terms of the great action-adventure movies of all time.
5 out of 5 stars
Today's Quote from Quoting Quotes: