by Rich Fallat
“The Avengers” is breaking box-office records left and right. The culmination of characters, developed in 3 different movies unite as an all-star team to defeat the evil Lokie (Tom Hiddleston). It was everything a movie-goer could expect from a summer tent-pole popcorn flick. Beautifual people, explosions, visual entertainment. The effects were top-notch, not a surprise considering the main vendors were the two titans of the industry, Industrial Light & Magic and WETA. So much that the biggest star on screen wasn’t Ironman (Robert Downey Jr.) but the mean green CGI Hulk (Mark Ruffalo
Bringing multiple characters of the Marvel universe into the same movie worked beautifully. Ironman brought top-notch dialogue and comic relief as usual. I really enjoyed the Captain America (Chris Evans) character in this film, even more so than in his solo film. That movie really lost me during the prison break scene, couldn’t really take it seriously after that. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) was entertaining to watch, and Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of the Hulk added a believable layered depth that was not present in the previous 2 films.
For me, the Hulk completely stole the show. Joss Whedon did a phenomenal job building up to the hulk transformation, and after that happened, it was the only thing I wanted to look at. ILM did a fantastic job with the big green man, not an easy feat to make something like that look believable. I especially loved the design of the anatomy coupled with how beautifully the character was animated.
What I didn’t like so much
Let me preface this by saying I am not in any way a Marvel/comic book expert. I approached this movie as an unbiased movie goer with very little knowledge of the books.
Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Captain America seemed extremely under-powered in comparison with the other super heroes. I think Whedon did the best he could to get the characters ample screen time, but it kind of took me out of it when the ‘human’ characters came out of the bullet riddled, giant flying robot robot scenes unscathed. Maybe they were just boring to watch since they were pretty much relegated to ground battle whereas the other characters can jump or fly.
Lokie is a character that I wasn’t the biggest fan of in this movie or the last. Just never felt very menacing and was kind of a squirrely pipsqueak (could very well be like that in the comics).
It also felt like the down sequences dragged a bit, probably because the action sequences were so amazing. The climax was visually awesome and entertaining. My favorite scene in the entire film was the Hulk smashing, truly unforgettable. But the resolution of the film slips my mind and didn’t leave me with a lasting impression to ponder in the following days.
Would I watch it again?
Yes, will definitely be checking this out again when it’s released on video. I really want to dissect the vfx and try to learn from them, especially that incredible Hulk. Also loved the long shot that flew in and out of the ongoing Avenger battles, breathtaking and I’m sure a challenge on the post-production side of things. Amazing visual effects work and will undoubtedly be in the running for the Oscar. It isn’t Dark Knight or Ironman level in my book, but nothing to complain about either, and the boatloads of money it’s producing is no surprise.