Movie Review: Marvel’s The Avengers
Written by Michael Shurtz
I am reviewing Marvel’s The Avengers without ever reading a single Avenger comic book. “CRUCIFY HIM!!!!” is something you might be shouting right now. This review is coming from someone who has a casual relationship with comics, but a serious relationship with movies. With that said, I may miss some of the criticisms the fan-boys may have with how The Hulk was a different shade of green in the comics or some shit. But, I think I am fully qualified to tell you if The Avengers is a good movie or not and the answer to that question is yes, it’s pretty good. Although, it does have faults.
To start, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark is the best thing about this movie. Every line that leaves his mouth is perfect. This is probably because the character of Stark isn’t too much of a stretch for RDJ, but he is entertaining as hell anyway. A close second for the best thing in this film is The Hulk. Action sequences involving him are the highlights of the film. Now, let’s not get confused though, the writing for the Bruce Banner character made me want to kill myself. Mark Ruffalo does the best he can with what he was given and he is the best Hulk so far, but there were far too many jokes and quips Banner says about the fact that he transforms into a “giant, green, rage monster.” It was enough for me to want to shout “OKAY!!! I GET IT NOW!!!”
Now let’s move on to things that made me want to yell “NO!!! I DON’T GET IT YET!! I WANT MORE!!!” The characters of Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) and Clint Barton (Hawkeye) were not explained well enough. The majority of the people seeing this movie are not familiar with these people. They haven’t really been in any previous movie so there hasn’t been a real introduction to them (Black Widow in Iron Man 2, and Hawkeye in the super secret ending scene of Thor). The most we get is half-ass story told by Romanoff that kind of explains who they are. I still don’t know. The same can be said for the lame way they explained the relationship between the two heroes.
My biggest complaint with The Avengers is something I hate in a lot of movies. I call it “The Easy-Way-Out Approach” or a deus ex machina. This is when characters in a movie are put into an impossible situation, but all of a sudden there is a magic way to fix the problem that was not mentioned earlier in the film but has been there the whole time, whether it makes sense or not. It just seems like they wrote themselves into a corner and one writer said “Shit…how do they get out of this?” And another says, “Just make a big red ABORT button that no one saw before appear.” DONE! It just seemed lazy to me. It happens twice in the film: Once, when they attempt to explain why Bruce Banner can control The Hulk and another time at the climax of the final battle.
The Avengers is by no means a bad movie. It is hugely entertaining, the story and action is paced well, and it’s just plain cool. In my opinion, it’s the best superhero movie that hasn’t been directed by Christopher Nolan. But even those movies aren’t perfect and neither is this one.
Shurtz’s Verdict: B-