2012. 142 Minutes. Rated PG 13.
“Because if we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damn sure we’ll avenge it.”
I know some girls wouldn’t dream of going to see a movie based on comic books, but The Avengers was pure eye candy (I’m not biased due to my secret crush on Mark Ruffalo either; ever since 13 Going on 30, there is a quiet sadness look that I just can’t get enough of.) If Ruffalo isn’t your type, this movie also has Robert Downey Jr. in his reprise of millionaire playboy Ironman (who always seems to get better with age), the loyal and patriotic newcomer Chris Evans as Captain America, and Chris Hemsworth as warrior god of Thunder, Thor. Oh, and for everyone else, Scarlett Johansson bends and twists in skin tight leather as the spy, Black Widow.
The tesseract from Captain America: The First Avenger has been stolen by Thor’s evil brother, Loki. He has possessed S.H.I.E.L.D.’s top professor Selvig (Stellen Skarsgard) and agent Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) to aid him. The tesseract is a cube of pure energy, and was being studied as a renewable energy source until it was stolen (not as awesome as the tesseracts in A Wrinkle in Time though.) S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is desperate enough to try the Avengers initiative, which calls on the superheros of the world to work together. Due to their extreme personalities, the Avengers initiative was thrown out and the council would rather nuke NYC than use them (how’s that for an insult?) They must stop Loki before he opens a portal for an interplanetary army to take over earth. First they must learn to get along.
If you haven’t seen the prior origin movies, not to worry. You can still appreciate The Avengers, and not just for the sights, either. Going deeper, the Avengers represent something at the core of any team: the ability to deal with personalities (some more helpful than others) to bring talents to the table for the greater good. The movie gave time for each superhero to shine and show their humor. Ironman calls Thor “Point Break,” a reference to the 1991 movie about surfers with the same name. Thor jokes that Loki is adopted, after his murderous antics. These quips are sprinkled throughout the movie’s heart-stopping action scenes. It’s another movie that destroys New York City (why not pick on someplace else for a change?).
Ruffalo is my favorite Hulk. Hulk has been played by Eric Bana in 2003, and later by Edward Norton in 2008, when Marvel became a studio. Ruffalo combined the reserved and emo Dr. Banner with the insane comical rage of the Hulk. Hulk stole the movie (let’s face it, he represents what some of us wish we could do everyday, especially during this movie when I said a bit too loudly to the people behind me if they didn’t be quiet I would Hulk-punch them). Just let out the rage inside. He’s one of the most volatile, but important, members on the team. Captain America comes out as the born leader of the team, while Ironman’s more impulsive actions save lives. Perhaps America could be more patriotic if we had a hot superhero in a red, white, and blue spandex suit, fighting for justice. For now, we’ll have to settle for the World Superhero Registry.
This movie is all about suspension of disbelief. For some reason, I was okay with a scientist exposed to Gama rays who turns green, huge, and rageful. I didn’t mind that Thor could control lightning, either, but I couldn’t get over Hawkeye not wearing a helmet on top of a building during the climactic battle. He doesn’t have any good super powers and the guy is in plain view of an army equipped with only a bow? (I’m sorry, how did he not get killed?)
There’s something magical when a movie studio gets it right. Marvel movies have made a name for themselves at accurate representations of the superheroes we all know and love. Joss Whedon, known for tv shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, nailed the spirit of the Avengers. I wish I saw it in 3D. The film grossed $200 million in the US in the first 3 days, so it’s safe to say that a sequel is in the works.