Saturday, May 12, 2012

Avengers - 2012

Last night the FP Gal and I had something of a date night.  We farmed out kids to various grandparents and did dinner and a movie.  We intended to go to 'Hunger Games' but for scheduling reasons, went to the Avengers movie instead.  Went to the 3D version, in fact.  We've been curious about the 3D movies but have avoided them.  We weren't sure how it would fit my one eye and the FP Gal wasn't sure she was interested at all.  Well, I could see the movie clearly enough with the glasses but it looked 2D.  The FP Gal didn't think it added much. 
I loved the movie while she merely liked it.  It had the one quality that so many recent superhero movies have lacked: fun.  It also had some top notch action scenes.  Ones where the action made sense.  And banter, lovely, lovely banter.  Bullet points to follow:
  • The movie did a great job of making four strong characters work against each other.  Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Hulk all seemed to be complete.  One of the best things about the movie was the interesting dialogue between them.
  • I'm shocked that the Hulk is included on that list.  Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner) absolutely steals this movie.  Even more than Robert Downey Jr.  I've never really cared for the Hulk.  Thought that the Hulk movies looked terrible.  Here he was a compelling character, especially in the early going when he was so clearly trying to keep the Hulk in check.
  • The whole idea of a Captain America adjusting to life after decades frozen in ice was very well handled.  I don't remember the comic books ever really doing much with this.  In fairness, the time span in the movie universe is much longer but still, they deserve credit here.
  • Robert Downey Jr is still great as Tony Stark.  The way he needles those around him is wonderful.  It probably helps to have seen the two Iron Man movies but frankly, those are both pretty good anyway.
  • I haven't seen the Thor movie so I didn't know what to expect.  Loki was excellent as a villain.  The way he moved from strong to weak and back again is very difficult.  Tom Hiddleston deserves massive credit.
  • The movie could have been tightened a bit.  It didn't really take off until they got the heroes together and they took too long to do that.  It wasn't dull by any means, but the overall feel was 'long'.
  • The power imbalance between the Big Four and Hawkeye and Black Widow is so big as to be ridiculous.  During the big fight, you've got the big guys knocking out scores of enemies while the others are helping people out of a bus.  Not the writers fault, the same imbalance was there in the early Avengers run.  They didn't really have a powerful woman until what, Ms Marvel?  Maybe some time down the road they'll add in She-Hulk or something and fix this.
  • Apparently if you shoot a car it explodes and flips up on its nose.  Not just any car.  Every car.  This has become so much of a cliche that it's distracting.  Also, the death toll in New York must have been incredible.
  • That bit with the Hulk and Loki?  Genius.  Pure genius.  
  • Samuel L Jackson was enjoyable as always.  I've never really been fond of S.H.I.E.L.D in the comic books and the movies haven't made me change my mind.  Still, he brings just the right touch of gravity and humor to the role.  I approve.  
I don't know what the plans are for a sequel but I'm excited for it if/when it happens!

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