Monday, May 7, 2012


by Alex Hajna

Making an Avengers movie is, no doubt, a tough gig. Nothing like it has ever been attempted in the history of Hollywood: gathering characters from five different movies, and putting them all together in one film. Many questioned the practicality of such a project, and rightfully so. How can you properly develop each character, give them each their rightful time to shine, and not make any of them seem like the chief advocate of the film? Well, my friends... Joss Whedon made it work. And he made it work well.

The question can be raised that they may have rushed into this movie, with only one film for each hero (with the exception of Iron Man). It may have been more viable to have the characters slightly more developed before they get thrown into a movie where there’s no time to develop. Plus, the culmination of events leading up to the “Avengers initiative” would have been more planned out, and it would have been a much bigger pay-off when the movie finally was released. However, it doesn’t feel rushed in any sense of the word, and Mr. Whedon’s script is so well-written, that it all works perfectly. He manages to develop the heroes, while simultaneously staying true to the characters we’ve come to know and love.

The security of our planet is threatened when Loki --- a familiar face from ‘Thor’ --- wants to take over Earth. He has mixed up views about peace and war, and believes that a human’s rightful place is kneeling down to a ruler, who just so happens to be him. He has no gripes with humanity, just as “a boot has no grudge with an ant”. But his role as villain is much more than just destroying Earth with magic. Loki is the glue that holds the plot together, being the common enemy of each of the Avengers. He is the pivotal force that drives the characters, providing the development needed to actually believe these heroes belong together.

Where these people come from, they reign supreme. Steve Rogers/Captain America is the world's first superhero, Tony Stark/Iron Man is a genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist, Thor is a king, and Bruce Banner/Hulk is a highly respected physicist. Bringing these people together and putting them on a team should and would undoubtedly turn into a who-is-the-team-leader debate. This ongoing wrangle between each team member --- including Black Widow and Nick Fury --- is what makes the gang so interesting. In fact, they can't even be considered a full team, working together, until the final moments of the climax. That is just part of what makes Whedon's script so strong. The characters are so  compelling, the humor is some of the best in recent years (including most comedies) because it's earned and not cheap, and the plot is arranged so that the story pieces fit together perfectly; the two hour and fifteen minute running time flies by in a flash.

Known more for his storytelling and character-developing abilities, people were questioning Marvel's choice of Joss Whedon as the director. Could he direct big action set pieces? Does he know the source material enough? The answer is yes. He has accomplished something most people saw to be nearly impossible. From the get-go, people thought this movie was going to be a very big disappointment. But with Mr. Whedon's humble approach --- he told everyone from the beginning that this was going to be impossible, and that he'd probably screw it up --- it was done. And it was done well. 'The Avengers' is a masterpiece of an action film. It's what going to the movie theater is about: fun-loving characters, compelling storylines, exciting action, and warranted humor. This is a blockbuster at its finest.

My Rating: A

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