Thlihaesli! lihlIHlHDBNkjd! AHDIAOCNZ<AS!!! Okay, sorry, sorry… I need to slow down my fingers. I’m running on a super geek high right now, and it’s taking all my powers of concentration (not inconsiderable) to remain in a seated position in front of the computer. I have a feeling that this review will be uncharacteristically short, but only because there’s only so much I want to say to you, dear readers, so as not to ruin anything you might see in the theater.
I’m not sure what the odds are of a movie like this actually getting made. I mean, any one of a million different things could have derailed this thing before it even left the station. And I’m not sure what the odds are, assuming it was getting made, of it being any good. Again, you’ve got dozens, if not hundreds, of people with serious input and influence on this movie. All it takes is one proverbial “turd in the punchbowl” to spoil the batch. But I do know this: The Avengers was the culmination of decade’s worth of superhero movies that ranged from great to spectacular, and had some seriously talented people at the helm. The end result is a movie that not only lived up to exceptionally high expectations, but may have actually exceeded them.
Everything about The Avengers just worked, despite the massive undertaking. I attribute it in large part to director Joss Whedon. If you’re not familiar with this man, you have problems. If you are familiar, then you already know what I’m talking about. He also wrote the screenplay. Whedon has this insane ability to perfectly balance action and drama, even when the subject matter is something as ridiculous as superheros (or vampires). And he has pitch perfect comedic timing, usually by flipping a situation on its head, taking it in a hilariously unexpected direction. The entire theater was in stitches on multiple occasions. In between bouts of cheering, that is. Because we cheered. A lot. It was literally impossible not to.
Which brings me to the heroes themselves. Humans, demigods, secret agents, super geniuses, etc. All somehow mixing together in a beautiful silver screen ballet of laser blasts and explosions. Robert Downey, Jr. (aka Tony Stark, aka Iron Man) easily has the best lines of the movie, and would have stolen the show if he hadn’t been so perfectly matched by the screen time and presence of the other actors. For example, I love Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Love him. LOVE HIM.
Chris Evans as Captain America was great (again). And even Mark Ruffalo… ugh, I can’t believe I’m about to say this… didn’t ruin the movie! We’re even treated to a lot more Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner as Black Widow and Hawkeye, respectively. Seriously, even at 2 1/2 hours, I have no idea how they crammed so much awesomeness into this movie. Whedon is a master story teller of the group dynamic. He seamlessly weaves together drama, action, and comedy with material that could easily be considered campy in the hands of a less skilled director (just look at Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
The pacing was exceptional, and the story was compelling. Even taking away the familiar characters and superhero elements, I think this would be an objectively fantastic movie. I am recommending it to everyone, although I think you can appreciate it on more levels if you’ve seen its precursors. Lastly I would just like to say, this movie has Cobie Smulders in it. With my friends and I all sitting next each other in the movie theater sporting nerd boners, we looked like a well organized line of anthills.