RATINGS: 3.5 / 5
Honestly I wasn’t overly excited for this film. It felt to me from the advertising that this was merely going to be “Iron Man and Friends”, more or less. It pointed to it being mostly about Tony Stark and him being the leader, which would have been a betrayal to the source material. Thankfully I was very much proven wrong and director Joss Whedon has created perhaps the best comic book film of all time. The film has wildly exceeded all expectations, especially at the box office with an Earth shattering $200 million opening in the US and almost $750 million worldwide. Just to put it in perspective, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II (the previous record holder) merely made $169 million in its opening weekend.
I do think that there are better films to come out of comic books, but the greatest of the comic book films tend to distant themselves from its comic origins. The Dark Knight and Batman Begins for instance are more like crime dramas, while X-Men: First Class was more of a historical action film with super powers mixed into it. Both of these films were to be taken completely serious, and have little comedic relief.
The Avengers however may have made the best comic to live action transition in the history of film (aside from maybe Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, but for other reasons obviously). The tone is kept almost perfectly in the comics, the small things going on in the background, and the film is just plain old fun. It’s not as smart as The Dark Knight is, but I’d say its wittier and much more fun.
The characters were translated particularly well. Each character is given a shining moment and they all seem to have reason to have some particular grudge with the antagonist Loki. Captain America makes a very convincing leader, which says a lot due to how pretty much everyone on the team has a dominant personality. I like how they exploit Captain America’s and Thor’s lack of knowledge of the current state of the world and how they pit each character against each other.
The one who really steals the show though is Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk/Dr. Bruce Banner. He plays the role so convincingly as human, but when he gets angry, he certainly has the best action in the film. I’m hoping after this film they give the Hulk one last try for his own live action film, despite the two before this, because it appears that most people agree that he was the best part of the film.
Finally the ambition for this project has been pretty astounding. There is at least one or two major events from each of the films that Marvel has made building up to The Avengers, and the film has to be commemorated for this ambitious scope. Not to mention that all the actors appearing in this film are contracted to do at least 6 films, and that includes Ruffalo, to where this could and should only be the beginning for this ragtag band of heroes. This film is highly recommended to pretty much anyone solely from the last 30 minutes of the film, which has really raised the bar on a Superhero action sequence.