So, I saw the Avengers film today.
Rest assured, it delivers on the promise hinted at by the tag at the end of Iron Man in ‘08, and the hype it’s been (justifiably) been saddled with since. It’s a genuinely satisfying, thrilling and - dare I say - fun movie from start to finish; any film that opens with a decent enough car chase and then proceeds to up the ante/scale in each subsequent act, without losing sight of the plot/character focus, deserves praise.
Each of the main cast members holds their own in this film. It’s an ensemble piece, no mistake, but each team member gets their chance to shine. No diva moments here (except for Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, but hey, he is the antagonist). Joss Whedon, whose potential was glimpsed in many an episode of Buffy/Angel and hinted at in Serenity, finally delivers with aplomb and flair. The script moves at a rattling pace, but allows its cast to breathe when needed.
Is it a perfect film? No (the explanation for Thor appearing in the story is handwaved in, and is equally handwaved out again at the film’s denouement), and despite Whedon coming close to imitating latter-day Michael Bay in the final third of the film, the 2+ hours running time whooshes by with little slack or flab. (Cameo from Harry Dean Stanton notwithstanding.)
You will laugh, as it is a Joss Whedon film, and his Buffy-speak has become part of modern-day lexicon. You will cry, as again, it is a Joss Whedon film - and to say any more will spoil. Whedon’s love for the Marvel Universe is apparent via in-jokes, sly references, and the inevitable post-credits sting (and if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Marvel fanboy like I am, you’ll lose your shit).
Suffice to say, The Avengers is a true crowd-pleasing experience, and hugely enjoyable if you’re a comic-book fan. I can’t recommend this highly enough.
And to Whedon’s assembled (ha!) cast above, I say: take a well-deserved bow, you’ve all earned it. Roll on the sequels!
[Gaspar Saladino’s Avengers logo design sourced via Dial B For Blog; Kevin Feige (far right), Whedon et al at SDCC 2010 via bigkevsgeekstuff on Flickr.]