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'The Avengers' Directed By Joss Whedon

A movie Directed by Joss Whedon

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...To Fight the Foes No Single Super-Hero Could Withstand. On That Day The Avengers Assembled!

  • May 5, 2012
With all the recent films that brought Marvel characters to life, almost every comic book fan was excited for the coming of an “Avengers” movie. I have read the “The Avengers” comic books ever since I was a very young child and even read them during this time of my adult life. I even managed to possess many of the issues that came before I was born. I guess you may say that I am an “Avengers” geek; I have seen the evolution of the team from something that leaned towards sci-fi and fantasy, to something that offered much more ambitious stories that bring forth questions of humanity. Nowadays, “The Avengers” brings something very different, mature and honest to its readers.

                  Tom Hiddleston as Loki in "Marvel's The Avengers."

You may say that I will like any movie that is based on my beloved comic book team. “The Avengers” is your usual Hollywood rendition of a comic book movie or rather what it believes should be a comic book movie; a simple story, underwhelming villains, flashy hard-hitting fights and loads of fun to watch. It has replay value and yet it will never make a lasting impression to become truly unforgettable. These are not necessarily bad things, since sticking to a formula that made the other movies successful is logical. However, it did not illustrate why “The Avengers” have been outselling DC’s major team book “Justice League” for many long years and why the title won many writing awards. Ok, perhaps I need to wait for a sequel.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) unexpectedly appears in a hidden SHIELD facility to take possession of a mysterious energy source called the Tesseract. Loki takes over the minds of several people that includes physicist Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) and SHIELD agent Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner). This leaves Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and agent Maria Hill (Connie Smulders) to come up with a way to combat this threat that may herald an alien invasion. Nick Fury puts into play the Avengers initiative that brings Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and The Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson) together. But can they really work together?

                  Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson in "The Avengers."

                 Chris Evans as Captain America and Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in "Marvel's The Avengers."

“The Avengers” is loosely based on 2000’s “The Ultimates” (a darker, meaner reboot of the books) that then borrows some devices with the original “Avengers” books. Director/writer Joss Whedon knew what he had in this project. Limited to the workings of a simple story about good and evil and the past groundwork of the other individual films, Whedon makes do with what he had, tries to bring forth any area that can give the film balance and definitely a fast-moving pace. The film is your standard comic book action movie that is geared to attract all audiences. There is nothing wrong with this, despite the lack of ambition in the plot, the film’s screenplay was structured well enough to hide its flaws and bring focus on its strengths.

A comic book adaptation to equal the risks and ambition Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight)  took is yet to be achieved again in another franchise. This film while entertaining, will not achieve this. Joss Whedon stays true to his style since this is what he does best. Being limited to what he had, Whedon injects his personal , clever touches that we’ve seen him do in the past. He allows the characters to charm their way to the audience. While driving the plot, Whedon uses his usual touch of dry and subtle slapstick to make the scenes much more likable. I knew I was going to have some issues with its characterization, but I had little to complain about as the screenplay had some very nice touches and they were impeccably timed to appeal to its viewers.

                        Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chris Evans as Captain America in "Marvel's The Avengers."

                       Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man in "Marvel's The Avengers."

                     Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in "Marvel's The Avengers."

 I suppose while the film was fun, when it came to characterization and character portrayals, the film wasn’t that faithful to their supposed source material. I mean, Loki was your usual underwhelming villain, the likes of which Hollywood’s Obadiah Stane, and “The Red Skull” were sculpted from. This is the Norse god of mischief, and Asgard’s sorcerer supreme. Really, besides the manipulations of our heroes, an alien invasion is all he would be capable of? Group dynamics were pretty solid though, but up to this day, I am always bothered with the way that Tony Stark is portrayed. He felt like he was “Hawkeye” (the team’s cocky loud mouth) and not the moody calculating inventor that gave the Iron Man books their success. Hemsworth was alright as the confident god and Ruffalo made a very credible Bruce Banner. Chris Evans struggled a little to attain that commanding presence that made Capt. America the leader of the Avengers.

What the film does well is the improvement of special effects. The film is incredibly action-packed and puts as much PG-13 violence it could muster to generate intensity. The film offers a lot of ‘fan service’ as scenes that gave homage to the “Stand Off” storyline in Avengers, “The Ultimates 2”, and the fight between Thor and Hulk was clearly ripped from the animated movie “Ultimate Avengers”. Whedon knows how to shoot action sequences since he has done them in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel”. The action scenes between Barton and Natasha were so cool, and most of the ground combat in the final act had that Whedon signature: fast moving and cleverly edited. I did have issues with the way the final act appeared more of a “Jade-Jaws” and “Shellhead” show, but I can look pass that. I have to say I was disappointed that a battle between two gods could lack passion and power. (I mean the battle in “Chronicle” was more like two gods fighting). If you know Thor and Loki, you know these are beings who can destroy planets and the battle was toned down in favor of some need to focus on mainstream needs (Hulk and Iron Man are arguably more popular). This was your kiddie fight so parents can take their kids and buy the action figures.

                         Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chris Evans as Captain America in "Marvel's The Avengers."

                        Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Chris Evans as Captain America in "Marvel's The Avengers."

“The Avengers” is your usual Hollywood dose of a comic book adaptation. But it does hit the right spots. Whedon was focused enough with the scripting and direction that he was able to hide the weaknesses of an underwhelming script, and come up with a good film. Yes, this is not the definitive “Avengers” movie but it is incredibly entertaining that it may be the right stuff to launch a new franchise. It was aimed to appeal to movie goers and to sell T-shirts and toys than to appeal to the real fans, but hey, at least it wasn’t the dreck “Fantastic Four” or “Green Lantern” were. “The Avengers” is a fun time in the movies that it gets a recommendation from me.

Recommended!  [4- Out of 5 Stars]
Poster art for "Marvel's The Avengers." Poster art for "Marvel's The Avengers."

Poster art for "Marvel's The Avengers." Poster art for "Marvel's The Avengers."

Avengers Assemble! Joss Whedon Assembles Marvel's Mightiest Heroes!

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May 08, 2012
You're so right about Marvel's movie villains. Even Dr. Doom was underwhelming, although that movie was so lifeless it almost didn't matter. It's disappointing to hear that Loki doesn't quite measure up. But it looks like they're not going to make the same mistake next time. T_ _ _ _ s shouldn't present the same problem.
May 08, 2012
Loki was the same sculpture but better than Doom. I just had a different image of Loki since I knew the character so well. I am very afraid what they'll do with Thanos. Thanos is just pure evil in the comics--he was someone that even the devil did not like.
May 08, 2012
Yup. I mean, observing the tone and style of this movie, it would not do justice to Thanos. Which is my point--this style and pacing may be fun, but it will kill the franchise slowly in the long run.
May 08, 2012
Excellent review and great pictures as usual.
May 08, 2012
Thank you, sir!
May 08, 2012
You are very welcome.
May 07, 2012
I LOVED THIS FLICK WP, this was a prue fun movie. Great review man, I can't wait for the Blu-Ray and they have to make a part 2 [that scene after the first bit of credits says that they will] and I hope they go on with a third.
May 07, 2012
I do hope in any sequel they make, they begin to expand on the members. This line up has a lot of strength, but lacks a little balance. They need someone like The Wasp and Giant Man or someone with magic abilities. The Vision and Scarlet Witch are all time Avengers greats! I hope they come out with The Masters of Evil....
May 06, 2012
excellent review. this will always be remembered as the film 'even John liked'. LOL
May 06, 2012
yes! maybe I should make a badge for that alone LOL! what other movies are you looking forward to this month?
May 06, 2012
seeing 'Dark Shadows' on Tuesday...Not sure about htat one. I'm really looking forward to 'Pormethuis' 'Battleship'..cause I love scifi and Ridley Scott and Men In Black should be fun...or not.
May 07, 2012
very anxious to know what you guys will think of Dark Shadows....
May 06, 2012
I had to spend a long hard time just sitting down and thinking about why I loved this movie despite that it does absolutely everything I hate in a film.  I basically had to figure out why this movie was brilliant in what it does while other movies of the same fashion are terrible.  You know, the cheesy one-liners and all that sort of stuff that I normally can't stand.  But for The Avengers it all pretty much works.  And as an adaptation it also works because I simply didn't feel like the audience was forced to actually pick up another source material (other than perhaps the films) to really enjoy it.
May 06, 2012
The credit goes to Whedon. He always had exhibited skill in setting things up and for timing. If one day, you decide to check out the titles, let me know. Then you will see how the source material was deeper than any movie Marvel can muster. I respect it enough for doing what it was supposed to do but it came a lot short.
May 05, 2012
Usually, these types of movies seem to get "mixed" reviews, so I'm pretty damn surprised that all the ratings here on Lunch are 4's and 5's. I may give it a shot when it hits DVD and blu-ray.
May 06, 2012
Honestly, the film is not the best, but good enough and made the transition from all the other movies smooth. The definitive Avengers movie it isn't. but it is pretty good for a formula film.
More The Avengers (2012) reviews
review by . May 05, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
It's been four years that Marvel has been planning and building to this.  If they failed, it would be hysterical.  Such a build up, such a hype with such a failure?  Oh yeah it would be epic.  Ever since Iron Man in 2008 have seeds and build up been planned.  All the movies that followed would have something to do with this film be it plot points, characters or even sly hints for fanboys to giggle at when they wink at them across the screen.      …
review by . May 04, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
The Avengers is pretty much a summer blockbuster through and through.  If there were a rule book for summer blockbusters, The Avengers would've written it.  Cheesy one liners?  Check.  Dumb plot?  Check.  Flat characters?  Sort of check (they're not that flat, but this is assuming you've seen their respective films).  Tons of stupid, mindless explosions?  Check.  Pointless strange deus ex machina that comes out of nowhere?  Check.  …
review by . May 12, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****    It would appear that Marvel's "The Avengers" has a little something for every movie-goer. The Joss Whedon fan, the comic book/Marvel geek, and the action movie aficionado can all safely rejoice under the comforting roof of a single film. It's been in development for quite some time, and perhaps teased and spoken of for even longer periods of time; but it's finally here, and it pretty much kicks ass. I guess I'll begin by saying that upon first glance, I didn't …
review by . May 09, 2012
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'The Avengers' Is Spectacularly Good, But Not Great
What amazes me about the latest epic 'Marvel' Comics movie is how many things go right. With the ensemble of so many superheroes placed on one screen: [Captain America, (Evans); Black Widow, (Johansson); Iron Man, (Downey, Jr.); The Incredible Hulk, (Ruffalo); Thor, (Hemsworth); and The Archer, (Renner)]; the results could have easily been a cluttered mess. Instead, nearly all the necessary elements are properly placed. First of all, the menace of Thor's brother, Loki (Hiddleston), and …
review by . May 26, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
This is the best Marvel film since the first Iron Man film. Just like that film, the best part of this film was Robert Downey Jr. as the wise cracking Tony Stark. Loki has made a deal with an alien race that if he helps them get to Earth, they will conquer the planet and let Loki be the king (right). Loki must pave the way so they can get there and this involves stealing the Cosmic Cube (introduced in Captain America) and using to power a beam to open a passage through space.    To …
review by . May 15, 2012
Every bit as fun as you would expect.
From the day I walked out of that theatre after watching Captain America I was hyped, hyped for the Avengers. As much as I was hyped I got even more excited when I found out that Joss Whendon was directing.  Ever since I started watching Superhero movies I’ve been dying for a film featuring a crossover of different characters from different comic books. While the Avengers technically are their own comic book (Marvel vs. DC is what I had in mind) it’s still something I’m excited …
review by . April 29, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Something to Marvel at
Comic book movies or superhero movies or whatever you want to call them, all inherently have a very difficult task to accomplish. They all have to cater to a notoriously picky niche market, made up of detail oriented fanboys, while still remaining broad enough to appeal to the masses. They cost a fortune so they cannot afford not to attract the widest audience possible, but if they play it too broad, the fanatics will denounce the film and ruin any chance it has of making any money back. THE AVENGERS …
review by . May 03, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
        For those of you who are not in the know about The Avengers where have you been?  Seriously not only have there been two recent movies featuring The Hulk and Iron Man, but last year Paramount obviously rushed through production of Thor and Captain America to get the public ready for what could be a record breaking opening.  And while these two movies were nothing all that special, they both lay the ground work and have important …
review by . May 03, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Riding a massive wave of anticipation, hype, and phenomenal fanboy expectations, the mega-budget film version of Marvel Comics’ “The Avengers”, has arrived thanks to the vision of Director Joss Whedon (who also helped craft the story), and a $220 million plus budget. The film connects previous Marvel films such as “Thor”, “Captain America: The First Avenger”, “The Hulk”, and “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2″, but can easily …
review by . May 21, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
The dust still hasn't settled on the excitement of the release of The Avengers.  Joss Whedon was handed over the combined stories of four of Marvel's most iconic characters (and a few others tossed in for good measure) and asked to create a film (co-written with Zak Penn) that brought all of them together on a scale that has, at least up until this point, never been achieved.  For the most part, Whedon and company do a pretty darned good job of things.      …
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The Avengers is the title planned for an American superhero film yet to be produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It was announced in April 2005 and is to be based upon the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. The film is intended to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which crosses over several Marvel superhero films including Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo are under contract to star, with Joss Whedon attached to direct a script written by Zak Penn and himself. The Avengers has an announced release date of May 4, 2012 in 3-D
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Director: Joss Whedon
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: May 4 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Joss Whedon
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Marvel Studios
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