May 10, 2012

Why Marvel's The Avengers worked.

Marvel's The Avengers

Thesis: I thought The Avengers was going to blow, but it proved me wrong with a focused script and evenly distributed action.  

I was genuinely surprised that The Avengers didn't suck.  With a mix of characters, all equal in power (almost), all worthy of screen time and attention, I expected some shit-show, cinematic slop, with unbalanced character distribution.  Who was going to be the star?  Ironman and his wit?  Captain America and his leadership?  Hulk because he's simply awesome!  (Thor never had a chance)  But Whedon did a great job avoiding any of this turmoil, evenly distributing all the focus characters, and utilizing all of their talents to weave together a fine film.  They all genuinely felt involved through the entire film, without being over shadowed by one of the other personalities or characters.

Another trending feature in today's super hero films is the super hero bitching about being a super hero?  What?  Spider-man begging for his normal life to return, and the Batman doing a noble gesture by leaving Gotham?  This makes no sense to the average joe, but with a good script, an audience can buy into anything.  Fearfully, it seemed almost inevitable that The Avengers would experience something similar.  I could foresee Bruce Banner needing a shoulder to weep on for a complexion problem, or Tony Stark wanting to return to his bachelor days.  But thankfully, there were no moments of faggy bromance hogging screen time.  The characters all generally seemed to accept their super-hero nature, without any hesitation to ever jump into an action scene.  

And kudos to Whedon for knowing that his villain had to unleash some truly, brutal hell on earth in order to get this clan to work together.  I thought Loki was a poor villain.  The antlers were corny, and the chosen actor just didn't have the ruffled skin to be a villain.  Too baby faced.  But, he did unleash some demonic creatures that didn't mess around, and there were tons of them, making the final fight scene enjoyable.  

Overall, this film is a great comic film.  This is the result of a focused script that didn't wandering off into emotional trash-like territory.  Totally unrealistic, and on the brink of tongue-in-cheek.  But with these characters, it certainly should be.