I couldn’t make it to the Avengers premiere, but we have so many crew members on our movie who worked on it, and plenty of comic book geeks in general, so Samuel L. Jackson graciously arranged for us to see the film in advance.
I had to break out the classic Steranko Nick Fury t-shirt in honor of SLJ. He’s very proud of the film.
We also have Clay Fontenot, a brilliant stuntman and all around great guy who is Iron Man. The suit of armor was built for him and he’s the man inside for all the films.
What did you ask? What did I think of the movie itself?
THE AVENGERS is the best superhero movie ever made.
I say that as a filmmaker and a comic book fan for as long as I can read. And I say it with confidence.
Who had the title before? Here are the contenders: SPIDERMAN 2, X MEN 2, BATMAN BEGINS, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT, the first IRON MAN….but this one beats them all. Why?
It has what the best of them all had and it has what none of them ever had – a satisfying act three. Usually the attempts to go big end up hollow, with fights with not emotional content.
AVENGERS also has the advantage of almost all the characters having been set up in previous movies, so we are spared the clichés of the origin story that drag down the first film, and make the sequel seem so much in comparison.
The key to a good comic book movie is making the man or woman behind the mask a compelling character. Can you imagine anyone other than Robert Downey Jr’s high-speed sarcastic brilliance as Tony Stark? Raimi always got Peter Parker right. The scene with a spindly Steve Rogers taking on a bully in the alley is Captain America’s defining moment. The Nolan BATMAN movies make Bruce Wayne the most interesting he’s ever been in any medium – comics, films, animated or live action television series.
BEWARE…FROM HERE ON, THERE BE SPOILERS. DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU SEE THE FILM.
Joss Whedon deftly builds on our collective knowledge of these characters from a variety of mediums and nails their personalities and interacts with each other spot on. And like the comics, he lets those personality clashes express themselves in large scale mayhem, which both ups the action quotient and raises the stakes….their lack of cohesion is as big a threat as the big bad. There’s three different fights among the Avengers (core members Thor, Iron Man and Cap; Hulk vs. Thor; and Hawkeye vs. Black Widow)
And speaking of villains…there’s just one. The double villain idea has never comfortably worked for me. Both Batman and Spiderman sequels have suffered from split focus.
Conversely EVERYONE in Avengers gets an adequate amount of screen time. No character dominates the movie, but if anyone steals the show, it’s Mark Ruffalo as Banner/Hulk, who wipes out previous well meaning but failed attempts with the greatest of ease. Whedon wisely withholds his transformation as long as he can, knowing audience is waiting for him to get really pissed…and green. In a movie full of fantastic one-liners, Banner gets the best in the film: “here’s my secret – ”.
This movie could only happen because of the existence of Marvel Studios. Because they laid out a master plan with the individual films building to this one, and having the financial clout and filmmaking skills to back it up, a film series that mirrors comic book release could happen. Can’t wait for the next one.
I am planning on seeing the film again this weekend, because I couldn’t watch it again right after I saw it. Kudos to Joss Whedon, producer Kevin Feige, and an amazing cast and crew for making a magnificent film.