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“Marvel’s The Avengers” – Early Review (POSITIVE)

May 2, 2012

The credits to 2008’s “Iron Man” were scrolling, I was with a group of friends that night, I told them we should stay since word was going around that a secret ending was inserted into the movie. My friends were reluctant at first, but I convinced half to stay behind. As the final credit rolled upward we fade into a scene that will change EVERYTHING, Nicky Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), director of S.H.I.E.L.D. reveals himself to Tony Stark (Robert Downy Jr), and has come to talk about the Avengers Initiative.

Fast-forward four years, and Joss Whedon behind the directing/writers chair later, we’ve finally made it to the movie event of the century! “Marvel’s The Avengers”, an epic superhero movie that studios dared not to try, but Marvel, now it’s own boss, took a risk four years ago, and it paid off with films like “Iron Man 2”, “The Incredible Hulk”, “Thor”, and “Captain America: The First Avenger” leading to what was being anticipated as the greatest superhero movie of all time. Ladies & gentlemen, fanboys & fangirls alike, Marvel geeks, without a doubt in my mind, my heart, and my love for all things Marvel, “Marvel’s The Avengers” IS the greatest superhero movie of all time! With Joss Whedon at the helm, not only directing, but writing such a brilliant script, with a cast most filmmakers dream of having, there was no way this could’ve possibly failed.

The world is in peril; it’s on the brink of total destruction as our main villain, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the Asgardian God of Mischief, returns from exile to seek vengeance on his brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth), while at the same time taking control of Midgard (Earth) as the new king/ruler. Nick Fury learns of the powerful, otherworldly, object known as the Tesseract (or to Marvel nerds the Cosmic Cube), and it’s possibility of what could happen if that power is in the right hands. Loki makes a deal with a mysterious intergalactic being, who’ll provide an army for him to help him rule earth, and in return they want the cube to benefit the conquer of the entire universe. As Loki takes allies from Fury’s range with just a single touch of his scepter, director Fury reaches out to a group of ‘special people’ for aid, to come together, and put aside their differences, so they may fight this great threat. They are: Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor, Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), together they are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, they are…THE AVENGERS! <queue Alan Silvestri’s “Avengers” theme>

Marvel Studios couldn’t have picked a more brilliant writer/director than Joss Whedon. Joss is known for a lot of things, but he’s iconic for being a top-notch writer. I briefly touched on that in my “Cabin in the Woods” review, and I’ll discuss it here too. The best thing we could have asked for was Joss’ ability to write amazing characters and give them greater development. It’s quite a task to do so in a movie like this when other filmmakers have developed all the characters; somehow Joss pulls it off 110% here. But, if I had to go into the film and really examine it, the one character that stands out than all of the rest, the one who’s fleshed out I think the best, would be Black Widow. We only got a taste of her in “Iron Man 2”, some fans were a bit disappointed on how she was presented in that film, I myself was sadden how underused she was. Here, Joss decides to really dive into her back story, her flaws, her thoughts, her feelings, it made Black Widow a better character, and it leaves an open book for a spin-off to go back into her past, and yes folks, SHE SPEAKS RUSSIAN!

Everyone was at their best here, Robert Downy Jr was born to be in a Joss Whedon movie, and Joss’ Tony dialogue is amazing here. Chris Evans brings newer excitement and wonder to Steve Rogers, he’s no longer in his time, so for him to be in a strange world that he’s in now leaves plenty of new ideas for the characters performance, but he still maintains that American belief and ideal that was just as genuine, if not more so in the previous film he starred in. Chris Hemsworth is still a dynamite Thor, he and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki are better in this film now that the stakes are raised higher than the previous film they were in. NOW, lets talk elephant in the room, the big green elephant to be exact, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk. It’s simple: HE STOLE THE MOVIE! The best incarnation of Banner since Bill Bixby’s and being the only actor in the history of the Hulk to play both roles you can see that he was lost in that character, he was…nay, he IS the Hulk. Thank god Marvel came to their senses, as of a few days ago Mark has signed a six-picture deal! Looks like fans will be seeing a more Ruffalized-Hulk in the near future.

ILM continues to prove that they are the best visual effects company working today (close to WETA). Their performance capture technology used on the Hulk gave us the first realistic looking Hulk fans have been craving for god knows how long. I love the fact that the Hulk looks a lot like the Jack Kirby design why still maintaining Ruffalo’s facial features, it’s weird, but totally cool. The alien army known as the chitauri looked cool, scary, but not enough to frighten little kids. Really all the visual effects in this film looked realistic and close to perfection. The 3D was…meh, honestly I think if I saw this in 2D I’d still have the same exciting reaction. So see it in 3D, don’t see it, the choice is yours, although if you’re going to see it in 3D then do it in IMAX 3D cause that was fun!

A well deserved filmmaker, a strong cast, stellar action, and your favorite heroes all-together at last makes this a STRONG movie and a multiple viewer one at best. Marvel has set the bar high with this picture, and it may be a tough act to follow, but only time will tell. PEOPLE! Stay for the credits! Secret ending is BIG BIG BIG!!!!! It changes everything, everything will change I swear! It’s as big as when Nick Fury showed up at the end of “Iron Man”. Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has begun…

GRADE: A+

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