Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5
It’s summer! It’s only Cinco de Mayo but with the release of the first blockbuster it must be summer! (And it is in the mid-90s in Austin already.) The Avengers is a good start to the summer blockbuster season.
The Avengers brings together many of the characters in recent Marvel comic book-based movies: Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, and a couple of additional ones. All of these superheroes come together under the direction of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to save the world from Thor’s brother and his army. I didn’t see the Thor movie so I didn’t know the whole backstory…but is that important? Of course not! I won’t wreck the ending for everyone but suffice it to say that, based on the number of sold out showings this weekend, there will be a sequel!
Joss Whedon did a great job of directing this excellent cast: Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlet Johansson, Jackson and others. There is good character development for a superhero movie and lots of action as well as light moments and humor. I thought this was the rare movie where the 3D was worthwhile. If you like this genre, you should definitely see The Avengers.
One of the key themes of the movie is teamwork. I would recommend that Carmelo Anthony see this movie before the Knicks lose game 4 vs. Miami on Sunday. Carmelo could definitely learn a valuable lesson here, but unfortunately he probably does not read this blog. Luckily, the San Antonio Spurs do not need to see this movie.
Bill I’s Review – 3.5 out of 5
Unlike Bill C., I did not see the 3D version, so maybe that’s why I rated it a little lower. I enjoyed it, agreeing with Bill’s points above. I’ll touch on a few additional points. First, the villain, Thor’s brother Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, was perfect, really bad person, scary motivation (Hitler-like), and off balance enough that we can relate to real-life bad guys home grown on Earth. The only reason you would want to see the Thor movie (really bad) to understand this film is the throwaway reference to Natalie Portman’s character.
One review I read resonated with me here: this is best as a comedy with lots of one-liners delivered masterfully, by superb veteran actors. Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., ScarJo, Sam Jackson and Jeremy Renner. The script is preposterous, but the action and characters kept me interested. My major disappointment is the over-reliance on the destruction of NY City, although the superheroes thoughtfully tried to limit the damage to Grand Central Station and a 3 block radius. Notice the lack of a US President calling the shots, instead it’s The Council, who reminded me of when President Gerald Ford was paraphrased by the NY Daily News back in the day as saying “Drop Dead New York”.
Some side notes: I was pleased to see Cobie Smulders in the movies for the first time, since I love her on TV’s How I Met Your Mother. Too bad she has such a minor role, looking good while taking orders from Sam and doing some shooting. Scarlett Johansson shows promise as a female James Bond in a future movie. Gwyneth Paltrow, almost forgotten by the movie’s end since she’s mainly in the begining, is naturally beautiful as Stark’s (aka Iron Man) assistant/lover/homemaker, and for some reason walks around barefoot. In response to Bill’s sports analogy above, I would liken the following athletes to the Avengers: Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace as The Hulk, Derek Jeter as Iron Man (credit radio sports talk host Robin Lunberg), Pat Tillman (NFL safety turned military volunteer and victim) as Captain America, Jerry Reese (NY Giant GM) as Nick Fury (again from Lunberg), and Mariano Rivera as marksmen Hawkeye.