Thursday, April 26, 2012

"So that's what it does": The Avengers Movie Review


DUE TO INSISTENT PUBLIC DEMAND, HERE'S THE WARNING: THIS REVIEW WILL SPOIL YOUR MOVIE EXPERIENCE. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. =)

So, yeah. I'm back! And I have another movie review. And this time, it's not going to be about my own opinions/sarcastic comments because frankly, I have very little negativity to pour out on this movie.

Just to keep things in perspective, please note that I haven't read the original comics and have no background information on any of these superheroes except for the biographies they've given us through the past movies (i.e., Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk). Bear with the awesomeness I'm feeling after being in their presence because as far as I'm concerned, the movie pretty much speaks for itself.

Plus points:


1. The movie is an applaud-inducing feature that forces even the ones in the loners' row to clap and laugh and talk to themselves. (Will talk about the loners' row some other time and yes, that's me laughing and talking to myself.)

Isn't it just fun to sit in the cinema with a bunch of strangers all excited to see something they've never seen before? And what's more is that even though you don't know any of them, one movie can make you feel like they've been your classmates since elementary.

This movie is one of those that make you clap at the same time, hold your breath at the same time, and even laugh at the right punch lines at the same time (though there were those who found it funny when...). The whole cinema was alive with laughter and you could feel the tension everyone felt when the Avengers were fighting. Because of its reaching such a prestigious level in movie expectations, plus points!

2. Tony Stark is just plain AWESOME!

If you haven't seen Iron Man and Iron Man 2, you're missing out on a lot of fun. The boastful, arrogant, "genius, playboy, billionaire, philanthropist" superhero is everything he's been in the first two movies and even more. His lines are by-far the best, although I may be biased because I just love Robert Downey Jr.

Iron Man remains the metal-made super weapon he built himself to be and this time he actually grows a heart. At some point in the movie,  Loki will find out that hearts don't need to be on the surface because Stark's heart is actually protected by some metal (titanium?) thingy that's keeping him alive. He reminds me of the tin man or the iron giant sometimes, with his great wall of self-centered attitude. But in the movie, yes, he actually starts to feel something for other people. And of all people who could make him look beyond his nose, it would be . . .

3. Agent Phil Coulson

If you don't know him, he's the S.H.I.E.L.D. guy in Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and he was also in Thor. He's the guy Nick Fury sends to do his errands and we don't see much of him in the previous movies. We don't really even care much about him because he's basically just an extra character. BUT The Avengers changes all that. Sure, they did (spoiler alert) kill him, but it was something they had to do. "They needed something[one?] to fight for . . ." He didn't die without making a mark, though.

At first it would seem like he's just one of those black-suited agents, running around and taking orders from a one-eyed boss--digressing from the sentence, I remember Stark's comment as he started nerd-talking and touching stuff on the coolest computer screens yet. He said, "How does he even look at this?" And Agent Maria Hill replies, "He turns." You'll get it when you see it. Back to the sentence--but in reality, he's really just one of those black-suited agents, running around and taking orders from a one-eyed boss. =) The difference is that he takes his job seriously, which really isn't a difference because they all (except Stark) took their job seriously. It just so happens that he has a bigger contract than the rest of the MIBs.

So yeah, Phil comes in and starts grouping the Avengers, taking pains to talk to Stark but easily convinces him to suit up because of Ms. Pepper Potts. Phil is also a HUGE fan of Captain America. One of his best lines went like this, "It's truly an honor to finally meet you, officially. I mean . . .I watched you when you were sleeping . . ." and Captain America feels a bit awkward because Phil sounds all..hmm...you know...interested. Phil also has a vintage collection of Captain America trading cards. He only just got around asking the captain to sign them when he ended up face to face with Loki. He then carries this weird looking weapon/laser fire shooting gun and threatens Loki. Unfortunately for him, Loki can apparate anywhere, so he got stabbed in the back and ended up sitting there with the weapon in hand. And yet, he still doesn't die. He says a final piece to Loki, talking about conviction, and when Loki replies, BOOM (well, it was more like a SHHIIIIING). Loki gets blasted and Phil delivers the line I so lovingly quoted on the title of this review.

Phil dies believing in the Avengers. He died believing that the Avengers just needed someone to fight for, and he was it.

4. Authenticity of comic characters is important in a movie full of superheroes. The Avengers had no problem with that. Considering the number of well-known actors in the movie, it's amazing they all got along.

I have to admit I'm on the verge of casting it as cartoonish but not quite. It has the usual slapstick humor with a lot of wit but it also has the "you won't get why we're laughing if you didn't listen to our script" humor. Awesome funny moments? Anything with Stark in it. When Thor talks to Loki and he's cut off mid-sentence because Iron Man sends him hurling down a hill. When Iron Man calls Thor a tourist. When Iron Man talks nerdy and Captain America says "Speak English" and he replies "See that red lever, stand by it." When Iron Man . . . oh, you get the picture.

Hulk does a lot of funny stuff too, well, actually he's one of those silent types. Loki starts rambling about his being a god and all, and Hulk picks him up by the leg and starts thrashing him around like a rag doll. Take that mr. god. Hulk is actually awesome but I'll save that for the next number.

Yeah, the movie had a lot of dialogue cut-offs that make you think it's a serious moment then you end up laughing because Stark almost died but the Hulk screamed and he suddenly woke up. Spoiler. It's really, oh, just watch the whole thing.

5. The softer side of the Hulk is the nerdy best friend of crazy Stark.

Though we only see the green Hulk twice, Bruce Banner's substitution is well compensated. He's this really calm guy who seems pretty normal except for the fact that we all know we "won't like him when he's angry." I've heard comments about Mark Ruffalo replacing the original Hulk but those comments can die, the Hulk can't--"you can't kill me, I know 'cause I tried . . . I shot a bullet in my mouth and the other guy spit it out."

He also has this really cool moment when Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye almost seem out of hope and they were trying to plan an attack--(from another scene) Captain America: Stark we should have a plan of attack. Stark: I have a plan . . .attack--and we hear a funny, squeaky old motorcycle come around and voila! Banner is back (because he went wild on their hovercraft [see next note] and he fell from the sky into a kind of green house, I think). He then becomes the secret weapon against the fossil-looking flying fish alien from outer space. Captain America says, "Doctor, now would be a good time to be angry." Banner calmly walks toward the weird looking enemy and says, "That's my secret, captain. I'm always angry." And he flawlessly, fluidly, fluently transforms into the huge green monster we all love and hate and fear.

Quick note, though, the Hulk doesn't look as big as I remember.

There were also some scenes of fighting where everyone ends up fighting him and even when they started working together, he punches Thor away in one quick unexpected swing. =) You'll love it when you see it.

Stark: I see it. I'm still working on believing it.

By the way, I think one of the most touching moments of the movie was when Stark was trying to explain to Banner how special he is and how he shouldn't be so angry at "the other guy" because that's who he is. "Being exposed to that much Gamma radiation should have killed you, but it didn't." I guess, Stark was so amazed at finding someone who also relies on something just to continue living (i.e., Stark, his weird shrapnel pulling magnet; Banner, his anger management).

6. Nick Fury's hovercraft . . . bringing new meaning to the term "aircraft carrier."

An aircraft carrier is usually a big ship with a flat deck where fighter planes land. It is named such because it carries aircraft. Nick Fury thinks there could be more. His aircraft carrier carries aircraft AND is also an aircraft. Yep, grasp your head around that! It's an aircraft aircraft carrier that has an invisibility cloak! Awesome much.

7. I have one comment for Loki: "Loki, seriously, gold?" This be referring to his cape and other royal enchanted accents like the bull-horns helmet.

8. Who appointed Captain America as the leader?

Right here is where people who've read the comic books come to educate me on this sudden change of roles. Captain America seems to have assumed responsibility over the less serious ones. I guess his age is also a factor, I mean, he is, what, a hundred years older than them? And he used to be in the military so yeah, he must have been trained to lead.

It's cute though, to see him and Stark keep bickering when it was Stark's father who helped the captain become the superhero that he is. Soon enough they become friends and they work together, fight together and whew, almost die together (did I say that again?).

9. Thor is the King James Version of the rest of the gang. I love his formal English, like he's reading out of a Shakespearean play.

He does look a little thin compared to his first movie, though. Maybe he misses Natalie Portman? Or he just got tired of eating when his brother--"he's adopted"--started wreaking havoc on Earth . . . again.

Thor and Captain America are two characters who are out of this world, literally, because they haven't been out in the world for a long time. The group gives them a while to process everything they say because they're like noobs of the real world.

Captain America: It seems to be running on some sort of electricity.

10. If you're a scriptwriter or you love listening to the script, I guess you'll agree with me when I call The Avengers' movie script a SuperScript.

Really, although I think the audio in the cinema was too muffled (I could hear the plastics and the popcorn louder than the dialogue), the parts that I did understand made such a good impression that, as you can see, they have stuck to my brain even though I've only watched the movie once.

The script can make you laugh, feel sober, and feel angry. And the delivery of the actors are superb. They know their punch lines and they fit their scripts and their roles perfectly. I'd love to read the screenplay some day and maybe even shake the hands of the writers.

11. Conceptualization is epic!

I mean, really, fossil-like floating fish enemies? Aircraft aircraft carrier that can vanish. Computer screens that can transfer files from one to the other in a flick of a wrist. Hawkeye's cool arrows, which would have made Katniss Everdeen swoon. Although the control room looks like a cross of Star Trek and The Hunger Games, I still think their technology was pretty cool. Kudos to the minds of the creators of those excessively meticulous detailed futuristic everything. Your brains should not be eaten by zombies because you guys are really smart.

Phil Coulson to Captain America: He's like Stephen Hawking. (Captain America stares blankly) He's a really smart guy. (obviously Captain America doesn't know who Hawking is because he's been "Capsicled")

Cinematography reminded me of that movie where...oh, it was Battle: Los Angeles. The camera zooms in a bit to emphasize something BIG. It was a bit of Transformers without the screaming Sam Witwicky.

***

So, there. Short one, isn't it? I do have a few questions.

Which happened first? Thor or Captain America? Because Captain America slept about 70 years(?) and he saw the Tesseract. Could it be that when Stark (the older one) found it, Odin got it from him? Because if Thor happened first, then Selvig would be really, really old. Educate me please.

I'd give this movie my full support and ask anyone who has the slightest inclination to fun and laughter and the wonderful sense of saving the world from aliens to watch The Avengers. Trust me, it's all worth the 142 minutes of sitting in a room full of strangers. You won't be disappointed. You'll end up remembering random things and lines from the movie and you'll even want to watch it again. I know I want to watch it again.

So go on people. Get that bum off the seat in front of your computer and set it in front of a movie screen. Watch The Avengers. Your summer will be more awesome than you ever thought it would.

"There is no throne, there is no version of this where you come out on top! Maybe your army will come, maybe it's too much for us, but it's all on you! Because if we can't protect the Earth, you can be damn sure we'll avenge it!"












ps
I'm sure I have a lot more comments than this, so be ready for random stuff to be posted any time I feel like it. =)