Quite frankly, it’s a movie I never believed would happen or could even POSSIBLY see the light of day. Live action films based on comic book characters have a spotty history at best, mainly because directors and actors have no love of the medium and no respect for the audience. All of that began to change in 1989 when Tim Burton’s Batman took flight, and other superb films followed (Blade (1998), Spider-Man (2002), Batman Begins (2005), Iron-Man (2008) and Captain America (2011), to name a few).
Still, none of those films even TRIED to do what Marvel and Disney have accomplished with 2012’s The Avengers … take established comic characters and actors already recognized as highly successful leading stars from blockbuster films and combine them under one banner (make that Bruce Banner, for those of you looking for puns)! With actor egos, movie budgets and extended shooting schedules, it’s just impossible to make it work! But that’s what makes super heroes so loveable … they take on the impossible and find success, even against the most overwhelming odds!
The stunning achievement of The Avengers makes it possibly the best superhero movie ever made. Don’t take my words as just the ramblings of a lifetime fan of these characters. The movie’s USA weekend opening of $207 million set a new record, shattering Harry Potter’s previous record of $159 million on opening weekend. The worldwide take so far? Almost $650 million! And it’s just getting started!
I took in the film with my son after returning from a magical 7-days at Disneyworld! What a way to wrap up a fantastic week! Joss Whedon’s script and directorial finesse are flawless! He’s had much success directing “team projects” like his own Firefly and the acclaimed Buffy and Angel series, but his handling of multiple action stars and big-budget movie characters is amazing!
I was greatly impressed with the 2009 reboot of Star Trek because the inspired script (directed by J.J. Abrams) paid homage to the original TV series and updated the concept without insulting or ignoring what had already gone before. The same applies to Avengers. Whedon pays homage to the 1960s roots of this iconic Marvel comic and its legendary characters while simultaneously updating them and making everybody relevant! It’s inspired film making and deserves a great deal of credit!
As I wrote last year in my review of Captain America, I was somewhat concerned that the film would gloss over or even ignore the patriotic origins of this star-spangled soldier. No need to be concerned! My all-time #1 hero shines, as do all the heroes (Iron-Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury) as well as the villains (Loki and a surprise I won’t spoil here)!
Stan Lee makes his customary cameo which will bring quite a chuckle. And Thor vs. Hulk? Priceless!
If you are not into super hero movies and you’ve not seen the previous Marvel films starring the main characters, I can’t imagine that you’d like this movie. In fact, with no knowledge of what has gone before, you’ll probably get lost in the story.
But if like me you fell in love with the magic of super heroes back in the 60s or if you thrilled to their exploits in recent films, you will LOVE this all-out adventure romp like the rest of the world obviously does.
I begged my Mom to buy me this comic back in 1967 at the Moultrie, Georgia newsstand. She obliged (as all-star Moms are apt to do) and the 12-cents she spent opened a lifetime of imagination in my budding mind that’s still emanating. That comic led me to eventually write my own stories and create my own characters, living in my novels and my online web comic, VOID:
But The Avengers is a visual treat for any fan of the genre, one I savored to the very last moment. And if you wondered why they are called “The Avengers?” The question is answered in spades!
There are plenty more noteworthy comic movies on the horizon: The Dark Knight Rises, Spider-Man, and Man of Steel, not to mention the continuing movie projects for Iron-Man, Thor, Hulk and Captain America. I wish them well, but for now, the bar has been set plenty high!
Thanks to all involved for making a wonderfully entertaining, action extravaganza for an old fan like me while keeping the concept fresh and vibrant for younger viewers as well!
I’m already looking forward to the sequel. Will they return? Yes, says Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury. They’ll return because “we’ll need them to!” (And at nearly $700 million and counting, why not)?