Thursday, May 03, 2012
That’s exactly what you should be uttering after you catch Joss Whedon’s The Avengers this weekend, for the mastermind behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel and Firefly and Serenity and Dollhouse and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (not to mention the script for the first Toy Story) delivers the geekasm.
Heck yeah he does.
This is the one you’ve been waiting for from Marvel – what I call the payout for the super-cool Iron Man and the better-than-Ang Lee’s The Hulk The Incredible Hulk (the promise of which was right there in the title), and for Iron Man 2, and for Thor, and for Captain America: The First Avenger.
This is the one that assembles ’em all – with even more Samuel L. f---in’ Jackson as the cucumber-cool S.H.I.E.L.D big boss Nick Fury, a little more of Scarlett Johansson reprising her role as Black Widow, a rather healthy serving of Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye thrown into the mix, and some more Clark Gregg as the oh-so-essential Agent Coulson.
This is the one that kicks the most butt, as standardly good vs. evil as the story is, because this is the one that fulfills the promise of a popcorn movie that not only is super-good but also delivers what movie fans all around the world have been waiting for: a golden opportunity to see their fave comic-book characters go mano a mano and then get it together to save the world.
In other words, this one will rock your bones.
In IMAX 3-D (go on – treat yourself to the biggest adventure yet in the biggest screen possible).
The story, as you should know if you have been keeping up with these movies, revolves around the Tesseract (that cosmic cube of blue energy so teased in the Thor and Captain America movies) and how it falls into the hands of Thor's megalomaniac – and quippy! – adoptive brother Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston), who intends to rage the ultimate war on Earth and bring the planet to its knees since he’s still royally pissed off he was passed in favor of his blond and muscle-y brother (Chris Hemsworth) to receive the keys to their Asgardian kingdom.
The world on the reddest of red alerts, Nick Fury activates the Avengers Initiative and assembles his motley crew of superheroes to help defend mankind. He and Agent Coulson call upon Black Widow (who makes quite an impressive entrance into the blockbuster, IMHO, complete with lots of visual refs to my favorite slayer), who then goes looking for the reclusive Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo, stepping into the Hulkian shoes Edward Norton vacated after a dispute with Marvel).
They call on Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), too, who would rather stay home, plotting his next move on his quest to out-Stark himself (while keeping grounded by – Spoiler Alert! – his main gal played by one of my favorite gals); and on Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, who’s still reeling from, y’ know, waking up in our time after that very cold nap that interrupted his heroics during World War II.
As I said earlier, Whedon has devised a story that relies on the conflict inherent to bringing together all these people and their egos and their considerable amounts baggage. He doesn’t shy away from it, and, in fact, he thrives in it. The Avengers brings it because it divides to conquer – because it dares to remind its audience of the human flaws these supers have so that we can buy into it when they decide to put them aside in the name of the greater good. In other words, yeah, these boys and girl do not like to play together, but by golly, they will when it comes to saving the s---.
Yeah, of course all these characters, all this explosive action, all this climaxing by bringing chaos to Midtown Manhattan after a portal to another universe so an alien race can invade and ravage Earth opens up in the middle of the sky is a little bit much of a good thing.
But it works awesomely. The movie does exactly what it needs to do with lots of smarts and humor and a little trademark-Whedon heartbreak of the most shocking sort. My jaw was seriously on the floor for a good couple minutes and I think a few tears wanted to begin to form behind my eyes.
Plus, the movie also finally solves the Hulk problem (when use sparingly, Bruce Banner’s mean ol’ green alter ego totally can so leave us wanting more), so yay.
And Hemsworth’s biceps and triceps get a lot of camera luvin’. And we’re introduced to Maria Hill, a new S.H.I.E.L.D. agent played by new crush, Cobie Smulders (TV’s How I Met Your Mother).
I think you should – and you more than likely – will go see The Avengers this weekend. And I so know for sure that you are just going to heart it. (Don’t get up and leave once the movie ends – if you want to hear a gasp! moment from the fanboys you’ll wanna check out the tag that sets up the next adventure, and long after that for a second, more winky tag).
My Rating ****
Photo: Walt Disney Pictures.