Monday, May 21, 2012

Movie review: "The Avengers"

This weekend my girlfriend and I went to movies to watch "The Avengers". Not her first choice, but neither she was really against it. I intentionally did not want to go last weekend, hoping to avoid the biggest crowds. In the end, we were both satisfied. I have been following "The Avengers" hype for some time, although passively - I like super-hero franchises, but I am not really a fan. So I knew what to expect of the movie and it turned out I was pretty realistic in my expectations.

"The Avengers" is a movie that combines and continues several movies starring super-heroes: Iron-Man (watched both and liked), Thor (watched and liked), Captain America (didn't watch, heard it was not good), Hulk (didn't watch) and Black Widows and Hawkeye (don't have movies). It also features the agency S.H.I.E.L.D., which was mentioned and played parts in mentioned movies. The plot is pretty simple: S.H.I.E.L.D. has been tampering with some alien artifact called Teserakt and accidentally freed Loki (a villain from "Thor" movie), with a little bit of help from his new allies, Chitauri. He steals the Teserakt, abducts some scientist and agents and escapes in unknown direction with nothing good on his mind. In reaction, S.H.I.E.L.D. gathers restarts the Avengers initiative, which has a goal of centering all Earth's superheroes and ally them against common foe. They are later joined with Thor who comes to Earth to put his brother Loki to order. Considering their strength, the Avengers should not have any trouble defeating Loki, except two tinny problems: they have to find out what Loki's plan is, and they have to overcome their own differences (which are pretty big).

This movie takes after "Iron Man 2" in atmosphere - flashy, fast, lots of high-tech gadgets, much of ironic banter. As I said, it is not a plot-driven movie. Although it lasts more than two hours, it is all about characters, and some about the setting. This means that it is mostly oriented to those who like the franchises and will be able to disregard weak plot. To me, it also looked like they wanted to introduce the setting and prepare the field for the second Avengers movie or other connected movies. Characters were interesting enough, and humor was quite good and successful.

In my opinion, the only flaw of the movie was the weakness of the enemies. Loki was more of a daze and confuse mind-bending player, so it OK if he is physically week (even though he is a god). But I really expected much more from the Chitauri, considering how they were announced and referenced. Also, the ending reminded me much of "The Transformers 3" trailer I saw (didn't see the movie, yet).

All in all, "The Avengers" is a standard super-hero movie multiple several times (considering all the big-name super-heroes). If you like such movies, you will love it. Even if you don't, the movie has a bit of everything to offer: humor, action, Scarlett Johansson for guys, Chris Hemsworth for girls... Just don't expect some plot-heavy intelligent drama, and you will not be disappointed - because this is THE super-hero movie.

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