As a kid I read comic books. I preferred Marvel over DC comics mainly because the Marvel comics usually had something funny in them. It didn’t matter which title you picked up you could usually find a little joke, witty line, or funny incident. I liked that about Marvel.
Over the past week building up to the Avengers movie I re-watched all the movies building up to the Avengers movie. I love living in an age when the comics I read as a kid can come to the big screen as movies I love to see and actually get excited to go and see. Marvel Studios had done an incredible with the movies they’ve been putting out lately. Why?
If you’ve been paying attention to the movies, they’ve all been tied together with little snippets after the credits. This has normally been done to signify a sequel, or even to show bloopers. But with the Marvel movies, they’ve done this to build up to the Avengers movie. All those little snippets have given us a very small glimpse of something bigger. I’ve been paying attention and eagerly awaited this movie.
As a viewer: Having recently seen all the build up movies I was primed and ready to watch this movie. Or so I thought.
The movie started out a little slow but built quickly. We are re-introduced to each of the characters so it’s not critical that you’ve seen each of the previous movies, but it will help for full enjoyment of the film to get a lot of inside jokes, cross pollination of characters, and to realized who many of the minor characters are and how they fit into the bigger picture. Once the action gets going there is so much going on that it’s easy to see why many people are seeing this movie more than once. I know I need to see if again as I keep reading other reviews and have many “Oh yeah!” moments as I recall what that put as their favorite moments.
If you’re a fan of the comics or a fan of the movies (or like me and a fan of both) you will love this movie. This is what comic movies have been missing for years. These heroes all live in the same universe and for them not to interact has been an issue with me. Granted I don’t want to see too much going on as with what happened with the Batman franchise where they had too many characters to form a coherent storyline, but the way Marvel has given each hero their own full movie to introduce the character’s story so they can be used in a bigger picture was nothing short of brilliant.
The movie made me think, made me laugh, almost made me cry. Overall I found myself in awe with what they created over the years to build to this one(?) movie. I have the ? There because of the 1st of two after credits that reveal that we’ll likely be getting a sequel.
As a writer: This movie did so many things right. I will have a minor spoiler in here, so skip if you have not see the movie.
The movie had a wonderful blend of humor and action. Much of the humor was in the form of one-liners that if you’ve seen the previous movies were hilarious, and if you hadn’t seen the previous movies were still funny. Non of them came off as corny or forced humor and worked well with the characters that said them. The dialog, for the most port, didn’t feel forced. There was one scene, and I’ll get to that, but with a movie this long, it didn’t deter from my enjoyment.
The one scene was in the middle. The group, all big egos and a number of hot-heads all have an argument. They kept trying to excuse Bruce Banner so he didn’t turn into the Hulk. He kept saying “No, I’ve got this under control. I have a secret.” He said something to this effect a couple of times. There was even a discussion about helping him control the beast. After the argument the S.H.I.E.L.D. Ship is attacked and Bruce and Natasha (The Black Widow) are tossed into a lower deck. Bruce turns into the Hulk even though he seems to be fighting the transformation.
Later in the movie, Bruce is dropped off and told to “suit up” and they all look at him. He explains his secret and immediately transforms into the Hulk demonstrating that he has full control of his ability to change. I kept thinking back to the scene where he changed in the middle of the movie and couldn’t figure out why, if he had this level of control, it was an issue at that time. He became the unthinking, out of control beast where in the end of the movie he seemed to be mostly in control (and had the best physical comedy bit in the entire movie when he punched Thor).
Color me confused, but this was the only scene in the movie that bothered me. Perhaps when I watch the movie again (and I will watch it again) I’ll be able to figure it out.
Recommendation: Watch all the other movies that build up to this movie. I’m sure there’s a list out there of all the Marvel movies. This will help to increase your enjoyment of the movie as you see the characters that were introduced in one film show up again in the Avengers. I’m not talking about Thor, the Hulk, etc. I’m talking about a lot of the minor characters. There are also a lot of inside jokes that are made funnier. Even if you don’t see the lead up movies, do see the Avengers. It set the standard for what a comic book movie can be. It set the standard for a summer block buster. It set the standard for what a good movie with a lot of CGI can be. It’s got plot, characterization, it’s got dialog, it’s got humor. It’s just a fun movie. Do see it. You will enjoy it.