Ok, wow. Like, really wow. I was told this was a stellar movie, and I was not disappointed. My great friend over at Thine is the Kingdom did a great review of the movie, http://allauthority.blogspot.com/2012/10/review-avengers.html which convinced me to see it.
He did such a complete review that there is not much more to add, but if I dropped it there it wouldn't be a review by me now would it?
So, I am obliged to repeat some of what he said and say it - from me.
The Story - super quick style.
Loki, back from the movie Thor, (which I didn't see) is teamed up with aliens on a far away galaxy wreak revenge and havoc on earth, the planet under his brother Thor's protection. A source of limitless energy, the Tesseract, is also a door to the other side of the Galaxy. Nick Fury, head of the Shield program, (like a souped up FBI) gathers the supers from around the world that are the only ones able to help save the universe. Stealing the Tesseract, Loki opens the door to the other end of the galaxy and unleashes an alien force on Manhattan. The group of supers, or The Avengers, take on a massive alien force in the streets and in the air in a last stand for the freedom or their planet.
There is a lot of good to be said about the movie. One thing that stood out to me very well is the message of power and what it does. Ultimate power corrupts ultimately, even if you are the "good guy". It is shown in the movie where even the "good guy" tries to use the Tesseract one step farther than just for clean energy, and tries to make a arsenal to protect the earth. Just because one is a "good guy" doesn't mean that our sin nature is null and void, and we are not open to temptations. I liked that sense of realism to the movie, bringing it home to us on a personal level.
Captain America is great - as always. A devoted leader who doesn't think of himself, keeping the others focused on the mission and leading the group in the defense of the streets, putting the lives of the innocent before his. Oh boy, I really am a fan of Captain America. He had the best line in the entire movie.
"There is only one God ma'm, and I am pretty sure he doesn't dress like that."
Loki is the best villain I have seen in goodness knows how long. I had heard he played the part well, and boy did he. Evil as pitch, yet a real person who has real hopes, fears, desires and shortcomings. He is almost likable, pitiable in his state of mental self-exaltation, yet deplorable in his state of a depraved mind with the ability to work its will as one pleases. Loki is a convincing character of one who hurts, and hurts deeply, and lusts for power and control in hopes of stalling the pain. I would have to say that the movie would not be what it is without Loki.
The witty banter back and forth between the Avengers as they settle their differences is some of the funniest lines I have heard to date. Not too sarcastic, not blase or cheesy, and not off the walls lame. Funny, quick, smart, and clever. I would love to put some of them up here, but it wouldn't do them justice in text form.
The story line really stands out through this movie. Captain America the movie had a bit of a dose of bad-storytelling. Avengers suffers from no such malady. The plot flows in a realistic yet unpredictable manner, keeping you guessing what the next twist was even when you thought you knew what would happen next. Very well done and very engaging. It isn't a bore or a drag to watch, but each scene seems to be naturally what would come next, avoiding typical Hollywood Steriotypicalism.
Oh, and the score is great. Epic, sweeping, valiant, and bold. Very well done.
The movie is based on a completely evolutionary basis, mad obvious by the aliens, and evolution is even mentioned slightly once or twice.
Cussing (although not too bad or too often), one kissing scene, and the sort seem to come with the territory nowadays. *sigh*.
The biggest annoyance and detractor from the movie could be summarized in one person: Black Widow. She could have been left completely out of the movie, and would not have affected the overall affect of the movie.
Her clothes are too tight, she has an annoying *I am awesome* attitude, martial arts skills that reek more Hollywood than Jujitsu, and the list goes on. Almost everything I don't like about the movie revolves around her. Ugh. There is one scene near the beginning of the movie where her shirt is *ahem* a little low cut with a shorter skirt than preferable - and decks out a room of interrogators - all while tied to a chair. Lame. Also she touts a false message of works-based redemption in order to wipe some "red out of her ledger" from the past. Obviously not correct there.
Oh, and speaking of lame, there are a few lame parts here and there. One is where Black Widow decks the entire room while tied to a chair, the other is where Hawkeye shoots a ship with his bow while talking on and intercom and looking the other way. Sorry, just lame. Not cool, not even really possible. Just lame.
Hawkeye does a pretty good job the rest of the movie, and overall I like him, but that one scene pushed it a little far as far as realism went.
Iron man is a
ton little stuck up. He is concerned only with himself for a good part of the movie, and always has a funny crack and sarcastic quip about just about everything. He does change near the end and make the ultimate sacrifice, but you do have to put up with his attitude for a good part of the film.
All that aside, it is an enjoyable, exciting, rather breathtaking watch. Gabe does a much more in depth review, so swing over to his for a much more intensive look (I posted the link above) but that is my official short-sweet-and-to-the-point version.
Overall, I give it a 4.2 out of 5 - the .3 out because of the cussing and Black-Widow. I sure wish they hadn't had those elements in, because this had the potential of being a simply stellar movie.