Friday, September 28, 2012
170. MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS (2012)
Thanks to Mark Ruffalo, this is the best Hulk movie ever once they get around to him, but an also-ran for Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans - bad costume again, and didn't he cry "Avengers Assemble!" even once?), a bleh for Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and a non-starter for the pair who aren't even properly costumed or addressed as Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). I couldn't believe that the latter's super power was basically that she was a woman who had been around and knew how to play men. Scarlett Johansson obviously didn't waste any time learning a Russian accent, and I don't think I saw her sting anyone, but she scores the movie's funniest moment in the movie (see pictured), scowling portentously over a handgun as alien warriors drop through some kind of galactic gateway in the sky over Manhattan. As for Hawkeye, if anything happens to Daniel Craig, they can drop that guy Renner right into the Bond slot and no one will ever know he's gone.
I admit this is marginally better-written than most of the Marvel stuff, but why were people so excited about this, going back to see it again and again? The villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston), a snooty Asgardian god with an inferiority complex, is dwarfed by his own hat and the evil he visits upon the world is only trivially explained. Iron Man is a egomaniacal jerk with an unbelievable scientific bent, Captain America is patriotic, Hulk is angry, Fury is authoritative ("That is NOT an option!" he barks at a dying man)... everybody here is reduced to single adjectives, but of course, the screen is so crowded with people, there is no time to shade or develop any characters in meaningful ways. Of all the Marvel books, THE AVENGERS was always the most simplistic anyway, always focusing on highly combustible superhero egos. The best Marvel comics always had a human dimension; it's what made them unusual and remarkable for their time, it's what made their superhero dramatics more plausible; they gave us food for thought that we could take to nourish our own lives. This movie doesn't really have any of that, just a message about how eccentrics and outsiders are important too, with gifts of their own to bring to the table when their country needs them. Who knows, maybe it'll inspire some comics geeks to vote.
Viewed via Amazon Instant Video.
at 2:16 PM