I went to see Marvel’s The Avengers back in may without any expectation, all I had in mind is I get to see Tom Hiddleston as Loki, The God of Mischief, one more time. So without any prejudice, any expectation, I sat there for 143 minutes, and ended up in this state of euphoria and awe. Since I expect so little from Marvel (after Thor and Captain America: The First Avengers), The Avengers knocked the wind out of me, and just like that, I was obsessed with this franchise. And yes, I return to watch The Avengers for 4 more times after that.
Marvel’s The Avengers are an ensemble of superhero made of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), and Bruce Banner aka The Hulk, together with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johanson), were forced to work as a team by S.H.I.E.L.D.S’ Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in order to protect the earth (represented by Manhattan, NY) against the invasion of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his army of Chitauri, brought by the power of Tesseract form a distant planet. The heroes were reluctant at first, with so many big personality and even bigger egos clashing, but they finally found their common ground after the disheartening death of Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). In the end with a solid team work, The Avengers manage to eliminate the Chitauri and Loki surrender to his brother Thor, and together they return, with Tesseract in hand, back to Asgard. The ending probably will be picked up as a possible beginning of Thor: The Dark World (and that’s why I can not wait for it next year).
Marvel’s The Avengers marks the end of Phase One of Marvel Cinematic Universe, which consists of Marvel movies from 2008-2012: Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). Some say that this movie is like Transformers with a brain, heart, and soul, and I agree on that. Like its predecessor you can expect awesome action sequences and jaw-dropping special effects, giving it a very superbly shiny, exciting Blockbuster package. Watching it in 3D probably didn’t feel extra special compared to the 2D version, since this movie wasn’t recorded in 3D, rather they only convert it to 3D in the post-production. But what come as a surprise, for me personally, was how well the story was molded, Josh Wheedon (director and screenplay writer) made a good script to intertwine all these superhero character, he manage to demonstrate the back story of some characters that actually helps to establish some understanding for first-time viewers of this franchise who were not familiar with the Marvel comics universe, giving the whole thing this heart warming kind of humor (I can not get over Tony Stark/Iron Man line to Thor: “Doth your mother know, you weareth her drapes?”). One significant thing in this movie, this is the first time the actor who play the Hulk will be playing both the human and hulk version. By using the same technology as Avatar stop-action, stop-motion capture, they digitalize Mark Ruffalo into the green monster.
Despite there are so many superheroes depicted in the film, you mustn’t worry since all major superhero are given almost equal screentime (ranging from 33-23 minutes) within the 143 minutes of the movie. Tom Hiddleston performance as the villain Loki the God of Mischief which I always enjoy since Thor (no bias here) came back with more menace and spite, and even as the movie ended I still craves for more. And we can count on Robert Downey Jr. as his snarky egoistic Tony Stark gave a performance as good as he did in Iron Man and Iron Man 2. I like the contrast between Tony Stark/Iron Man to Steve Rogers/Captain America, one is egoistical, self-centered bastard the other is straight-line, patriotic, self-sacrificing man. The definite scene stealer in this movie is Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, which I think give a subtlety to his character and re-interpret the green monster giving it so much heart and emotions that the previous two ‘Hulks’ were unsuccessful to do. Even Scarlett Johanson and Jeremy Renner performance (as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow and Clint Barton/Hawkeye) were given significant roles in this jam-pack superheroes mash-up, establish themselves better than they did in Iron Man 2 and Thor respectively.
The movie in general is a gigantic commercial success; it is now the 3rd highest grossing film, with $1,46 billion worldwide gross (just behind James Cameron’s Avatar and Titanic). The Avengers is one of those rare four-quadrant movie, attracting major demographics of moviegoers: both male and female, under and over 25 years old. With eyecandies for the female (hello, Captain America’s arse!) and for the male (Black Widow,and all the supersize actions and special effects). I think in general people enjoyed the Avengers and so was I. It didn’t go as ridiculous and too comicbook-y but it didn’t weighs down as much as Nolan’s The Dark Knight probably is, making it balance nicely and enjoyable for most. Like any superheroes movie, they launched a series of toys, figures (I am positively salivating for Hot Toys 1/6 scale Movie Premium Loki) and replicas of props (like this set of helmets, masks, shield and Mjolnir, or this high-end design S.H.I.E.L.D desk), as well as tie-in promotions (Real-D 3D Specs in select cinemas including Blitzmegaplex, fragrances with JADS international, etc).
With all the hype and definite commercial success of Avengers, Marvel Cinematic Universe will continue on with this multi billion franchise. They’ve scheduled the release of Iron Man 3 (May 3, 2013), Thor: The Dark World (November 8, 2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4, 2014), Guardian of the Galaxy (August 1, 2014), and announced Ant Man (TBA). They definitely plan for an Avengers sequel which i hope will happen under Wheedon (yes, again!) and maybe a decent reboot of Ruffalo’s Hulk, please :D.
Avengers screenings has ended in most movie theatres in major cities in Indonesia, but it will be available as a home media in Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, and DVD format on September 25,2012. The Avengers will be included in a special 10-disc box-set called Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled, which includes all the previous films in Marvel Cinematic Universe.
pictures courtesy of various websites (google image search results) and avengers360 gif taken from here