We've discussed when people plan to see The Avengers (here), but we haven't discussed the movie itself! So let's rectify that!

 

I went last night to a midnight 3-D showing, so I'll go first. Thus, I can't use my usual disclaimer that I'll post without reading what everyone else has posted, but what the hey.

 

To begin:

  • I loved it. I loved everything about it. And so did the audience; I haven't been to too many movies where the action on the screen evinced cheers and spontaneous applause, but it happened several times with this one. A job well done!
  • This is less "The Avengers" and more "The Ultimates," but I'm not complaining.
  • I liked how the movie struck a balance; there are six members of the team -- you know who -- plus key supporting players Agent Coulson, Maria Hill and, of course, Nick Fury, as well as the villain, Loki, but the movie doesn't seem crowded. Some might argue that it's a bit too long; I almost always think that any given movie I'm watching could be a half-hour shorter. But this one feels right, because it had enough quiet moments to let the characters be.
  • One of the best such moments was Tony Stark and Bruce Banner teaming up to track down Loki. It went like one would expect: Two brilliant minds admiring each other's prowess and striking up an easy rapport because they alone in the group understand all the technobabble they spout.
  • Reinforced later when Iron Man has to fix the broken engine on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier (Hey! it's the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier!), and tells Captain America to look at the access panel -- and Cap doesn't have the foggiest notion of what it is he's looking at. That's one of my Scenes I Always Wanted to See in movies. Cap's not stupid, but c'mon -- who would know at a glance what all those wires and diodes mean?
  • Another thing that was good was the humor. There was more of it than in most movies of this kind, and it was welcome, especially when it was low-key.
  • Like when Steve Rogers gives Nick Fury a ten-spot.
  • Tom Hiddleston as Loki was pitch-perfect.
  • Funny thing: We establish early on that the Black Widow is Russian because she speaks it during her first scene: She's tied to a chair during an interrogation getting smacked around by thugs -- but believes she's in charge. Which she is, as she demonstrates moments later. But whenever she speaks English, she sounds like an American.
  • On the other hand, Chris Hemsworth's Australian accent goes a long way to establish Thor as an otherworldly being.
  • With all the strength on display from Thor, Iron Man and The Hulk, and the talent and skill displayed by Captain America and the Black Widow, Hawkeye really seems to be the odd man out. I have to admit, seeing a guy with a bow and arrow, in these circumstances, really does seem silly and hard to swallow. Not to mention: What do you do when you run out of arrows? How many arrows can a quiver hold, anyway? Thirty? Forty? Fifty at the most?
  • The Black Widow's greatest power, however, seemed to be looking hot in a skintight leather catsuit. The audience cheered in approval.
  • This being a Marvel story, how could we not have a moment where the heroes fight with each other and then team up? Cue Iron Man vs. Thor!
  • I liked how they held back the first appearance of The Hulk. I never saw Ed Norton's movie, and I'm not familiar with Mark Ruffalo, but he did a great job conveying a man always trying to hold his rage in check and masking his fear of what happens if he doesn't with affected humbleness and humor.
  • One reviewer's criticism I have to agree with: The first time Banner becomes The Hulk, he's a mindless beast out to get the Black Widow and smashing everything in sight, but at the end, he joins the battle totally doing what the Avengers want, with no explanation for how he can behave himself.
  • Agent Coulson! He runs totally counter to the typical movie government agent; he is not flashy and flamboyant; he is not a grim martinet; he is not a jerk flaunting his authority. He is a genuinely good man, a true civil servant, efficient, diligent, and quite brave.
  • What's Robin Scherbatsky doing here?
  • One of the best moments: Loki faces off against The Hulk, shouting at him: " ENOUGH! You are, all of you, beneath me! I am a god, you dull creature, and I will not be bullied by a... " The Hulk's response is PRICELESS!
  • It takes a true diehard comics fan to know who that was in the end-credits bit. Lucky for me I am one; I doubt any moviegoer who isn't would have the slightest idea what that scene is supposed to mean.

 

Such great lines:

  • "I'm interviewing this arms dealer and he's giving me everything."
  • "I'm going to put you on hold."
  • "I'm always angry."
  • Captain America to Tony Stark: "Big man in a suit of armor. Take that off, what are you?" Stark's answer:  "Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist." Captain America's rejoinder: "I know guys with none of that worth ten of you."
  • "You and I remember Budapest very differently."
  • "I recognize the Council has made a decision, but given that it's a stupid-ass decision, I've elected to ignore it."
  • "... and Hulk: SMASH!"
  • Thor: "Have a care how you speak. Loki is beyond reason, but he is of Asgard. And he is my brother." The Black Widow: "He killed eighty people in two days." Thor: " ... He's adopted."
  • Loki: "I have an army." Tony Stark: "We have a Hulk."
  • " 'Phil'? His first name is 'Agent.' "

Thems for starters ... 

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The Hulk/Loki scene...just...loved it so much. Beautiful.

Yeah, that's one of the greatest audience wish fulfillment scenes ever. Loki is such an arrogant prick, especially in that scene, that you just want to slap him. Thanks, Hulk! I agree with everything Clark said up above. It's not a perfect movie, but it's darn close. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the rest of the audience seemed to feel the same. And as has been alluded to, there is the obligatory final scene after the credits, so stick around. It's funny.

I can't stand two types of review of movies like this;

I hate the reviews that give the flick a half-hearted positive review, but make it clear that this kind of film  is actually beneath them.

I also hate the reviews that say "this flick was awesome!  It would have been better, though, if they hadn't had all that stoopid character development."

I loved this film for all its comic tropes.

 

I saw it last night and loved it. I figured I'd like it but I held back expecatations. This was better than I could have imagined.

When the Helicarrier lifted out of the water I thought to myself "I can't believe I'm seeing the hellicarrier in a movie". When I was 12 and you told me there would be an Avengers movie, or heck any super hero movie not starring Batman I wouldn't have believed you.

After 5 films leading up to this, the pay off was more than worth it. The filmmakers totally pulled off this movie with big characters that had helmed their own films and made them an ensamble. I think it was fornutate to that all the actors had great screen chemistry with eachother.

The audience I was with loved it. The group I went with loved it too. My sister-in-law runs hot and cold on superhero movies but went because my brother and I wanted to see it. She really liked it. I talked to a friend who wasn't planning on seeing it but ended up seeing and loved it.

I liked the way Hawkeye was handled. I think it worked him being under Loki's control at the begining. We saw what he is capable of skill wise and that he is able to go toe-to-toe with the big dogs. I don't think it would have worked if he was good all along and just grabbed his bow and said "let's go" when the battle started. We haven't seen what this version of Hawkeye could do and this was a good format to introduce him. Plus this makes the team more willing to take him on board because they saw was he did against them and want to give him the opportunity to get his revenge on Loki.

Mark Ruffalo was awesome, if they make another stand alone Hulk film he needs to be in it. I suggest looking up his IMDB filmography. Check out some of his movies. He's a pretty versatile actor.

I have more to say but I want to hit up my shop's Free Comic Book Day sale.

Being a Hulkaphile, I loved all of the Banner/Hulk stuff. 

Showing Banner as a super genius was perfect.  The previous versions of Banner down played those aspects to focus on the "man on the run" story.  I liked seeing Banner as a more than some haunted and hunted man. 

Also, the Hulk was perfect!  I will take on the question about the Hulk chasing the Black Widow.  Banner has limited control over the Hulk.  If he chooses to "Hulk out" he remains in control of the "other guy."  When he is forced into becoming the Hulk, he has less control.  The rage level determines the ability to control the beast.

My favorite scene is when the Hulk has cleaned out the office of aliens and Thor arrives.  Thor stands for a second, and POW!  The Hulk knocks Thor out of the scene.  To me, that was priceless. 

The Avengers '79 movie promo

 

Adult content in the comments (as is very often the case at youtube, unfortunately). My hat tip to those who pointed this item out.

...There is a nifty " Avengers '52 " fake trialer among the stuff to the left of the screen , Rob !!!!!!!!!

  I suppose the person who made it might have decided to keep it on the DL , there is no comment allowed , which means I can't FB it...

...It is lucky , frankly , that I read a " Things To Know Going In " thing that I found at IFC.Com that ayem as I had only seen 1 of the 5 officially preceding films , THOR...

Major spoiler here if you haven't seen it yet...

3...

2...

1...

You were warned...

I don't believe for a minute Agent Coulson is dead.  This movie established that Fury is a liar.  The heroes needed a cause to bring them together, and they all liked Coulson.  His "death" would do it.  Note that we did not see the paramedics declare him dead; we only heard Fury say so over the com.  The bit where Fury lied about the cards being on his person is ample foreshadowing of the reveal that he's alive in one of the next movies.

Other reasons outside the film itself--the actor playing Coulson said he was signed for six films.  He's only been in four.  Coulson was just added to the Marvel Universe, and I doubt they would have bothered if he was going to be killed off.  Also, Coulson is the principal in the new Spider-Man cartoon.

We'll see our favorite SHIELD agent again sooner rather than later.

 

I've read so much about this film before it came out but this one surprised me.  Didn't see it coming. 

Rich, I agree with your assessment; the latter even more than the former.  The trading cards (they're vintage) and Fury's announcement via radio were clues to the nerds in the room.

Rich Lane said:

Major spoiler here if you haven't seen it yet...

You were warned...

I don't believe for a minute Agent Coulson is dead. 

We'll see our favorite SHIELD agent again sooner rather than later.

 

I thought it was simply awesome, and I had tempered my expectations knowing, as Clark said, it was more Ultimates than Avengers.  I agree with a lot of Clark's points, so I'll try not to regurgitate too many of them.  But yeah, the Hulk / Loki scene ... I cheered pretty loud for that. 

As for Agent Coulson, if Rich is right, that would be a pretty good swerve.  I thought Coulson was a great metaphor for us, the comic book fans who waited so long for this movie and other superhero movies we've seen in the last 10-12 years.

I agree with people who said Mark Ruffalo really stole the show. 

One part of the story that I thought was not explained well was why the Hulk was trying to kill the Widow when we first saw him and then later worked with the rest of the Avengers.  I have to disagree with Mike Parnell here.  Everyone at SHIELD was wondering why Loki surrendered so easily and why he seemed content to be where he was.  The Widow tricked it out of him - he wanted to be near Banner; I think the scene where the heroes are bickering comes just before that.  Loki's staff was in the room and I took it that the staff was causing them all to be at each other's throats and caused Banner to transform and be uncontrollable.  When they all got away from the staff, the desire to fight each other (in Hulk's case destroy everyone / everything) went away.  It's left for the audience to guess otherwise how the Hulk went from completely uncontrollable to being a WMD that Cap could point at the aliens.

Did anyone catch any Easter Eggs?  I was really hoping for some reference to Hank and Jan, Wakanda, anything like that ... all I caught was Stark saying he was an L.M.D. 

I think a lot less of this Black Widow would have gone a long way.  I liked her opening scene, and how she tricked Loki later on, but I thought she talked far too much for someone who was suppposed to be a mysterious Russian assassin, and the handguns just came across as dumb to me.  She needed some high tech toys, a Widow's Bite, something, otherwise, she could have easily been swapped out and Maria Hill could be an Avenger.

Having not seen the Captain America movie, I keep waiting for Chris Evans to be smily, goofy, and yell "Flame On!"

I wish I could be excited by the next Big Bad.  I find that the same story is just retold and retold for him.  It doesn't help I find him derivative of Darkseid.  Still, I'm sure I'll be there again on opening night in a few years ... hopefully we'll hear the battle cry next time.  Actually, "Avengers Assemble" would make a good movie title.

The trading cards (they're vintage) and Fury's announcement via radio were clues to the nerds in the room.

Although they didn't do anything to visually confirm it in the movie, the impression I got from what was said about the bloody cards having been in his locker at the time of the "death" was that the death was a fake. I only saw it once, but I seem to recall that somebody actually said it was all a ploy to pull everyone together. Surprised that it didn't go any further than that, but I would think it highly unlikely that Coulson would taken out that way, or at this point.

Andy

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