They did it. They actually pulled it off. The Marvel Studios films have all been excellent, but this one actually raises the bar. Substantially. I will get my comic book fan venting out of the way prior to gushing non-stop about the film's awesomeness. Some of the characterizations are off from the source material, especially Hawkeye. The costumes are different for Hawkeye and the Black Widow. Who wouldn't have wanted to see the Black Widow in her leather catsuit? Major disappointment there. I am over Nick Fury being black. Not because I have anything against black people, but because he was white in the comic books. Samuel L. Jackson did good in this one, though. The origin and many of the events don't match the source material, but then again, how could they? That is never going to happen. You cannot condense 50+ years of continuity into 150 minutes.
These interconnected films have been one of the largest gambles that Marvel has ever attempted, and they pulled it off fabulously. There are going to S P O I L E R S from here on out.
Chris Evans has completely won me over as Captain America. I was skeptical when they first cast him in the role for Cap's movie, but I'll be damned if he wasn't a highlight here. I especially loved the line when he was skydiving out of the plane and the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent warns him to sit this one out because Thor and Loki are gods. “There's only one God, ma'am, and I don't think he dresses like that.” That would be the Joss Whedon touch. We should retitle it the Midas Touch, because after this film and Cabin in the Woods, he can pretty much write his own ticket. Cap using a machine gun...yeah, he was in World War II. I don't know. I've heard the arguments on both sides, but I prefer my heroes to not kill.
Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man was genius as usual. I loved the 1978 Black Sabbath T-shirt that he wore, and pointed out the gag to my wife afterward. Get it? Black Sabbath? The song Iron Man? The scene where and he offered Loki a drink was another classic. Loki- “Are you trying to bargain with me?” As Tony Stark, out of his armor- “No, I'm threatening you.”
Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk/Bruce Banner was genius. He is the third actor to play the role of Dr. Banner, and he was great. Make that fourth. How could I forget Billy Bixby and Lou Ferrigno's TV Hulk? Shame on me. We finally got to see the Hulk smash. I mean really, really smash! The scene where he pulps Loki was great. Loki is in one of his monologues, and the Hulk just grabbed him and beat him down. I was laughing hysterically. Again, Whedon's touch.
Thor, Black Widow, Loki...all were great. Hawkeye...I have never been a Hawkeye fan in the comics, but he is tolerable here. His character acts nothing like the source material here. He was not hot headed, disobeying orders and somehow not getting killed. He was the point man here. I just can't get over the fact that a guy with a bow and arrows takes on Earth shaking threats. It is among the least believable aspects of the comic books.
I hope that Agent Coulson was a Life Model Decoy. It would be a shame to see such a great character killed off in the films. There are many things being set up for the sequels here. Avengers Tower. There are two scenes at the end of the credits. One has Thanos. Fucking Thanos!!! We already have the Cosmic Cube. Can we possibly have the Infinity Gauntlet for the sequel? Jesus Chrysler!
I am almost afraid to see another comic book movie, because this was so incredible that it will be nigh impossible to measure up to this film's greatness. Not only is The Avengers the best comic book movie ever made, but one of the greatest films ever made, period. It's got to be up there with Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz.
Follow my blog on Facebook.