Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Movie of the Week: The Avengers

I attended the midnight showing of The Avengers, and it exceeded my own expectations of awesomeness.  I'm going to say it: Joss Whedon made a phenomenal film.  It's not your average superhero movie.  It's so much more.  Whedon adds a political psychological aspect to the reasons why Loki wants to subjugate humanity to his will and enjoys messing with the Avengers, rather than outright fighting them.  Enter the symbol of patriotism: Captain America.  It's just one way in which Whedon provides small character beats for every Avenger and a dynamic for the entire team.

First I have get this out of the way.  The fight scenes were brilliant!  We didn't see the Avengers get their assess handed to them as much as most superhero films.  They held up pretty well against these crazy aliens, especially for two people with subpar weaponry against a fleet of alien animalistic warmongers.  Seriously.  Everyone looked awesome on the streets of New York as the team, and then we get to Black Widow, who reloads her gun, and it made me laugh.  But she does it with class and precision to make her incredibly dangerous.  Sorry for the sidetrack.  The fight scenes were fluid, beautiful, and smooth in transition, rather than rigid with cutaways going from fight to fight.  The camera led us to the next one, or a character led us into the next one.  The battle scenes were a language of their own distinct style much like Whedon's signature dialogue.

The Avengers were extra funny this time, especially The Hulk.  But nearly every single Iron Man line was hilarious.  You'd think it would be annoying, but it's really not.  All of the characters get comedic moments in their own situations, so it's not just cracking jokes.  It's specific to a character, rather.  Along with the witty humor, Whedon has given us his trademark dialogue, witty and fast-paced.

Black Widow gets quality character development while the rest engage their own movies' character developments.  It is for this reason that Black Widow is able to shine in her role as the most complex and most badass character.  After all, she's going against an army of ravenous aliens with two pistols.  She goes up against The Hulk and survives, shaken, but survives.  And it's brilliantly beautiful and tense.

With such a penis-heavy cast, under any other director, aside from a woman, there would be no women or even ample screentime for women, which are primarily Black Widow and Maria Hill.  The "emasculation" of Whedon's males, as some say, helps even out the playing field.  The men are often less "masculine", while the females tend to pick up the "masculinity".  Many have a problem with this.  I don't see a problem.  I see a solution to the gender wars.  Get past your irrational fears of gender-wide castration and join the egalitarian voice.

Though the film is 2 1/2 hours long, it manages to seem short and quick-paced, even and solid.  If you've not seen the other Marvel Avenger movies, it may be a slight bit confusing.  But if you've seen one or two or all, then you will love it.  Go see it for Black Widow, Hulk, and Maria Hill, if not for anything else.

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