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The Avengers, A Really Super Flick

The Avengers

To say The Avengers packs a whallop, is to make a great understatement.  Written and directed by Joss Whedon, the movie is a fantastic combination of slick writing, a fast-paced (albeit by the numbers) plot and lots of action mixed together with a good helping of physical and verbal humour. It’s the perfect summer movie to keep your eyes glued to the screen as your hands move automatically from Raisinets packet to mouth.

The movie combines the forces of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson) and Samuel L. Jackson (yes let’s face it Samuel L is a Superhero) as Nick Fury.

Aside from the great action, and there is a lot of it, The Avengers works because it understands that superhero stories are about more just badass characters; that’s for regular heroes. Once you don tights or any other outfit with lettering on the chest, you graduate from a mere hero, to one embroiled in a never ending battle of good versus evil. More importantly, you are a symbol that we too can be great, can overcome bullies and yes, if necessary, can stop a speeding train. It’s the myth that inside all of us is someone who can overcome our weaknesses, all we need is time and the right chemical formula to get it out.

So essentially, superhero tales are really stories of freaks and geeks. Usually, its the tale of how a geek became a freak and eventually saved the day by learning to put his fellow man above himself and thus becoming a superhero.  The heroes in Avengers are among the freakiest, and oft the geekiest of the lot. Thor is the only exception to the lot, but he’s so hot, we’ll forgive him that sin. Additionally, he controls thunder so there’s no arguing with that. The Avengers remembers to key into their humanity, their fallibility and those quirks that makes them the lovable outcasts we call on when the world is about to fall off its kilter.

Long before The Avengers hit cinemas it was already guaranteed box office success. Almost every superhero depicted had already had their own film, some of them two, to great success. But even so, the film succeeds because of how it marries these superheroes who are really just a band of misfits with really great gadgets or powers.

The film is bouyed by Stark’s witty banter, Loki’s ponderous philosophies (it appears that the victorian period made quite an impression in Asgard), Thor’s 21-inch biceps and spine tickling voice, and Hulk, every angry green inch of him. The Hulk picks up the show by the scruff and runs with it, leaving even the magnetic steals Stark in his shadow. Mark Ruffalo does an excellent job of carrying Edward Norton’s baton as Bruce Banner from The Incredible Hulk (2008). Ruffalo is the perfect mild-mannered foil to the raw fury boiling within the Hulk. As Hulk rampaged around the screen, creating wonderful mayhem, one cannot help but imagining Ang Lee kicking himself and wondering why he could not have created that, instead of unleashing his clunky, uninteresting monster on the world (Hulk, 2003).

Samuel L. Jackson, plays a great Samuel L. making the most of his eye-patch and leather trench coat. Scarlett Johansson is also a treat, proving that if you create a female superhero with more credibility than her ability to walk in really tight pants, you can have an interesting character.

Of course, no superhero is worth his/her salt without a worthwhile villain and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) makes a decent villain. It may well be that a huge part of Loki’s problem is his hair. I mean, I’d be pretty pissed off too if I had to put all that gunk on my head to look cool and menacing only to forever be in the shadow of my brother who is literally a bronze god.

So, as the credits rolled on Avengers, I decided that it would be best if I didn’t return to the cinema for the rest of the year, because although I didn’t really feel any additional benefit from the 3D effects, it was a great action-packed, character-driven sflick. So if I ended my run with The Avengers, I would end my 2012 movie experience on a really high note,  Of course, I will return to the movies even though The Amazing Spiderman trailers fill me with trepidation, as they seem to have misplaced the heart of the story. But then again there is always Snow White and the Huntsman.