Friday, April 24, 2015

Movie Review: The Avengers (2012 Film)

(Image from HD Wallpapers The Avengers Movie 2012)

The Age of Ultron is almost upon us!

To prepare for this, I finally got around to watching The Avengers (2012) the other night. 

Even though Earth's Mightiest Heroes have undergone "50 Shades" of artistic transformations over the past five decades I still found the film an exciting super-hero smash-up.

Take the demigod of mischief, Loki, add a Summoning Artifact of Doom in the form of the Tesseract and this equals big-time trouble for the mere mortals on terra-firma.

Against the judgment of a shadowy council, Nick Fury issues a call-to-arms for the Avengers to assemble.  Getting this pack of temperamental superheroes to work as a team proves almost as difficult thwarting Loki's plans. 

In fact, the Avengers spend most of the time arguing and outright battling each other:  Dr. Erik Selvig and Clint Barton (Hawkeye) fall under Loki's spell, Natalia Romanoff (Black Widow) nearly gets smashed by Hulk (Bruce Banner); while Iron Man, Thor Odinson and Captain America come to blows quarreling over custody of Loki. 

As Loki activates the Tesseract on top of Stark Tower, unleashing a horde of Chitauri upon Manhattan, the Avengers finally get their act together, and defeat the denizens from another dimension.  Loki gets slammed senseless by Hulk and then brought back to Asgard by big bro Thor, along with the troublesome Tesseract.

The film won 21 out of 74 award nominations.  Quite a coup for a popcorn flick.

I certainly enjoyed it.  But what I liked most aren't the super heroes at all.  As I mentioned in my Battle of Five Armies movie review, the stories that resonate with me the most are ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. 

So my favorite character in the movie is Agent Phil Coulson.  True, there are other non-superhero types on, or associated with the Avengers Team; like the hard-as-nails Nick Fury, his by-the-book deputy Maria Hill, the dour Black Widow, the somber Hawkeye.  But it's Phil Coulson who embodies the pleasant, quiet professional--even when facing-down a demigod like Loki.

The encounter goes badly for Phil.  In fact, the mild-mannered agent dies, which is the spark the superheroes needed to avenge their fallen comrade.  If I had seen this movie a few years ago, Phil's death would have had me reaching for the Kleenex.

But this is a comic book movie, and Phil has been brought back to life, thanks to super-secret alien medicine and is now leading a team in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I definitely want to add The Avengers (Wikipedia entry with plot synopsis) to my superhero movie collection.

And speaking of collections, this brings me to the only cautionary note about the movie:  The Marvel Cinematic Universe (see also Marvel Movies) has become so interwoven, that it may be difficult for new viewers to appreciate the films unless they're watched in release-date order.

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