On paper, there’s no way a film like this could possibly work, there’s too many factors that could derail this project at any turn. Once tangible and put together, this film fires on all cylinders. At the time, this was the big one, the first culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. Yes, I get it, it’s only phase one but this kind of superhero film with more than one headlining hero appearing in the same film is just a pipe dream. This is it, the original 6, if this film doesn’t work, we may not have the MCU as we know it today at all. It’s kind of terrifying to realize as we’ve spent the last decade with these characters playing in this universe.
This was the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film I saw in theaters and let me tell you, if you had the chance to see any of these films on opening night, that’s the best movie going experience one could ever have. There’s just something magical about being in a theater packed with people (back then there wasn’t assigned seating, it sucked) and experiencing some of the big moments together. You laugh, you cheer, you cry during the same scenes and you just geek out with people.
What the intelligence world knows now as the tesseract is being stored at a S.H.I.E.L.D facility where director Nick Fury is testing the power. With the assistance of Dr. Erik Selvig, the cube essentially turns on and Loki of Asgard appears. He quickly uses his scepter to take over Clint Barton aka Hawkeye and Selvig’s minds while taking Fury out and leaving with the cube. Fury notifies Maria Hill that Clint has been turned and she chases them only to fail and nearly get crushed under the facility as the cube causes an explosion.
Natasha Romanoff gets a call from Phil Coulson during an interrogation of Clint’s status. She is then given the task to convince the “Big Guy” to help S.H.I.E.L.D. Natasha quickly learns he has to recruit Bruce Banner to help find the cube. Natasha pushes Bruce causing him to show a little bit of rage but doesn’t turn green. He reluctantly accepts to assist S.H.I.E.L.D. Meanwhile, Fury gives Steve Rogers his next mission while Phil Coulson recruits Tony Stark. Captain America is called up and heads to Germany to stop and capture Loki when Iron Man intervenes.
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) gets taken into custody at the hands of Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). Thunder rumbles and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) shows up to take Loki as his own hostage. Cap and Iron Man both go after Thor and the three of them go at each other while Loki kicks back and watches. Loki gets placed in a holding cell that according to Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is meant for someone bigger. Tony Stark finally meets Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and the two get to work on finding where the tesseract is located.
While they are looking for the cube, Cap interrupts Tony and Bruce and goes to investigate something called phase 2; S.H.I.E.L.D making weapons because Thor came to earth. A device goes off alerting to the location of the tesseract while the team is distracted, Clint (Jeremy Renner) blows up one of the turbines keeping the helicarrier flying. Bruce Hulks out, nearly kills Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) and fights Thor. Cap and Iron Man work together to get the turbine back up and running so the helicarrier doesn’t fall from the sky. Fury and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) fend off an attack on the bridge by Clint and his troops while Loki traps Thor in the glass cage and kills Agent Coulson.
Fury uses Coulson’s death as the tool to finally bring everyone together and fight as one. Natasha recalibrates Clint and is able to knock Loki out of his mind. Natasha, Clint, Cap, and Iron Man head to Stark Tower where Loki and Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) use the tesseract to open the portal and unleash the Chitauri army on earth. The Avengers fight off the army and are able to keep the Chitauri at bay. During the battle, Fury receives word that a nuke is the best option to stop the threat. He disagrees and attempts to stop the pilot from taking off.
Fury alerts Tony of the nuke and goes to intercept it with the idea of launching the nuke into the wormhole, saving the city. Natasha makes it to the roof of Stark tower where Selvig is no longer under Loki’s control. He suggests using the scepter to shut down the portal but not before Stark sends the nuke through destroying the main Chitauri ship and defeating the army in New York. The Avengers take Loki into custody and Thor takes him and the tesseract back to Asgard where both belong.
This movie is such a joy ride from the moment the movie starts to the second end credit scene. It’s the perfect team up superhero film that is more than just a genre film. Each character is perfectly balanced (eh a little foreshadowing huh) while not having one singular character steal the spotlight. To date, this is the movie that is the funniest and has the most laughs out of all the phase 1 films. The humor works well in the story as it’s not made to be the main focus. The dialogue feels organic to each character as well as they interact with one another for the first time.
There is so much that I love about this first Avengers film, it’s awesome, to say the least. Loki is the perfect first villain for The Avengers, just like in the comics, in Avengers #1 (1963). The action is pulled off well as it doesn’t stop the story from moving forward. I love the conflict each character has with one another, with that many ego’s in one room, its expected to happen. The cinematography is gorgeous especially that tracking shot that starts with Iron Man and ends with Thor and Hulk during the battle for New York. I’d say that is my second favorite moment. My favorite shot in this film is of course, the circular shot after Bruce Hulks out, the goose bumps pop up every time, no matter how many times I watch this film.
I remember seeing that moment on the big screen and thinking how lucky we all are to be alive during this kind of a movie moment. The score by Alan Silvestri is a classic score. Its one of the most recognizable scores in film history and if the score doesn’t hype you up, I don’t know what could. I love this beginning of Cap and Tony’s relationship as it’s the most complex and important relationship throughout the entire Infinity Saga. The pacing for this film is perfect, for its length, it moves while still being able to allow for more serious moments to be fleshed out.
We are now introduced to two of the six infinity stones, the space stone (tesseract) and the mind stone (Loki’s scepter). If you’re paying attention to that mid credit scene, we get our first tease of the Mad Titan Thanos. Its right then and there that this universe starts to really take shape and Marvel does a phenomenal job of not giving us too much but has us still wanting more. The payoff and stakes this movie has is executed well, too often a superhero film’s stakes aren’t met or fail to deliver in the story. I love everything about this movie, it’s a perfect comic book film in my eyes. Even the Stan Lee cameo is amazing and well done (I mean its Stan, when isn’t it amazing to see his happy face).
One thing I appreciate is even though the team may not be a team yet and were butting heads each hero still understood that they have a job to do and save the world. Robert Downey Jr. has incredible timing with his dialogue and his delivery with his humor. Chris is proving to be the perfect choice for Steve Rogers / Captain America. We have our second change in actors as Mark Ruffalo replaced Edward Norton as Bruce Banner. Don’t get me wrong, I love Edward Norton dearly but, Mark Ruffalo is the best version of Hulk we’ve ever seen. This is one of the greatest superhero movies ever made.
If our lord and savior Kevin Feige’s plan was to only release these 6 films and call it a day, I don’t think anyone would have minded, but the fact that he pulled off 23 films that all lead to the Infinity, is a feat that will be remembered for a long time. I’m simply fortunate enough to be alive during this point in film history and be able to nerd out with millions of people is one of the most awesome feelings. As Comic book fans we’re spoiled with what we got out of this first Avengers film. If I were to rate The Avengers, I’d rate it a 4.8 out of 5.
So, tell me guys, have you seen Avengers and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.
Avengers is written and directed by Joss Whedon is Rated PG-13 and has an 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. Avengers was released on May 2nd, 2012 and has a runtime of 2 hours and 24 minutes. Avengers can be streamed on Disney Plus.
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