The Avengers review

the avengers review all characters poster hd wallpaper vvallpaper net

I have to admit, despite the bubbling geyser of geeky joy that the sheer possibility of an Avengers film elicited, and despite the somewhat awkward and consuming love I have for Joss Whedon, I was nervous about this film.

I did my best to avoid news, clips, and spoilers of any kind in preparation for this review, so it wasn’t the product itself that had my hackles up, it was the idea of the movie. It was due to years of conditioned responses. As a comics fan, I couldn’t not watch all the superhero films over the last few decades, despite the pain. So for my fear, you can thank Hollywood. And by thank, I mean blame.

After a while I became resigned to living in a world of subpar superhero films, churned out by studio heads that earned their stereotypical image as greedy, soulless automatons that could care less for the properties that so many of us loved.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the 21st century. The comics industry began to mature, and the film industry began to understand that audiences’ tastes were changing. The studios started to realize that treating these properties with respect could be wildly successful and attract an already dedicated fanbase, while also appealing to a more traditional mainstream group. That is a lesson still being learned, despite a few bumps in the road. The highly respected and acclaimed Dark Knight cleared a billion dollars, while the rage-inducing and badly received Green Lantern barely made back its $200 mil budget.

the avengers reviewThe evolution of this shocking idea of making good superhero films arguably reached its zenith with the formation of Marvel Studios under Disney’s umbrella. Beginning with Iron Man, Marvel had a vision. A big, sprawling, multi-year vision, that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and culminate with what is arguably one of the biggest gambles in entertainment history. There were so many moving parts to deal with, and anyone of them could have ruined the The Avengers. Egos could explode, the characters could step on each other, the plot could fail to surpass the lead-in movies, and a dozen other problems could arise.

Somehow, despite all the potential pitfalls, Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios nailed it and created what may be the best superhero film yet.

The Avengers is also a movie that expects you to have watched the previous films. It is a sequel to Iron Man 1&2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger, not a standalone story that uses the same characters. If you haven’t seen even one of these four films, you are going to be at a slight disadvantage (seeing the 2008 The Incredible Hulk wouldn’t hurt either, but it’s narrative isn’t as directly tied into The Avengers, and the change from Ed Norton to Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner somewhat isolates that film anyway). Characters from the previous films pick up stories on the fly. There is no time spent explaining the backstory of anyone or anything, and it is a given that you understand the characters, their motivations, and their unique abilities. Fans will appreciate that, while virgins to the Marvel films may be a bit lost but should still enjoy the film for what it is.

the avengers review thor iron man and captain americaBy the way, this review will be entirely spoiler free. The plot is solid, and works well within the framework created in the previous Marvel films. Knowing the machinations of the villain Loki won’t make anyone go see The Avengers or skip it. The explanation for bringing the characters together is sound, and each of their reactions to the situation makes sense. The plot is actually fairly simple, but in a good way. Perhaps a better word for it would be streamlined.

From the first moment, the movie jumps right into the action. It then gives the necessary time for the team to feel each other out, and logically that is where the film should drag. That’s why they hired Joss Whedon.

Whedon is a comic book fan, and it shows. He understands the archetype these characters represent, and how they should rub against each other. Whedon, who wrote the screenplay and co-wrote the story along with Zak Penn, also knows how to twist dialog to make even a dull conversation interesting. It is a staple of his career, and The Avengers is no exception.

With The Avengers, Whedon is free to write to his strengths, and create both dialog and moments that could only exist in this medium. Several times throughout the movie, moments pop up that could only come from the mind of a comics fan—stuff nobody else would think of. For example, there are two moments during the final battle that had the audience in rapture, and both are moments that are utterly unexpected–and yet make total sense in the predetermined boundaries of this universe. You’ll know them when you see them.

the avengers review robert downey jrThis Whedon kid has potential. He keeps the film—which is actually a fairly straightforward tale of good guys versus bad guys—continually feeling fresh and surprising. If you are a fan of the man, then rest assured that you will be delighted with the results. Plus, it means that from here he can go off to do anything he wants. Perhaps he will bring back Firefly just to watch fans’ heads explode in shock.

The biggest and most obvious fear surrounding The Avengers was always the very real possibility that the screen simply could not contain that much ego. No fewer than seven of this film’s stars are leading men and women, and that isn’t counting the supporting cast. But even beyond that, the characters themselves are at risk of overshadowing one another, or even letting the beloved character they portray drift into the shadows.

For this film to succeed, a balance needed to be struck, and it was. Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man/Tony Stark does garner a bit more screen time and his character has the most significant story arc of any, but each character has his or her moments. Of all the stars, the weakest is probably Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, but it is by degrees.

The two most surprising performances belong to Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner/Hulk, and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Raffalo’s Banner is deliberately and appropriately muted—after all, how much can you hope to get out of a guy who’s life ambition is not to get mad—but the Hulk repeatedly steals the show, again and again. Every scene with the Hulk is memorable.

the avengers review tom hiddlestonBut the lynchpin of the movie is Hiddleston, who adds layers and depth to what could have been a traditional villain. He is likable in all his scenes, and yet arrogant enough that you enjoy rooting for Loki to get what’s coming to him. While all the actors do a good job, Hiddleston is the one whose career I am most interested to see in the future.

And then there are the special effects. They are as good as any, in any movie. They set the new bar, and are seamless enough that you don’t realize how good they are until you stop to think about it later. The final battle especially just wows. There is so much going on during that fight, that it will take multiple viewings to catch it all.

It all just comes together and works. If you want to nitpick, there are things you can focus on: the music was forgettable, a bit more epilogue would have been nice, and some might think the start of the film drags (I am not among those), but The Avengers is the movie comic book fans have been dreaming about since they first heard of Marvel’s gloriously mad plan.


The moment of desperation and terror at Marvel has passed, and one of the biggest gambles in entertainment history is poised to make all the doubters change their tune, and all the supporters look like geniuses. The Avengers is here, and it is good. It is also probably going to make a billion dollars, and that is good news for all of us.

The Avengers isn’t the best film of the year, but it may be the most enjoyable. It feels like a reward to fans that survived all the bad superhero films, and those same fans will get the most out of this one. My inner child that grew up reading The Avengers comics highly recommends this film, and the adult version completely agrees.


These are the best video games you shouldn't leave 2018 without

Developers showed up with a number of amazing games this year. Each capitalized on something unique but there's always one that outdoes them all. Here are our picks for the best video games of 2018 and game of the year.

Want every suit in 'Marvel's Spider-Man' for PS4? Here's how to get them all

Marvel's Spider-Man features a whopping 33 different suits for Peter Parker to wear as he swings across New York City knocking out baddies. Here are all the suits and how to unlock them.
Movies & TV

A ‘Venom’ sequel is on its way, and Spider-Man could play a role

'Venom' screenwriter Jeff Pinker confirms that a follow-up to Sony's Spider-Man spin-off is in the works. Could a certain friendly neighborhood webslinger join the action? Pinker says that it's "not impossible."
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.
Movies & TV

Our first look at 'The Punisher' season 2 hints at January 2019 premiere

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero, Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.
Movies & TV

Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ sequel conjures up a director and a release date

Doctor Strange director and co-writer Scott Derrickson will return to helm the Sorcerer Supreme's next big-screen adventure. Filming will begin in 2020, after Strange's mysterious Avengers: Endgame fate is resolved.
Movies & TV

'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' is one of the hero's best movies ever

One of Spider-Man's most memorable big-screen adventures, animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse simultaneously feels like nothing we've ever seen before and a tale that feels familiar in all the best ways.
Movies & TV

Pedro Pascal officially cast as 'The Mandalorian' as Disney show fills out cast

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Home Theater

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ season 2 gets a new, Spock-heavy trailer

CBS has released a new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery season 2, which premieres January 17 on CBS All Access. The new trailer features series newcomers Spock and Christopher Pike prominently.
Movies & TV

Netflix is testing an instant scene-replay feature, but would you use it?

Ever felt like Netflix was missing a scene-replay button? The company is currently trialing a feature that lets you skip back to the start of the scene you just watched, though early tests appear to be annoying some viewers.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘The X-Files’ with the show’s 10 best episodes

The X-Files premiered 25 years ago, so here are the 10 best episodes of the award-winning sci-fi series. From alien-abduction drama to hilarious satires, these are the best episodes from all 11 seasons of the hit series.
Movies & TV

Can't get enough lightsaber action? Here's how to get your Star Wars fix online

Few of us want to deal with DVDs or Blu-ray discs anymore. Unfortunately, the Star Wars movies are few and far between when it comes to streaming. If you want to watch Star Wars online, check out our guide on where to find the films online.

Psychedelic 'Spider-Man,' Superman goes evil, 'Star Trek: Discovery' trailer

This week on Between the Streams, we'll talk about the wondrous, psychedelic adventure that is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. We'll also discuss Dr. Strange 2, the freaky trailer for Brightburn (Superman goes evil?), and more.