This is something like hot off the press, remember those olden day headlines? I have similar thoughts flashing as I write this. Just dropped back home after having watched Joss Whedon’s summer blockbuster for 2012 – The Avengers.
Initial emotional reaction: a tad bit disappointed, but the last 30 minutes of the movie kinda made up for it. 5 super heroes crammed into one movie, it was bound to be ripping away at the seams. Explosive, by far( we know it was a foregone conclusion. But entertaining? I got my reservations. But let me not see those long faces droop; all is not lost. It’s actually pretty much a fun-filled rollercoaster ride.
Three things stood out for me.
One, Tony Brilliant Eccentric Genius Mr. Stark, take a bow. You just cannot help loving the Iron Man character, insouciant swagger, irreverent devil-may-care attitude, crackling dry wit. It’s all there, vintage Robert Downey Jr. the one guy who alleviates boredom in this movie.
Two, the ass-kicking super-curvy-wonder-woman Scarlett Johansen, (who’s super power is that, well, She is Scarlett Johansen) who has you panting for more even with all her clothes on.
Three, Mark Ruffalo who dons the role of the nerdy scientist with anger management issues of stupendous proportions and becomes the “other guy” who loves nothing more than “SMASH”ing. The best ever HULK for me. Truly. Some of the best lighter moments of the movie happen purely because of the green monster. He is hilarious. By far. Giving serious competition to Tony Stark.
All others pale in comparison. And I mean, like really pale washed out cardboard effigies with hardly anything to do. Captain America, Chris “Hunk” Evans, plays the role of an administrator or the clean-up guy never really being called to the fore front of action, content to take on the smaller baddies. Same with Chris Hemsworth, Thor - a little less screen time and a lot less action, but passable. Nick Fury, commander of the Shield, the one man whose secrets too got secrets, Samuel L Jackson, again reprising this role for the “Nth” time, remains as elusive as ever. I was hoping at least this time, ( especially the Avengers is HIS pet project!) he would have more screen time and make a killing impression, but sadly that would need to wait. In Loki, we got a decently villainous antagonist, played well by Tom Hiddleston with his brit accent and gelled back longish hair . I found him a little lacking in menace in spite of his best efforts. Hawk-Eye, played by Jeremy “hurt locker” Renner, was impressive in bits, though overall, he has been expressionless and stone-faced. It was his first outing in this super hero franchise and while he did shine, I think, I prefer his female partner assassin, the Black Widow ANY DAY. What moves! Mind numbing!
The other minor characters flit by and are gone with the blink of the eye. Plot is linear, staid, stale and un-original. A throw back to olden day comic book days. Loki declares war on Earth having no where else to rule, with the help of a cube called ( Hold your breath, here it comes..)”Tesseract” that gives him unlimited source of energy. And Samuel Jackson takes offense at this outrageous brazen act of dare-devilry and takes him on with the help of the secret service, manned by some of the most beautiful women ( Scarlett Johansen, Cobie “How I met your mother hottie” Smulders! I would LOVE to work at the SHIELD, Nick, you hiring ? ) and a “Response Team” consisting of a hammer wielding Demi God, a rich genius industrialist with ego the size of Jupiter drops, a scientist with serious anger management issues, a super soldier born of an experiment, who’s a throwback from the days of World War-II and bunch of other assassins. How they oust Loki and save the earth is the story.
Joss Wheldon’s done quite a commendable job in getting all these actors in one frame, making the action sequences super fun, while not forgetting that dash of sardonic humor and those delightful quips. The first half though, where he sets up the conflict does get a bit tedious, and I found myself wandering. The plot’s thin and linear and you don’t miss much if you were to walk out to stretch your legs a bit. But the second half is crackling with fantastic set piece actions and you get your money’s worth when you finally get HULK raging, smashing the “puny God” all around the place.
Good old fashioned fun caper. And did I say, you got Scarlett Johansen performing acrobatics and kicking some ass? Go watch.