I’m sure there are a hundreds of thousands of blogs being written about the exact thing I’m sitting down to write about today, and I don’t care. Marvel’s The Avengers blew me away and I want to share my thoughts with the world (if everyone in the world were to stop here and read my blog… hey, it could happen). Before I can talk about that, however, I have to step back to 2010.
I admit, for some reason, I had some concern when I heard the news from Comic Con 2010 that Joss Whedon would be writing and directing The Avengers. I don’t think it was because I didn’t think he could do it, I was actually concerned for him. I saw that there was going to be a lot of eyes looking at this film with a lot of studio execs expecting a gold mine. This man who so brilliantly has created so much that could entertain and emotionally manipulate me was doing so once again by getting a job. Weird right?
Today, nearly two years later, I was able to breath a sigh of relief because after what I saw tonight I know that he was able to deliver a final product that both the fans and the studio execs are doing back flips over. Within the first two minutes this movie starts delivering and doesn’t stop until after the final credit has rolled (yes I live for knowing who the gaffer is in films). Pay close attention to that if, for some reason, you haven’t heard to already. In the theater we went to they made an announcement to the room that the audience should stay all the way threw the credits, but only 1/64th of the audience actually listened. That’s why I think it is worth repeating here.
I don’t know why I had a moment of concern. Joss Whedon has proven time and time again that he respects the comic book realm, something that is easily exampled by his three part run with Astonishing Avengers. That entire run could be used as a textbook example of how easily Joss Whedon he can weave his gift for dialogue and delivery into comic characters and their world. After the 2010 announcement I even went back and re-read that series and THAT should have been the blinking green light that everything was going ahead in good hands. It is this Joss Whedon dialogue and those Joss Whedon moments that help fill the time between action sequences AND during.
It should come as no surprise that Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark being handed dialogue from Whedon gets to just devour every scene he is in like it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet. This is a fine tribute to the Tony Stark character, who’s movie kick-started this Marvel grand-plan. We can all relate to Stark and Iron Man because he is everything we want to be (rich, brilliant, good-looking, suave) and everything that we are (people that have flaws and have to live with them). This isn’t to say that the other characters and their portrayals aren’t great and they are all given great dialogue. In the same way that we all remember our first Doctor I remember Iron Man. I can’t help it.
The biggest surprise for me in this movie is just how much the Hulk steals just about every scene that he is. I love that for the first time I wasn’t distracted by the Hulk’s appearance. Maybe it is because I can see more of Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner in the face of the green monster or maybe it is because technology has finally caught up with what it takes to make the character. The best part? Those Whedon moments even come through in the animated character that is the Hulk. Again, this movie just drips of pure genius.
Guys, this movie is also a perfect date movie. Between Stark, Captain America, Thor and Hawkeye there is more than enough eye candy for the ladies that they will be completely entertained even if they don’t really care for “Super Hero Movies.” I’m not saying it is the Spanish Fly of super hero movies but… wait, no, actually I am saying that.
Marvel’s The Avengers is the first movie in a while that is going to get me back into the movie theater once, twice if not thrice over. It’s not just a movie, it truly is a destination event that will rock the box office for a long time to come. As a comic book lover this makes my heart smile. As a Joss Whedon fan this makes me stand tall and proud. As a Spider-Man fan I really wish he wasn’t stuck over at Columbia Pictures so he could come play with the cool kids.