“The Avengers”

I had the opportunity the other night to see a first run movie and I ran out the door so fast, I forgot my jacket.  The movie was the smash hit The Avengers.  Of the predicate movies that introduce the various characters, I’ve seen only the first Iron Man, so it took me about 3 minutes to figure out who and what the characters were.  After that little cognitive exercise, I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.

The Avengers is a supremely silly movie.  I like that in a movie.  It’s not pretentious but, instead, feels true to its comic book roots.  The characters are pretty to look at, the explosions impressive, and the plot hung together, if only by a string.  There were the predictable laughs from unexpected confrontations that have been present in every adventure movie since the first Indiana Jones.  (Old Hollywood took its action movies much more seriously than new Hollywood does.)

My complaints?  A few.  The movie was way too loud, although that may have been because I saw it in a movie theater that had a special sound system installed at George Lucas’ behest for the first movie in the new Star Wars trilogy.  (Ah, life in Marin!)  I also didn’t like the fact that the action scenes were rendered so fast (and I use “rendered” in the sense of computer digitization) that one often had no idea what was going on.  I prefer a more lovingly filmed fight.  Finally, there were scenes at the end that were too reminiscent of 9/11 and they made me uncomfortable.

What I did like?  I liked that Captain America (Chris Evans) was a good guy:  he wore the stars and stripes, and he was the embodiment of honor and old-fashioned common sense.  That’s so rare in a movie it was downright refreshing.  As always, Robert Downey, Jr. was delightfully snarky.  As you know, I’m a snark aficionado, periodically practicing the art myself.  The actor playing Thor (Chris Hemsworth) was pretty, delighting the teenage girls.  Mark Ruffalo — well, I’ve never understood why the guy is famous, so let’s leave it at that.  Scarlett Johansson doesn’t work as a red head.  That’s not just my feeling.  A car full of teenage girls was loud and clear in its disdain for her color makeover.

If you feel like spending $14.00 for two hours of silly fun (plus 15-20 minutes of periodically amusing previews), this may be your movie.

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  • jj

    I don’t know who any of these birds are – and I don’t care.  The Avengers were – and shall remain – John Steed and Emma Peel.

  • Beth

    My mother’s day gift?  The Avenger’s 11:30 show for five bucks a seat.  For $50 we all enjoyed our selves immensely.  My 17yo son has the snack bar figured out–one popcorn two soda combo refilled four times covered us all for a snack too.  Can’t remember the last time we went to a movie together….uh, we’ve never all gone to a movie together!  Had a terrific time cheering for the good guys, booing the bad guys and loving the laughs.  Yes, it was loud, which is why I’m sure no one actually heard us cheering and booing.  I’m not a movie person–frankly the kids asked if they could give this ‘gift’ to me and I’m glad I said yes. 
    Captain America is a family fave with Ironman at a close second.  Love how they came to the point of truly needing each other and the theme that ran throughout is that we are a TEAM and we need to depend on each other’s strengths and cover each other’s weaknesses.  Good show!

  • Danny Lemieux

    Ah, sigh! Diana Rigg as Emma Peel…source of so many of my adolescent dreams. 

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane, JJ. 

  • Mike Devx

    Ah, a feel-good fun movie that doesn’t want to crap all over America.  Sounds perfect to me!  And this weekend there will finally be some legroom in the 2-D theaters where I’ll catch the matinee.  I’m definitely looking forward to seeing this fun one.  

    I’d thought of seeing The Grey, and Hunger Games, but in the end I just wasn’t in the mood for downer movies, so I never did go.  From what I’ve heard of The Avengers, my intelligence won’t be insulted either (think Transformers)…  Let’s hope for 2+ hours of smart good old fashioned American fun, optimism, no navel-gazing, and the good guys win in the end.

  • http://furtheradventuresofindigored.blogspot.com/ Indigo Red

    I saw The Avengers Sunday and enjoyed it immensely although I was a bit nervous. It was a first date with a woman I had met years ago in high school and lost track of, but all went well and we’re having dinner later this week.

    Anyway, the movie was action packed with lots of jokes that kept the audience laughing through the whole 2hrs 22mins. The language was squeaky clean except one Britishism that went past most everyone and possibly isn’t heard in the British language version. Its use was unnecessary, though; could have used many other phrases instead of “mewling quim.”

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    It is an old-fashioned action-adventure movie, isn’t it?  It’s not driving home a point and, to the extent The Avengers preaches values, it preaches old-fashioned virtues such as loyalty, perseverance, camaraderie in the face of an overwhelming force, etc. 

    BTW, Indigo Red, I’m so glad you had a nice date.  I hope your dinner with this gal is enjoyable too.

  • http://bkivey.wordpress.com/ bkivey

    I finally did go see The Avengers, and was thoroughly entertained for 2+ hours. My review/synopsis is here:  http://bkivey.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/the-avengers/, if anyone’s interested. I don’t usually go to movies: you could graduate from college in the time between theater movie viewings, but the reviews for this one were almost universally positive.
    I saw the similarities to 9/11 style destruction in the big battle, but I noticed that the director was careful not to show a building completely collapsing. I also noticed the scene where Capt. America protects Black Widow with his shield. If there was any woman on the planet who didn’t need a man to protect her, it was Scarlett Johansson’s character, but he still did it, and she accepted. There were several other moments where the characters demonstrated warrior values. It’s not always just about beating the bad guys.