BY GABI TABIB
On Friday, May 4th, the Avengers made its debut in theaters. Pleasing fans and critics alike, the Avengers made $200.3 million in its opening weekend, breaking the Weekend Release Box Office record previously held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
Loki (the evil adopted brother of the Norse god Thor) has returned to Earth and stolen a precious energy cube known as the tesseract. This mystical artifact in the hands of evil could destroy all of mankind. This prompts Nick Fury, director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., to create a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. This team, the Avengers Initiative, is comprised of the world’s best superheroes: Iron Man (Tony Stark), Captain America (Steve Rogers), Dr. Bruce Banner and his alter ego Hulk, Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff), Thor, and Hawkeye (Clint Barton). Fighting against Loki and his band of alien Chitauri soldiers, the Avengers fight to save our world as we know it.
Directed by Joss Whedon, the Avengers has proved itself a worthy superhero movie. This movie has it all: a dynamic cast, an amazing script, and an interesting plot that kept me sitting through all three hours of the movie.
From the beginning, the audience is whisked away into the Marvel Universe, experiencing the birth of the “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”. The plot stays true to the original Avenger’s comics, in which the founding Avengers couldn’t be in the same room without a fight breaking out. There is also Nick Fury’s (Samuel L. Jackson) deceptiveness that made the movie ten times more enjoyable. The interaction between characters was organic, which shows that Whedon did his homework.
It was also the script that made this movie such a great success. The back and forth banter between friend and foe was quick, but easy to follow. This allowed for many one-liners that left the audience doubling over with laughter.
The combination of so many major characters was a lot more enjoyable than expected. Many had expected that one Avenger—either Tony Stark or Steve Rogers—would steal the show and the movie would revolve around them. However, because this was a team effort, the audience was able to follow all the characters and understand their origins even if they hadn’t seen the previous movies.
Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, and Samuel L. Jackson reprised their roles as Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor, Loki, and Nick Fury. Scarlett Johansson was cast as Natasha Romanoff a.k.a Black Widow. Admittedly, Johansson could have done a better job. Black Widow is from Russia, and in the opening sequence she is speaking Russian. If Johansson could already speak with a decent Russian accent, she should have been able to do so throughout the rest of the movie. Jeremy Renner played Clint Barton a.k.a Hawkeye and did so with flare. Renner gave Hawkeye such unrealistic talent—such as shooting an arrow behind his back—that it just worked.
However, Mark Ruffalo stole the show with his portrayal of Dr. Bruce Banner, a.k.a The Hulk. Banner had the intellectuality of Tony Stark, the brawn of Thor (when in his hulking form), and the wit to match. In the past, there has been trouble finding the right actor to cast as Bruce Banner, but Ruffalo portrayed him almost flawlessly. This success is mainly because the Hulk was not seen until the climax of the movie. Instead, the audience was able to see Banner’s complex and intuitive side.
Watching the Avengers was like reading a comic book. The shot composition gave the movie authentic feel that wasn’t expected. The action was more intense, the plot twists more surprising, and the evil Chitauri more ominous because it was as if it were being pulled from Avengers creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s minds.
The effects were explosive, to say the least. Iron Man’s suit is mechanistic. The Hulk looks as real as any other ten-foot monster could. Even the Chitauri and its monster carrier look realistic. But again, the Chitauri’s carrier could have looked less reminiscent of Transformer 3’s drilling monster that destroyed half of Chicago.
The Avengers is a movie that is worth the ten dollars to see it. With explosive action, hilarious one-liners, and a well-versed director such as Joss Whedon, The Avengers is sure to please both comic book fans and Avenger novices alike.