The Avengers

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L-R: The Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Capt. America, Black Widow, Nick Fury

I saw The Avengers twice last week. I had high expectations about this film because of all the hype (from Iron Man to Captain America) and thankfully, I enjoyed it to the point of guilt and eventually, to the point of no guilt.

For those of you who, like me, hardly know anything about this Marvel… thing (cue the how-could-you!? gasps and sighs), The Avengers are a team of superheroes – Captain America, The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye – put together by an organization called S.H.I.E.L.D. (short for Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate). The Avengers Program has been proposed to protect the Earth from major threats like, well, extraterrestrial bad guys who wish to conquer the planet and pretty much screw the humans up.

In the context of the film’s plot, the bad guy is Loki (brother of Thor, adopted) and he believes that his forces are the boot and the humans are the ants. Trample, trample. In order to conquer the Earth, his forces have to invade it. Before any invasion happens, the gateway connecting the Earth and wherever his forces are must be opened. To open this, Loki needs the tesseract (a blue, cubed object which is an energy source). Lots of hustling and bustling happen because of the tesseract and if you want to find out what happens, go see the movie for yourself because I’m not spoiling more details.

Two words: I enjoyed. Visually, it’s sex. No, really. Hollywood has this huge tendency to create bombast with their sophisticated SFX technology and falling into this tendency is required for a film like The Avengers. Seeing Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) in his suit was just mouthwatering. [Aside: Despite being SFX-free, seeing Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) with or without her suit was equally mouthwatering. I’m just saying.] The floating fortress was a breathtaking sight and the Yoshimitsuesque aliens were very believable. Excellent work, Kevin Feige.

My admiration demands that I next laud the screenplay (Zack Penn & Joss Whedon). There were moments when I, along with the audience, had to break into peels of laughter because of the dialogue. I always appreciate intelligent and witty humour, which the script was rich with. This played a huge factor in my viewing pleasure.

Plot-wise, I found the flow a bit plain but it’s alright. Why? Because narrative isn’t the point of this film. When you watch a movie like The Avengers, you look out for the action, effects and the badassness of the superheroes. If you want glaring complexity and profundity, there’s always “Inception.” Or “Happy Feet” if you’re in an altered state of mind.

Music lovers will also delight in the classic rock references. (Hint: hard rock in a song and a shirt.) I actually listened to some records again soon after watching. That earned the movie brownie points from my rocker friends and myself. Bravo, what a thrill.

This film was definitely a highlight of my week. I’m not exactly a movie buff or critic, but I know what I like and don’t like. The Avengers easily falls into the former. Heck, I’ll probably buy the DVD once it comes out. As for you, I highly recommend that you see it if you haven’t. Or watch it a second time if your inner hedonist insists.

4/5

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