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Monday, November 26, 2012

The Avengers (2012) - Top Superhero Flick to Date

The Grand Culmination of Earth's Battle Against Invaders

Film poster The Avengers 2012

Marvel Studios has been on a roll for many years now churning out its comic book films, and Disney's purchase of them at the end of 2009 did not slow it down at all.  "The Avengers" (2012), the first Mavel film distributed by Disney, is also the first film of any kind to gross $200 million in its first three days in the USA, and the first Marvel film to make $1 Billion. Obviously, 'The Avengers" hit a nerve with the public, and several other potential blockbusters such as "Iron Man 3" and films devoted to Captain America and Anti-Man that were in development also looked likely to capture the public's imagination.

Renner, Johansson and Evans in character as The Avengers 2012
Captain America leads the team into battle.
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) heads S.H.I.E.L.D., which patrols the world to keep the peace.  The Asgardian (sort of an alternate universe) Loki (Tom Hiddleston) wants to subjugate the earth, and he thinks he has the chance after the Other (leader of an extraterrestrial race known as the Chitauri) gives him an army in exchange for a favor.

The Incredible Hulk in The Avengers 2012
The Incredible Hulk helps out.
The favor that Loki intends to do for the Other is retrieve the Tesseract, a powerful energy source of unknown potential.  S.H.I.E.L.D. has the Tesseract, and doesn't intend to give it up.  Loki, however, manages to grab it with the help of Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), whom he has enslaved through mind control, and Fury calls up the Avengers, ordinary people who turn into superheroes in moments of crisis.

Loki in The Avengers 2012
Our Villain, Loki.
Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.),  Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) manage to capture Loki.  Loki's adoptive brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth), though, arrives and frees Loki.  However, Thor agrees to take Loki to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters on a flying aircraft carrier called the "Hellcarrier."  The Avengers then try to recover the Tesseract.

Evans, Johansson and Renner in The Avengers 2012
The Black Widomaking sure her hair is ready for some alien ass-kicking.
Barton and some other Loki comrades manage to disable the Hellcarrier, and he escapes after killing Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), though Black Widow recovers Barton.  Loki then commences his invasion using a portal created by the Tesseract to bring down the Chitauri fleet.

Thor in The Avengers 2012
The main characters are either muscular or pretty or both.
The battle then takes place around New York City, and the Avengers battle to close the portal and subdue Loki.  The battle rages as the Avengers fight to save their home.

Scarlett Johansson in her black catsuit as Black Widow in The Avengers 2012
"I've got my cat moves...."
The acting in this film is superb.  Robert Downey, Jr. is quite amusing at times, and Scarlett Johansson livens things up with her skin-tight catsuit.  Tom Hiddleston is very scary as Loki, and the Avengers themselves squabble amongst themselves as they try to figure out the best way to defeat Loki and his army of mercenaries.

Scarlett Johansson from behind in her black catsuit in The Avengers 2012
"The Avengers" is very scenic.
If you follow the various Marvel films, you will know that "The Avengers" is the culmination of the story that began in the original Iron Man and continued through the various Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America movies.  This film ties everything together and is a grand climax of a string of blockbuster films.

Scarlett Johansson with her legs spread wide in her black catsuit as Black Widow in The Avengers 2012
The Black Widow prepared to do battle.
The film is fast-paced and just over 2 hours.  Director Joss Whedon, better known for his television work, injects his usual clever banter and air of mystery into the proceedings.  Everybody gets their fair share of screen time, and some exposition is given to characters such as Black Widow that might have been under-developed.

Scarlett Johansson lying down in her black catsuit in The Avengers 2012
"Frankly, Scarlett, I don't.... Oh wait, wrong classic.
The visuals in "The Avengers" are what make it special. You get all sorts of wonderful views of destruction and devastation, giving a real feel for what war is like.

Thor and Captain America survey the destruction

The film is full of great characterizations, and the grand finale is one of the great action sequences in film history.  Any fan of comic book characters will want to see this film, though it will be even more enjoyable if you first have watched the other Marvel films mentioned above.

Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff
Scarlett Johansson transforms nicely from Natasha Romanoff to the Black Widow. One can follow the characterization from the "Iron Man" films and see great continuity.

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow
Of course, the real draw to Black Widow is the fact that Scarlett fills out her catsuit quite nicely. That's something they can't really teach in acting school.

Hawkeye adn Black Widow
The characters all interact together well. If you have read the comic books, you can see that the spirit of Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye and the rest really infuses the characters in "The Avengers."

Black Widow running through the ruined city

But this isn't "My Dinner with Andre." It is a real action piece, the culmination of several different threads into one great coming-together. Nothing like this ever has been done in Hollywood before, and it may be a long time before they try it again. But it works here, marvelously. :)

Hawkeye thinking things over
"The Avengers" was so successful that it led to the television premiering in fall 2013 called "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." starring Clark Gregg. Any fan of comics, or the characters, or just of modern action movies has to see "The Avengers" at some point. It is an epic period on the superhero age, the ultimate superhero movie, and its like won't be seen again for a long time.

Below is the official trailer for "The Avengers."


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