As a diehard comic book geek, I’m hyper-critical of all the big screen adaptations that fail to capture the spirit of their printed forebears (which is nearly every big screen adaptation). The more I know about a comic, the less likely I will enjoy the movie. (See: Green Lantern, which I loved and know little of, and X-Men: First Class, which was effing horrendous and I have over 1500 X-men related books.)
So considering I have a good collection of Captain America, Iron Man and Avengers (New Avengers, Mighty Avengers, Dark Avengers, regular Avengers, Secret Avenegers, Avengers West Coast, Great Lakes Avengers…) comics, coupled with the fact that Thor was my first favorite character, The Avengers was primed for disaster.
Two-and-a-half hours after the opening scene: WOW.
Joss Whedon, an accomplished filmmaker AND comic book writer (check his run on Astonishing X-Men) does justice to all the characters in his care. Each of the heroes get their turn in the spotlight, and it’s anything but disjointed or forced. In Marvel’s typical team-up fashion, before the good guys agree to take down evil together, they throw down with each other, and each hero-on-hero battle trumps the last. Captain America and Iron Man bicker. Hulk and Black Widow tussle. Hulk and Thor RUMBLE. Hawkeye and everyone go at it. Nobody trusts top spy Nick Fury. Aside from the action-packed, riveting infighting, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier makes an astounding debut. And all this before we even get the main course of Loki and the alien race of the Chitauri thrashing Midtown Manhattan.
Oh, and the entire film is peppered with appropriately timed one-liners and snarky quips, and some hilarious physical comedy that is somehow still in step with the unfolding drama.
I try to avoid cussing here, but seriously, FUCKING AMAZING.
This needs to be called The Fucking Amazing Avengers.