Back in 2008, Marvel Studios began a journey. They decided to self-finance a movie of one of their most popular franchises, Iron Man; a huge success. Next came The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and finally Captain America. Each one of these movies served a purpose. Not only to introduce (or in The Incredible Hulk‘s case, re-introduce) their title characters, but also to lay the ground work for a movie so many comic book fan-boys were hoping for. An Avengers movie.
The Avengers is not just a comic book movie. Since it’s almost a sequel in a way, it helps to have seen the aforementioned films. Without spoiling the movie, the film, in short is about a group of heroes that save the world. The twist is how Joss Whedon tells the story. An advantage of the movie is that, due the prior Marvel movies (mentioned earlier), character development isn’t really required. Essentially we’ve had a little over 10 hours of character development, which may be a big factor in its success. The movie is basically a sequel of four separate successful movies combined into one.
Personally, when I found out that Joss Whedon had been chosen to not only direct, but also write the screenplay, I couldn’t believe it. The man responsible for some of my favorite TV shows (Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.), award winning comic book writer (Astonishing X-Men, Fray, etc.) and self-professed fan boy was going to create a movie that he was perfect for. If you’re at all a fan of his prior body of work, the movie manages to combine all the things you liked about what he’s done in the past. In many of his TV shows, while there may be a title character, the shows are more about the team, than a single character. In describing the Avengers original comic book series, he said “In those comics these people shouldn’t be in the same room let alone on the same team – and that is the definition of family.” With a writer/director having that much knowledge and understanding of the source material, how could he not be the one to write/direct this movie. Joss manages to combine edge-of-your seat action, touching drama and perfectly timed comedy. Comedy that will have you rolling int the aisles. Some of the best humor comes towards the finale and is delivered by a most unexpected source, the Hulk.
One thing I must point out is Alan Silvestri’s wonderful score. The music of the movie is not only a collection of the separate signature musical themes of the prior films, but he manages to create a single musical theme based on elements of each of the previous themes.
To be honest, I can’t help wanting to talk about all my favorite parts of the movie, but in doing so I would spoil it and present far too long a review. The Avengers is not only THE movie to start off the summer blockbuster season of movies, but it is by far the BEST comic book movie I have ever seen. Before I saw the movie, I was told it does for Marvel what Christopher Nolan did for DC’s Batman franchise. That, my friend, is an understatement.