Sunday, May 13, 2012

Second Opinion - Marvel's The Avengers

Previously, this blog called The Avengers “the best comic book movie ever.” This week, I was asked to write a second opinion after seeing the movie a second time, but in 3-D IMAX. And in the case of The Avengers, bigger does mean better.

Prior to seeing the Avengers, I considered Spider-Man 2 to be the best comic book movie I had seen. But a second viewing of The Avengers only confirms that it is hands above and beyond that film. And a lot of credit has to go to Joss Whedon, who wrote and directed The Avengers. Whedon not only builds upon the foundation laid down in the five prequels, but the writing is smart and balances humor along with a lot of action. Humor is not something I would have associated with the Incredible Hulk or Thor, but Whedon makes it work very well.

While a lot of credit should go to Whedon, the actors deserve a fair share of the praise as well. Many of them are reprising roles they had previously played. Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) have all have played their parts before, but they are not delegated to sketches of their former selves. In some cases, as with Hawkeye and Black Widow, their parts are expanded from prior appearances. Everyone is significant in this film.

The only major part that is not a reprise for the actor is Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk. Previously played on the screen by Eric Bana (Hulk) and Edward Norton (The Incredible Hulk), the Hulk was never much of a character. Humorless and one-dimensional in previous screen appearances, Ruffalo manages to round out the character, making him funny and likeable. Where was Ruffalo when those other films were made?

The Avengers definitely delivers and delivers big. If you haven’t seen The Avengers, then you need to see it. And if you’ve seen it in 2-D, then make an effort to see it in 3-D and IMAX while you can. It is one of the few summer movies that is well worth a second viewing.

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