MOVIE REVIEW/CONFESSION: We Weren't That Impressed With 'The Avengers'

Loki avengersLoki, you have nothing on the rest of this summer’s baddies.

Photo: Disney / Marvel

And, here we go.The onslaught of summer blockbusters began last night with the midnight premiere of “The Avengers.” We went out to catch the flick, and no matter how much we wanted to, we just didn’t love it.

Skip ahead to see what worked>
The Marvel team spent nearly two hours trying to assemble before getting to the good stuff. Really. There was so much unnecessary back-and-forth dialogue we nearly fell asleep at one point just past the one hour mark. We suppose what we missed wasn’t important because it didn’t seem to affect the plot. 

Is it fun to watch? Sure, however, it’s also incredibly frustrating. More than the first half of the “Avengers” is like watching a dysfunctional family dish out their beef on cable television.

We knew from the trailers there would be a disjoint between the testosterone laden male heroes; however, we didn’t think the melodramatic superheroes would bicker on screen forever. 

When it takes a death to realise you should probably start working together, you may want to reassess handing in your superhero badge.

As for the bad guy, Loki, he’s nothing more than a whiny, wimpy delinquent brother of Thor who reminds us of Crispin Glover‘s creepy villain from “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.” Also, from some angles he reminds us of Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

crispin gloverLoki is essentially Crispin Glover from the Charlie’s Angels sequel … minus the rat … and the fancy martial arts.

Photo: screengrab

The film played off of all the heroes’ cliche modelings the majority of the film. It’s a simple formula. Robert Downey Jr. delivers a witty one liner, cue joke regarding Captain America’s 70 year absence, Thor winds up and throws hammer, cut to Loki looking creepy, Scarlett Johansson … appears, insert Hulk “smash,” Hawkeye shoots something from more and more ridiculous angles and Samuel L. Jackson, we mean Nick Fury, spits out an absurd line of dialogue. 

It’s a slight letdown considering the immense trailer lineup—”The Expendables 2,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Battleship,” etc. (Sidenote: “The Dark Knight Rises” trailer looks EVEN BETTER on the big screen.) The non-stop flowing action had us pumped for more superhero thrashing than Marvel could provide.  

The last half hour of the film is enjoyable to watch. It’s what we came to the theatre to see. When the gang starts playing nice they shine. Our hearts begin accelerating watching the team manoeuvre majestically together. We wish there was more of this. 

Though there was some disappointment, there were many good things from the “Avengers,” but, it’s everything we expected after the numerous trailers and clips. Regardless, your inner fanboy should be pleased. There are two or three brief shocking moments; however, don’t expect any giant take aways or tag lines that you’ll be saying for years to come. 

We’re so serious.

Loki's opening fighting sequence.

About five minutes into the film, we get an awesome action scene with Loki taking down S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives from the inside single handed. It is amazing.

Soak it up because this is about all of the serious fighting action you'll see for the next hour and 40 minutes.

Other than that, he's exactly as we described him: a sniveling, selfish, cowardly brat.

In the film, he's portrayed as one of those villains who's all talk, no game--save the first scene (why didn't we get more of THAT Loki?). Think of Loki as Hugo Strange once Batman finally confronts him in Arkham City. (Skip to 3:00 and you'll see what we mean.)

The action sequences between Loki and his brother Thor reminds one of the power struggle between Scar and Mufasa in 'The Lion King.' This shows especially during their final confrontation late in the film.

The Hulk

The best part of this film hands down is Mark Ruffalo's take on The Hulk.

As awesome as Ruffalo is as the big green meanie, though, his version of Bruce Banner seemed a bit awkward and distant, similar to Monk. Anytime, he came in contact with people he awkwardly shrunk away. Understandable. We wouldn't want to get worked up by others; however, he works with people every day.

We're not saying he was awful, because he wasn't. He has his moments--onscreen with Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. However, it's clear Ruffalo's version of the Hulk was incorporated for only one reason ... to smash.

And, every scene where he's thrashing about is flawless. Unfortunately, 'The Avengers' misses the mark by failing to show there's more to the Hulk than berserk brute strength. Ruffalo's Hulk also suffers from inconsistencies in his character. Sometimes it appears the Hulk doesn't have an inkling who his comrades are, trying to take them down. Near the end, he suddenly is able to take orders while transformed. It doesn't quite make sense.

Suffice to say while we enjoyed Ruffalo, Edward Norton did it best. Sorry Mark.

Anytime Scarlett Johansson fights on screen.

We didn't think anything would top the clip of Black Widow fighting the government agents in this released clip prior to the film's opening.

While nothing may, Johansson's cobbling Hawkeye and locking legs around alien necks is pretty hot.

We would have opted to see her in more of the film ... or less than just that black suit at least.

Thor thrashing Hulk, Hulk smashing Thor.

When you see it, you'll know what we're talking about and you'll die laughing.

Every scene with Iron Man

It's no shocker Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark really brings this cast together.

Up until he makes his initial appearance with Captain America, the film was beginning to drag. (We can only watch Loki and Captain America punch themselves sore to a stalemate for so long.)

It's refreshing when Stark appears on screen and delivers his witty one liners. However, the film becomes so reliant on this strength of Stark's dialogue that it almost begins to feel overused--not quite--but almost.

Mini-spoiler: Surely, this wasn't meant to be in the film; however, there's one part in the movie where it appears as if all hope may be lost for the good guys, and there's a zoom in on a pilot carrying a nuclear missile who's ready to do what's necessary to ensure a victory for Team America ... a.k.a. blow up the island of Manhattan.

It's reminiscent of the scene in 'Star Wars: Episode III' where the Jedi are falling and Emperor Palpatine announces to execute order 66.

See it yourself and tell me I'm wrong.

Stay after the credits.

We didn't need to tell you, though. Marvel's been doing this for years.

The best part of the film, wasn't even the movie ...

It was running into a group dressed as the actual Marvel gang.

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