Last Wednesday night, I was graciously invited to a preview screening of The Avengers that took place on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, CA. Today I am finally able to share with you my personal thoughts on the film. As you may know, I have been really anxious and excited about this Avengers film for months. When I first heard that Joss Whedon would be writing and directing the film, I damn near lost my shizz. No, I actually lost my shizz with frantic anticipation. So it is with GREAT pleasure that I am able to share with you how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE this film. Click below to find out what I think of the film … I promise to keep my comments 100% spoiler-free.
Full disclosure … I am DC Comics fan. Ever since I was able to watch, read and play with comic book character TV shows, comic books and toys I have always LOVED characters like Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, etc. The Super Friends (ie. The Justice League) will forever be my favorite group of superheroes saving the world. BUT, I have lots of love for the Marvel Comics characters and the superhero group The Avengers. In all honesty, my love and interest for The Avengers hit an all-time high when I learned that Joss Whedon would be making the Avengers film. I have always been a Whedon fan, I will forever be a Whedon fan. My love for his work does not come from blind devotion, nor does it come from my intense love for only one of his projects (like, say, Buffy the Vampire Slayer). My love and respect for his work comes from his talent and ability to connect with the people that get him and his brand of humor, intelligence and respect for comic book culture. Believe me when I say that The Avengers is a Joss Whedon film. All of that insanely smart humor that he is known for is packed into The Avengers. There is action, oh yes, but you will spend much of your time laughing uproariously out loud thruout the film as well. The audience at my screening laughed so hard, so loudly for so much of the movie, I missed hearing some of the follow-up jokes from time to time. But … enough about Joss … let’s talk about The Avengers.
I was very surprised to see how much Scarlett Johansson‘s character Black Widow featured in the film. I went in thinking that she would be one of the minor characters. That was my mistake, in retrospect, I should’ve realized that Whedon has much love and does everything he can to focus on and feature strong female characters. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much Mark Ruffalo‘s character Bruce Banner was featured in the film. Everyone expects to see The Hulk all the time … but we get to see a good portion of Bruce Banner, played expertly by Ruffalo. As you may know, there are LOTS of big actors and characters all starring in this film — Robert Downey, Jr.‘s Iron Man, Chris Evans‘s Captain America, Chis Hemsworth‘s Thor, Jeremy Renner‘s Hawkeye and Samuel L. Jackson‘s Nick Fury — not to mention Tom Hiddleston‘s villainous Loki. You might think that juggling all of these characters in the same film might be confusing or messy but, again, I have to give Joss Whedon props for knowing how to utilize everyone to their maximum effectiveness without taking away from anyone else. And, again, I have to refer back to Whedon‘s success helming big ensemble casts — like in Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, etc. The movie studio knew what they were doing when they cast this film and its director. They had the foresight to realize how it could all come together and work.
There are so many great comedic scenes, so many action scenes and one ore two flat out surprises (one in particular kinda made me cry, honestly) that I don’t really know what to focus on specifically in this review. In general terms, I was just very impressed with The Avengers because of how entertaining it is in every way. My advice is to see this film when it opens this Friday, then see it again to pick up all the things you may have missed the first time around. Make sure you stay in the theater until after the credits — as you might have guessed, there is an extra scene at the very very end that points us in the direction of the next film (and it is a very satisfying sneak peek). I truly believe that longtime fans of the comic book series will be pleased, Whedon fans will be OVER THE MOON and even casual folks who are interested in The Avengers for the first time will be thoroughly entertained by this film. I’m really excited to see the movie again. I think you should be excited, too.