The Avengers is gold entertainment that only suffers from being too easily forgiven for all the flaws it has and for being overrated when it comes down to the general aspects of filmmaking.
Isn't it a bit awkward using one of the best one-liners in cinema history to start my review, especially for this movie? It probably is and you're probably wondering what was I smoking while writing this. Well, at the moment, nothing but terrible ideas for writing a review I guess. But to be honest, that quote serves a purpose because it tells a personal story. The Avengers may have not saved one life because hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives during these colossal action scenes that left New York in ruins but Joss Whedon saved my life after last night's screening. He saved my life because I was this close to die during this movie due to the boredom the first act of the film inflicted upon me. Thank God there are in each decent film these second and third acts that can revive us once in a while.
For me personally, The Avengers represents a clear example of why sometimes you should not judge something based only on appearance. Almost all the trailers and TV clips released during the marketing of this film left me with the idea that this movie will be a disaster dressed up in the stuffy clothes of a TV movie. My pessimism started to literally grind my insights.
The Avengers is based on a common story in which cliches keep their veracity and the denouement is a predictable one. The villain who threats our planet with massive destruction and total slavery, the rise of one or more superheroes against this evil, and this bulgy dialogue, all are ingredients of this film. All these though are to be expected when you have to deal with a movie in which you have a sea of characters that need to be nurtured and controlled. Joss Whedon's merit is not really in the story, even though it is not bad at all. There's this equipoise between all the dramatic and comedic moments and the explosive action sequences. Of course there are always exaggerations and arguments could be made regarding the limits that could have been passed at one point but all these happen during a pretty fast and stable narrative unrolling process. Nevertheless, we do have a minus here when the movie is split in two distinct parts that don't really complete one another. You have the first part in which we meet Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and we get to know his intentions, and we get to meet Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) and his plan to overcome this evil threat by bringing all the superheroes together under one big "guardianship" named The Avengers Initiative. This first part moves so campy and slow that it becomes irritating to follow. Happily, we have the second part of the film that rewards the audience with a set of explosive delights and facetious moments that will push you on the edge of your seat and will force you to taste this piece of entertainment. Whedon's magic though is not really represented within the story's theme or the story's central arc but within the almost perfect equilibrium he managed to set between all these diverse characters. There is this fluently and pleasant way of molding these heroes. This fair balance between the heroes' potential in fight showing each one of them getting their highlight on screen living few filler moments.
Of course, there are arguments here as well that could be made about Thor (Chris Hemsworth) being softly portrayed and not showing his true value or that Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) could have well made the movie as a simple waitress. Aside of that there was a really good execution of all these characters. Captain America (Chris Evans) as the on-field dedicated strategist, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) as the smart heroic act or Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) as a stiff master of precision. The star of The Avengers is, as expected, Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and not really his human alias Bruce Banner because I don't consider Ruffalo's performance that much big of a deal. Hulk had probably 80% of all the memorable scenes in this movie. It is a great mixture of animated series humor and a showcase of brute force. Speaking of acting, we have two good performances from Tom Hiddleston as the garrulous and childish Loki and Robert Downey Jr. as the flamboyant and quizzical Tony Stark. I want to add some things regarding Hiddleston's performance. Many dared to compare his performance with Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker. This seems to me to be a really outlandish and ridiculous statement. It's aberrant because the dynamic and the uniqueness of these performance are so different they're not even comparable. As for Hiddleston's strict performance, it's not his fault that the villain wasn't believable, that Loki never made you fear him or that he was too feminine in his behavior and gestures, both physical and figuratively. That's how this character is. He's childish and he acts like one. He likes show-off only when his superiority is clear. Tom did what he could with this character and he proved me he was a good choice for it.
There's also this one thing that scared me during the marketing of this movie and it really made me have low expectations for this: the visual style. I was afraid the quality of the cinematography will very much be TV-like, the texture would be too cartoonish or that the action scenes will have no sense of geography. Even though it isn't really the case, the movie could have looked so much better since there is this huge discrepancy between the great and the really grotesque technical traits. Technically it is a very unstable piece of filmmaking and the minuses can be overlooked only during the movie due to the explosiveness and diversity of the scenes. However, the visual effects are impressive, basically the best technical achievement. The huge disappointment comes from Alan Silvestri who's guilty for not providing this classic amalgam of heroes a great musical presentation. There's no feelings in the music, no emotion, no excitement. It's a piece of music that is brutal to me and it reminded me of the early 90s mediocre action films that had this chaotic and over the top score. Hopefully, the producers will consider taking someone else and go for something different, something really worthy of such a good Marvel displayment.
Overall, The Avengers is a good example of pure entertainment in which there's a good balance not only between the characters and their actions but also between all the dramatic and comedic scenes and the well-handled action scenes. Even though it's technically really unstable, the film compensates with a decent script, good performances, and memorable scenes which veils this movie in this exciting tumult. The Avengers only suffers from being too easily forgiven for all the flaws it has and for being really over-hyped and even overrated, especially when it comes down to the general aspects of filmmaking.
Technical Execution: 7.6
Replay Value: 9.0