I went with some friends the other day to see The Avengers. Before the movie premiered, we were all a little nervous that the film was going to be a cash in and not live up to expectations. Once critic reviews started pouring in, we were all able to breathe a sigh of relief. The movie has performed phenomenally at the box office, and for good reason. It is quick, witty, action packed and doesn't lose sight of its characters in the process.
Nearly all of the Marvel characters that comprise the Avengers, save Hawkeye and the Black Widow, have had their own recent standalone movies, which have also done well for the most part. This allowed for the majority of these complex character's personalities to be fleshed out prior to this newest film. This is what worried my friends and myself initially, that these characters who had been established well would be quickly thrown together in something that a huge target of fans would obligatorily see in some unpolished mess. With the limited time a movie can feasibly run, it isn't easy to pull off multiple main characters without it coming off stale, or leaving them undeveloped, which fortunately isn't the case with this film. One of the most interesting aspects of the film and also a big reason why it succeeds, is the portrayal of these big dynamic character's clashing personalities thrust together and forced to interact with one another. At this point we all know that Captain America stands for things like justice, order, and good old fashion values. We know Iron Man is quick witted and too smart for his own good. This creates a scenario for conflict. We know the Hulk, or Bruce Banner rather, is also a brilliant scientist, which runs parallel to Tony Stark's intellect and could serve to create a connection between them, or perhaps rivalry. The interactions between the character's are pulled off carefully and yet effortlessly.
Speaking of Bruce Banner, many people are voicing their opinions about the Hulk in the Avengers. People almost universally concur it is one of the best portrayals of the Hulk in film as of late. It combines the charm and wit of the Bruce Banner character with the tension and nervousness that he could transform into the uncontrollable beast at a seconds whim. In this regard the Hulk overall works better as a supporting character in the Avengers, than both of his recent standalone films.
The villain of the film is Loki, Thor's brother. This to me is pretty much a necessity, because although I'm not overly familiar with the source material in regards to the Avengers, what on Earth could possibly challenge this team composition? Due to the success of the film, there is already a sequel in the works. If it is done as well as this film, I can't wait to see it. If you're a fan of these superheroes, or entertaining films in general, do yourself a favor and see it!