Avengers, Assemble!

This is a translation of a text published in the newspaper on May 6th 2012.

Like I said on Facebook previously, even before watching the movie, here goes a spoiler for you: THIS MOVIE IS DAMN GOOD. Instead of giving out major details, I should just keep finding different ways to say the movie is cool, fun, good, excellent, outstanding, swell, super-duper-awesomenator, effin’ wonderful, sublime, excelso (that’s latin for you, kids), distinguished, prominent, splendind, superb. I’d like to congratulate Joss Whedon, this outstanding character, for delivering me the movie I wanted to watch. Millimetrically accurate on what I wanted to watch.

Just in case you were living in another planet for the past few months, this is the deal: In the last few years, Marvel Studios has been releasing various movies, all box-office hits, weaving the tales of different super heroes: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Hulk. With these, various supporting characters: Black Widow, Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Agent Coulson, among others. In all movies, one theme in common: these are set in the same universe, repeatedly making reference to common facts, in some cases, even direct reference to stuff we say onscreen in another movie. And here, assembled masterfully by Joss Whedon, scriptwriter for Titan A.E., Captain America, and creator of Buffy and Firefly and comic book writer. With such a résumé, it’s no surprise the result came out so well. Ah, and the movie is something about an invasion spearheaded by Loki. Who is much more well defined now, albeit much more black-on-white evil. And now he seeks to bring the Chitauri, an alien race that wishes to enslave humans, to invade Earth, dominate it, et cetera. It’s exactly a surprising motivation, but I wasn’t expecting an award-winning story: I was expecting explosions, super-heroic brawlery, explosions, one-liners, explosions, and super-heroic brawlery. And boy, did I receive large doses of each.

It’s quite hard maintaining a train of though and not get lost screaming “NNNNNNNNNNNGAAAAAAAH, AVENGERS, EXPLOSIONS, ALIENS, GAAAAAH!!!”. Because The Avengers is not what I expected. It is more. It is more because, besides one tiny flaw or another, my biggest fear (that could make the film a bit so-so) ended up not coming to life. But I’ll do like the Slayer song goes, and go piece-by-piece: the main “problem” with the movie are its villains. You see, for those who are familiarized with Marvel’s Ultimate universe, the Chitauri are old acquaintances. For those who aren’t… they are the lame excuse for the heroes to have someone to beat the crap out of, without mercy. And when I say without mercy, I mean: Withouth. Mercy. But I digress: in the comic universe, they’re a much bigger threat, with a more deeply developed motivation. It’s about the same thing: they want to dominate the weak and oppressed. But it is a bit more elaborated than that, they wish to eliminate free will in the universe, et cetera, and that generates conflict of galactic proportions, and I’m not quoting Star Wars here.

At least, this meagre importance in the villains is compensated with the ideal balance between the aforementioned brawlery, and the constant comedy in perfect doses, enough not to mess with the movie’s tone, but still enough to make the whole room fill with delightful laughter. That, and the interaction between the main characters is enough for everyone to have their own moment to shine. Which is when I get to my biggest fear: I was afraid that Downey Jr.would what he does best, and steal the movie for himself. Which he does not. Who ends up stealing the spotlight is The Hulk. Not Mark Ruffalo as Dr Banner: The Hulk. I won’t go into detail, obviously, so I don’t mess with the fun, but his are some of the best scenes during the movie.

So, in the end, that is exactly what I expected: as we saw other movies, there’s no time wasted with introductions here. Only when the Captain and Iron Man meet for the first time, which is another great scene, and not at all a waste of time. Plus that seconds later everyone’s beating the living shit out of something, in over two hours of the most non-stop, pleasurable, explosive fun I’ve had in the past couple of years.

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