The Avengers - Clash of the EgosMay 4, 2012 @ 11:45 am (Updated: 6:05 pm - 5/4/12 )
(2012 - MVLFF LLC)
We already know "The Avengers" is going to make a fortune, because it already has overseas (265 million dollars in its first week abroad.). Some are speculating it has a decent chance to break the all-time biggest domestic opening weekend in history (the Harry Potter finale, at just over 169 million.)
The pleasant surprise here is just how entertaining this popcorn movie is. "The Avengers" successfully manages to squeeze in seven super-heroes into a single film. Since most of these heroes have already been introduced in their own movies - Thor and Captain America last summer, The Hulk before that, and Iron Man already has two films to his credit - "The Avengers" doesn't have to waste any time filling in anyone's backstory. Throw in top-notch assassins Hawkeye and Black Widow, and the leader of the pack, Nick Fury, and you have a superhero all-star line- up.
In this movie, they have to band together to fight off an alien invasion led by demi-god Loki, the pissed-off brother of Thor. It's sibling rivalry raised to the level of interplanetary combat.
This may all sound like the biggest bunch of malarkey imaginable, and of course it is, but what makes it worth watching is the clash of these titanic personalities - not with the villain, mind you, but among themselves. Forget clash of the titans, this is clash of the egos.
You see, each of our superheroes is used to commanding the stage all by him or herself. Teamwork is not a concept that goes down easily for any of them. In fact, over half of the movie is taken up with good-guy-on-good-guy violence --- knock-down drag-out fights between Thor and Iron Man and Captain America, and clashes between Black Widow, Hawkeye, and The Hulk. It's a clever way to recreate the kind of conversations every kid who loves comic books always has with his friends: Who would win in a fight between (name any two superheroes)?
Most of this on-screen rivalry is physical but verbal spats keep breaking out too and Iron Man usually gets the best of those exhanges. In fact, Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man is crucial to the film's success. His snarky sense of humor lightens the tone whenever the movie is in danger of being overwhelmed by the earnestness of Thor and Captain America. (When Iron Man first sets eyes on Thor, for instance, he makes some disparaging comment about looking like he wandered away from "Shakespeare in the Park.")
Obviously the smart talk plays second fiddle to the mayhem and the movie eventually devolves into a climactic (Transformers-like) CGI battle that's way too long. But up until that too-long-a-climax, "The Avengers" script seems happy just to have us hang out with all these disparate and distinctive powerhouse characters. And so are we.
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