Like so many other people, I saw The Avengers last weekend. I went in pretty cautiously optimistic , because I have to honestly say I wasn’t too excited. I know. I should have been itching to see this film. Joss Whedon? Of course. The Avengers? Well yes. But for some reason I had been left cold by the trailers. Perhaps it had to do with being utterly disappointed with Thor. OK to be honest, I saw Thor opening weekend in 3D (ugh) after a couple of Mint Juleps (getting my Kentucky Derby on), so maybe that had something to do with it. I also was pretty lukewarm on Iron Man 2. If you asked me what it was about, I couldn’t even say. It was THAT forgettable. I did like Captain America a fair bit. But then again, it could have just been Chris Evans’ abs blurring my perception.
The trailers did little to whet my appetite as well. I just couldn’t get excited about The Avengers. Despite this, I wanted to see it to make up my mind before the hype machine went into overdrive and my expectations grew. And guess what? I liked it. No, I LOVED it. Maybe it was due to the fact that I saved my Mint Juleps until AFTER the film this year. Or maybe it was just that good. So good, that about 30 minutes in, I thought, “Hmm when can I watch this again?” This truly was the culmination of all the other Marvel films that came before it.
Some of my favorite moments were those when Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Robert Downey, Jr (Tony Stark/Iron Man) and Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America) were in the same scenes. Ruffalo and Downey killed it with their jargon-y banter while Evans plays Cap with an earnestness that I adore. The fact that all three are easy on the eyes is not to be underestimated as well. I feel like Chris Hemsworth makes a decent enough Thor, but in my opinion, he was given little to do in the film besides look good. The same could be said for Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. I’m not a huge fan of hers, but I felt she was OK in the film. I’m guessing that Whedon had to dial down his desire to make her the ass-kicking hero of the film. As a fan of Jeremy Renner, I had hoped for a bit more Hawkeye, but overall I enjoyed his performance. By the time he had his hero moments, I felt he had been Legolas-ed (hang around until there is something awesome to do with a bow and arrow). I don’t want to leave out Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson), Tom Hiddleston (Loki) and the always entertaining Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) as they were all pretty damned awesome.
The strength of this film (and what I often find lacking in other blockbuster type films) is that it had a snappy, well-written script. Thank Odin for that! I know I should have trusted that Joss Whedon would deliver, but as I get older my tendency is to not get my hopes up, else I’ll be disappointed. Of course my expectations are rather high for Prometheus. Maybe too high, but if The Avengers is a harbinger of what’s to come, I have a good feeling about this summer.