08 September 2012

The Avengers (Joss Whedon, 2012, USA)

A few weeks ago I was listening to a movie show on Chicago public radio and heard a discussion where two of the three hosts said that The Avengers was, in their opinion, the best movie of the summer. They really layed it on, too, like this thing was ripe for Oscar season or something. I was skeptical, but I ended up seeing it last night. Weirdly, I've actually seen a few of the movies that could claim it as a sequel and I found it most similar to Captain America, although it certainly pulled from all the previous films. I don't know; it was certainly better than Transformers, but these movies all seem the same to me. I liked the cast, especially Scarlet Johansson. Even though I hated The Hurt Locker, I also confess to feeling that Jeremy Renner generally adds gravity and respectability to unlikely films. I am also convinced that the guy who plays Loki in this film and Thor is secretly that annoying fur-wearing figure skater Johnny Weir.

I'm not really sure what I can say about the film. It was mostly exactly what you'd expect. The explanation for the absence of Natalie Portman wasn't very convincing, which was a little surprising. I was also pleasantly surprised that they slipped in a little political content wherein they talked about how stupid it was for everyone to be loading up on nuclear weapons. There were scenes in the film that really felt like reading a comic book, which for me wasn't a good thing. What's believable in a comic book pane isn't necessarily that believable in a more three dimensional space. The whole New York City thing was kind of odd in that the damage being done to the city would have killed thousands of people, but I guess the aliens came when all of Manhattan, tourists and all, were out on Long Island re-enacting all those media representations of weekends in the Hamptons we've been inundated with these past several years. Thank god for jitneys, I guess. Anyway, this seemed silliest when they made a big thing about getting all these people out of a city bus. And I'm like, girl, if you're having this much trouble liberating a city bus, I don't know how I can trust you to save the city from an alien invasion. And what about the thousands of people dying or being injured all around you. Anyway, it wasn't bad, was probably better than a lot of these movies, but, again, they're kind of all the same. B-

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