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Movie Review: “The Avengers”

Grade: A

In one of the most ambitious blockbusters of all-time, “The Avengers” does not disappoint.

Starring Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, “The Avengers” epitomizes a star-studded cast.

The film takes place shortly after 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger” but has also been set up through multiple Marvel franchise’s beginning with “Iron Man” back in 2008.

The lead villain Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, has made a pact with a mysterious being that would proclaim him ruler of Earth if he can obtain the Tesseract, a cube of pure power. When Loki comes to Earth and the covert stealth agency SHIELD discovers his plot to enslave Earth, they call upon Earths’ mightiest heroes to defend it. But Loki and his army of Chitauri aren’t the only things standing in “The Avengers” way. They must learn to work together, as a team, in order to defeat Loki. They’ll all be pushed to their breaking points as some of the closest people to them fall at the hands of a madman.

“The Avengers” is everything a comic book fan, like myself, could possibly dream of and is also highly enjoyable for the casual moviegoer.

The writing for this film was more than superb. It gave life to the story and characters and separated it from a comic book film and made it something much more believable.

The witty banter of Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man (Downey Jr.) provides a lighthearted feel that will keep the audience laughing through the whole film. On the other hand, the serious tone of Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America (Evans) really emphasizes the seriousness of the situation that threatens Earth.

It’s a really great combination from the whole cast that enables the film to flow so well. It appeared the cast worked very well together as relationships, whether tense or calm, seemed natural. Only a cast of amazing actors, such as those in “The Avengers,” could pull off big time roles in this way.

Ruffalo as the Hulk was the subject of much talk and controversy before the film was ever released. Taking over the role of Bruce Banner from Edward Norton, who played the Hulk in “The Incredible Hulk,” Ruffalo had some mighty big shoes to fill.

When “The Avengers” was released there wasn’t a review out there that didn’t hail Ruffalo, “as stealing the show.” And the reviews were spot on.

Ruffalo provided an amazing performance as an always-cautious Banner, afraid that at any moment the uncontrollable rage of the Hulk would burst out of him. Banner fights an inner battle with himself to control the rage while learning that he can also control it. Ruffalo projects that inner battle perfectly and near the end of the film realizes that he can control the power not because the anger takes control of him but because, in the words of Bruce Banner, “I’m always angry.”

The one disappointment I found with the film was the lack of screen time certain characters had, specifically Thor and Captain America.

Thor (Hemsworth), god of thunder, brother of Loki, has been sent to Earth to stop his brother and bring him back to their home in Asgard to answer for his crimes. With all that concealed within one character the film didn’t place as much emphasis on the character to express how serious the situation was for Thor personally. At times there are a few lines that reveal what he’s thinking, but I feel as if it should’ve emphasized a greater inner battle with Thor to either kill his brother or capture him and bring him back to Asgard.

Captain America (Evans), a war hero frozen in time, awoken in the future and eventual leader of “The Avengers” was rather underplayed. As the leader, I thought greater emphasis would’ve been put on him to embrace his role, but I felt as if the film played with the notion that Cap has been asleep for 70 years and hasn’t quite adjusted to the future a little too much. I wanted to see a more dynamic role from Cap, but perhaps in “The Avengers 2,” I will.

“The Avengers” is the best comic movie of all time. With amazing writing, a star studded cast and some runaway performances, “The Avengers” is the total package. And while some characters don’t get the greatest amount of attention, it doesn’t hinder the movie in any way.

“The Avengers” has already broken the highest opening weekend mark set by “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2” grossing a total of $200.3 million over three days.

I’d also say watch out for “The Avengers” to take over the highest grossing movie of all time currently held by Avatar at $2.7 billion.

Remember to stay after the credits for some extras scenes. If you don’t, you’ll be very disappointed.

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