This review is Spoiler Free! Though to really comment on some issues I kind of need some spoilers but I'm going save them for another post and another time.
But this weekend we got a sitter, gave Kaylee another bottle, and trekked out to see the 11 AM matinee. This is relevant because my thought was "Who on earth is going to get their backsides out of bed on a Sunday morning to go see a movie?"
Apparently an entire theater of people. For the first time in a long time there were ushers leaning in to ask "are you saving those seats for someone in the theater?" and "Can you please all move in a seat?" What we did not get was the "Okay, this is a full house, so NO SAVING!" announcement. But still every seat got used.
Let's start with expectations:
I expected a movie with a lot of high caliber, high intensity, special effects heavy fights. I expected a lot of zippy dialogue given that the script was written by Joss Whedon. I expected for there to be a lot of inner-team fighting before they got their acts together and gave Loki the butt-kicking he deserves. I expected some stuff about Cap's being a man out of time, about Hawkeye and the Black Widow being non-powered, and lots of Tony Stark being an insufferable snot. Oh, and I expected Thor to sound like Thor.
I got what I expected in spades.
What I love about these movies, even though they're still too action intense for kids, is that they're still getting into what makes the great classic hero stories great: Heroes do the right things at the right time for the right reasons. And at the end of the day, even if they fudge it a little, there are still great evils out there for them to fight. And they do so.
There are no great ethical delimas in The Avengers. A small touch of some greying around the temples, maybe, but really, the good guys are, at their hearts, the good guys, the bad guys are the bad guys, and the good guys are gonna let them have it.
The action was spot on, and the opening scenes with the Black Widow vs 3 Russian thugs, while tied to a chair gave me Buffy Flashbacks. Downy remains perfect as Tony Stark, and no one really phones in a bad performance. Chris Evans is Captain America, the patriotic soldier through and through.
Oh, Agent Hill, played by Cobie Smulders was a solid addition to SHIELD even though I kept waiting for her to make a comment about Canada. Smulders is better known to me as Robin from How I Met Your Mother which we have been following for years. I felt bad because it did take me a moment to recalibrate my brain from Robin to Agent Hill.
Compared to other Marvel stories, The Avengers, so far, isn't about dealing with a world that doesn't want "Mutants". Perhaps part of that is that none of them really are. Caps is a super soldier (and clearly a good guy), Thor's a god (who comes and goes), Black Widow and Hawkeye are just super trained spies, and Ironman/ Tony Stark is just a really well financed playboy. Only The Hulk stands apart as a mutant and his "difference" is clear, but well considered in the story.
What I wanted (and I think most going to see this), the movie delivered. We cheered, we laughed, we froze with horror. It was an experience and throughout the last 10 minutes there were multiple people joining me in pumping my fist in the air in triumph.
It was a good day to stand for Earth.