Ever since the original Iron Man film came out in the summer of 2008, Marvel has been teasing the ultimate superhero film, The Avengers. Now in 2012, Marvel along with Walt Disney Pictures brings this story to life.
If names such as Tony Stark, Loki, or Black Widow seem foreign to you, then you have to get ready to do some homework before you hit the theaters as the Avengers is actually the sixth film in the Marvel series.
The plot itself is pretty simple. After being defeated in Thor, Loki is dead set on revenge and finds himself in a position to help an alien race arrive and take over the Earth. With humanity hanging in the balance, the covert agency S.H.I.E.LD. activates the "Avenger Initiative" as earth's final hope.
With each Marvel film becoming more and more successful, the core fan base of the series has grown from just the die-hard fans to the casual movie goer who has not even read a single Marvel comic book. In the past, each film in the series has kept this in mind and pleased both camps which have ultimately led to their success.
However, this time around, Director Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly), being a comic book fan himself, seems to have let himself "geek" out possibly a bit too much on the set. While movie-fans who have seen all five films or comic book fans will be able to sit back and welcome back old friends, the casual movie goer might have a hard time jumping right into this film.
Gone are the three-dimensional, fleshed-out characters such as alcoholic Tony Stark or the ever-thoughtful Steve Rogers -- they are replaced with cardboard cutouts that are cartoonish and one dimensional -- while the other films in the series tried to stay grounded and a reality. The Avengers hold nothing back and expect you to come fully into another world. That being said, Whedon's original cut of the film was over 30 minutes longer and contain more of the back story that seemed to be lacking from this film.
However, if you are not looking for character development and just non-stop action with your favorite superhero, then this is your ticket as it is non-stop-eye candy. The action starts up within the first few minutes of the film and only lets up so they can set the stage for the action piece.
If you are a fan of Joss Whedon's smart comedic wit, then you will not be disappointed. The script, penned by Zack Penn (X-Men 3, The Incredible Hulk) and Joss Whedon, is full of one-liners that will have even the most jaded person laughing in their seats.
Like most productions these days, The Avengers was converted to 3D in the post processing of the film, and just like other films of this era that are "up-converted to 3D", it diminishes the value of true 3D films. Other than a few scenes, the third dimension is lack luster; and if you eyes get tired of wearing the glasses then you have no worries -- the film looks the same without them on -- even in IMAX. Hopefully, for the next couple of Marvel outings, we will see the movies actually being filmed with 3D camera, which will show just how wonderful the technology is when used properly.
When all is said and done and the lights come up in the theater, The Avengers, while on the shallow side, is definitely entertaining and not one to miss for anyone who has already vested so much time in this amazing world. If Avengers is the first time you are watching these characters, you might want to rethink what film you are going to see this weekend.