10 Reasons why I think The Avengers rocks

How big of a smash hit is The Avengers? Certainly a hulking big one with over $200 mil domestic opening weekend. That number already broke the record of the final Harry Potter film ($169 mil) released last year, and combined with the international earnings, it brought the total worldwide haul to $641.8 million in barely a week and a half, more than its Marvel superhero forerunners Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, and “Captain America took in during their entire runs! [per Yahoo! news]

Whoa! The Disney folks must be having a big party right now as this movie will likely make up at least a quarter of their $4 billion investment to buy Marvel Entertainment back in 2009. Ka-ching, ka-ching!

We finally got to see it last Friday after seemingly everybody on the blogosphere have seen it. We saw it on IMAX 3D and I must say it’s worth every penny!

Instead of a straight-on review, I’m going to list some of the reasons I think The Avengers rocks:

1. Josh Whedon’s marvelous direction. Let’s face it, it takes a capable hand to combine sooo many comic characters and not only make it work but thrive in their collaborations with each other. It’s quite a massive undertaking and even with Whedon’s experience handling a large ensemble cast, it’s still going to be tricky. But after seeing the movie, it’s clear that Marvel did choose the right man for the job!

So you want me to turn green… like right now??

2. How funny this movie is! Ok, from the trailer, I was expecting witty banters and occasional humorous moments, but it’s a pleasant surprise that this film is downright hilarious! Whedon’s screenplay made the most of each of the characters’ antics perfectly and the one liners are even funnier than what you may have seen in the trailers. The theater literally burst out into riotous laughter a number of times, I tell you, this movie is funnier than a lot of movies actually claim to be a comedy.

The scuffle between Iron Man, Thor and Captain America is riotously fun, I was in stitches when Iron Man teased Thor about his cape:

Shakespeare in the Park? Doth mother know you weareth her drapes?”

Ha! That’s probably my favorite line from the movie! Another major highlights is when the Hulk meets Loki and throws him around like a rag doll. When it comes to a superhero movie of this proportion, laughter is definitely a potent weapon and it hits the target squarely in the face!

3. The spectacular cast. I already like the individual casting of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Loki but the additional cast make for a great mix. Robert Downey Jr. is at his top notch wisecracking self, all his scenes with various Avengers team mates are a hoot, especially when he first met Dr. Bruce Banner. Glad to see Clark Gregg a.k.a. Agent Coulson getting some great scenes, including a particularly poignant and memorable one. Though I initially wasn’t too crazy about Scarlet Johansson and Jeremy Renner as Black Widow and Hawkeye respectively, I think both did a fine job. Scarlet holds her own against all the boys and she brought much more depth to her character than what I’ve seen in Iron Man 2.

Was it good for you too?

4. Hulk Smash! I have to create a separate bullet point for the big green giant here. My hubby said that if he had to pick only ONE favorite character from the movie it’d be The Hulk. It’s not necessarily Mark Ruffalo’s performance, I mean he’s good as Bruce Banner, but it’s the CGI-ed character that has the most memorable sequences and whenever he appears on-screen, he practically brings the house down!

5. The impressive set pieces. Just because a movie’s got over $200 mil budget doesn’t always mean it looks good, but The Avengers actually look like it cost a lot to make. For one, the helicarrier which is basically S.H.I.E.L.D’s flying headquarter than can fly AND float on water is just so cool and so are the details regarding each of the character’s attire and um, accessories :D

I gotta get myself one of those!

Oh and that Stark Tower is ever so sleek! The part when Iron Man landed on it and the whole coming-out-of-the-suit thing is just pure geek-gasm stuff! And here I thought that briefcase suit in Iron Man 2 doesn’t get any cooler, Whedon invents yet another sensational way of Tony putting the suit on the way down from his tower!

State-of-the-art bachelor pad fit for a tech king

6. The solid script. Thought it’s not exactly a deep movie, and those expecting one obviously misses the point, there’s actually enough substance in the story. There is a sensible continuation from the previous films, especially regarding Thor’s brother Loki’s motivation to wreck havoc on earth. The history between some of the characters is explored to a degree, and what this initiative means to each one of them.

7. A worthy villain. Thanks to Kenneth Branagh for casting the RADA graduate Tom Hiddleston who brings so much menace to his role as Loki. He’s a fun villain to watch as he’s quite a tragic character who’s more of a ‘lost creature’ than a deranged maniac, and Hiddleston’s dramatic training is put to good use here. There’s a great scene where he’s channeling Superman‘s Zod in a sort of ‘Kneel before Zod’ moment, and he admitted in an interview that the Christopher Reeve’s Superman films are part of his childhood.

Oooh loki here…

8. The pure adrenaline rush. From the get go when Loki had his grand entrance to earth, the action never lets up. It’s visually thrilling and appropriately bombastic. The sense of humor never left even the final battle scene between the Avengers and Loki’s army, which makes the already electrifying sequences even more entertaining.

9. The dynamic score from Alan Silvestri. Part of what makes a great action movie is undoubtedly the music and this one captures the bravery and heroism theme of the story. It reminds me a bit of the awesome soundtrack of X-Men: First Class somehow, especially in the scene when Magneto lifts the submarine.


10. The celebration of humanity. For a movie about superhero that aren’t all earth-bound creatures, this movie speaks about the courage to stand up against evil and not take a bully lying down. It also has a great message about being a part of something greater than yourself and working together as a team to achieve it. The ‘Avengers Assemble’ phrase has a special significance as despite their initial clashes, they do set aside their differences and end up working well together as a team.

Look up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane… oops wrong movie.

Final Thoughts: It’s always nice when a movie lives up to the hype. It’s hard to suppress your expectation when the reviews are this good (90+% on Rotten Tomatoes with over 200 reviews) but The Avengers definitely merits all that. Now, it’s not flawless however, there are some stuff that are not explained very well, especially regarding the Hulk and how he went from being an uncontrollable monster to someone who could take orders from Captain America in a particularly comical scene, but I’m just so engrossed in all that’s happening that I’m willing to let that go.

In the end, this movie gives you everything you expect in a superhero film and not the ‘guilty pleasure’ variety. As Hiddleston eloquently said in this Guardian article, “…superhero films have much to teach us about faith and humanity – as well as being terrific visual spectacle.” He may be playing the villain, but I think Tom has a firm grasp of what a superhero movie should be about.

Oh and if you haven’t seen this yet, whatever you do, DON’T LEAVE before the final credit scene. Trust me, it’s worth staying for!

4.5 out of 5 reels



So what did you think, did The Avengers live up to your expectations?  What’s YOUR favorite moment from the movie?

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77 thoughts on “10 Reasons why I think The Avengers rocks

  1. Aw man, this was what I was going to do. :) I imagine we’ll have different bullet points, though. I’m not even sure I can come up with a favorite scene, although I have to give major props to Hiddleston for just BRINGING it. So fabulous.

    • Hey you can still do it, Sam. Like you said, we’ll likely have different reasons we love it :) Yeah, picking fave scenes are hard, I probably can list like 25 of ‘em, easy! I just love Hiddleston, and he’s got such nice teeth for a Brit, ahah.

  2. Agreed! On all ten! :D Great flick… I like the way you broke it down, Ruth. Every single point is valid, although I’ll confess to not taking much notice of the music. Couldnt even hum the theme. I suppose that’s not good, maybe it’ll take a repeat viewing or five. LOL. “There was music in this movie?”

    • Ahah, I must admit I notice the Patrick Doyle’s music in Thor more but the music is good here, Fogs, maybe you’re too engrossed in all the action to notice but that is a good sign as the music doesn’t become a distraction. I bet you’ll notice it if the music is NOT there :)

  3. Yeah it was pretty funny though I was in an audience that failed to laugh very much at all. It was quite surprising and kinda made me feel a bit wierd for laughing so much. That Shakespeare in the park was a great line, I also loved it when he called Thor Point Break. Come to think of it, people in the cinema did laugh when Loki got smashed up by Hulk. Loved Ruffalo’s take on the character. I also loved it every time Black Widow got in a hand to hand scrap, her movement and style is amazing!

    • Oh that is awful when you get a ‘quiet’ audience. Fortunately the people in my theater was quite a robust bunch, we actually met 2 of my hubby’s co-workers there too. Oh yeah, most of Tony’s wisecracks are awesome and RDJ’s delivery is just spot on!

  4. Nice post Ruth – we arrived at the same score 4.5 !

    I was less enthralled by Hiddleston’s Loki than you were – but as for The Hulk – yes he was the character that drew the most laughs – and the high point for me really was when Hulk tossed around Loki like the proverbial rag doll.
    jmm

    • I just read your review, well I think Loki’s power-obsessed mission to rule the earthlings is a big threat to humanity, I mean he’s like Hitler but 100 times more powerful in the way that he could hypnotize people. Glad we agree on the rating though.

  5. Saw it last night. Being a Joss fan I had no doubt. It was great to see someone finally bring the Hulk to life. Too bad so many people left the theater missing the middle and end credit scenes. I guess you could tell who the real fans were. lol. I read they shot he end credit scene two days after the premere as almost an after thought. They felt it needed a punchline to Tony Stark’s quip earlier in the movie. I’ll probably be going back to see it in IMAX 3D this time. A lot of fun. Wow, two blockbuster Joss movies with a month of one another. Shiny.

    Go see it people!

    • Oh yeah, favorite moment was the Loki ragdoll scene then it would be the Hulk’s random punch.

    • Oh right, the final end credit scene is awesome! I added that on my post for people who haven’t seen this yet. I always like to sit around after the movie ends anyway instead of rushing to get out and this one is definitely worth staying around for!

      I’m sure the sales for shawarma is through the roof because of this movie!

  6. I loved this film. Popcorn fun at the movies and the audience I was with was cheering, laughing, and clapping the whole way through! I’m a sucker for Cap and I loved his line “There’s only one God mam…and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.” A badass soldier out of place in a contemporary world! Loved it!

    • Yeah, part of the fun is seeing it with an enthusiastic crowd. My hubby’s already wanting to see it again but we might wait a few weeks though.

      I LOVE that quote from Cap, he’s just so earnest and valiant. Bad ass without the attitude.

  7. Went to see it yesterday and agree mostly with you. It was so funny, especially The Hulk and Iron Man. Action pieces were great as well and well directed. It’s amazing that they have managed to make the action so easy to follow with so much happening.

    • Yeah, that’s quite a feat for a movie of this scale with so many characters. But not only did Whedon give a balanced screen time amongst the Avengers team, he managed to give the secondary characters like Coulson and Maria Hill some good scenes as well.

    • Ahah, well this movie will be around for a while for sure but you really gotta see it on the big screen Vince. It’s just so much fun, not a lot you can do for 2 hrs that’s this enjoyable, ahah.

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  9. Nice work, Ruth. I agree with all your sentiments (as you know) – and I’ll reiterate that this isn’t a film you go to see for deep intellectual thought, it’s a film with a man in an iron suit and a mythological norse God and a giant green ragemonster.

    • That’s right Rodney, glad that Whedon didn’t fall into a trap of taking this movie too seriously. But yet it’s not a dumb flick that’ll threaten to decrease your IQ as you watch it either, though there are a couple trailers that before this movie starts, ahah.

  10. Fantastic review/list. I do agree that there were a few shortcuts with the script for the sake of convinience but it never effected me. It was just so well done. You nailed it about the humor. It never takes itself too seriously and I laughed more at this picture than in any comedy I have watched in the theater in years.

    My personal favorite funny line – Tony Stark calling Hawkeye “Legolas”.

    I also agree about the performances. Hiddleston is a genius and an incredibly diverse actor. Everyone else gives commited performances and only Samuel L. Jackson comes up a little short in my opinion.

    But I had a blast. My kids had a blast. My wife had a blast. The audience we were with had a blast. That kind of experience is one of the reasons movies are such fun.

    • Oh I missed that remark about Legolas, but man Stark has a moniker for every single Avenger didn’t he? He called Thor ‘point break’ ahah, and it’s so spot on!

      Hiddleston seems right at home here despite all his stage training, I hope to see more of him in Hollywood. Yep, I didn’t mention Sam Jackson in my review as I thought he’s just ok, serviceable but not great.

      Woo hoo, glad to hear it’s a family outing for you Keith.

  11. Hi, Ruth and company:

    Excellent write up and photos!

    I’ve been a fan of SHIELD’s flying Aircraft Carrier/Headquarters since the days of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Though, way back then, it could also clear its decks and submerge, but not much.

    Also pleased that the film has a worthy, charismatic foe in Loki. They missed the mark with a ridiculous Dr. Doom and laughable Red Skull.

    Waiting patiently for the opening week’s boiling seas to calm down before going to go see.

    • Thanks Jack! That carrier is awesome, I was geeking out when that thing came out of the water. Yes, Loki is good, way better than Red Skull IMO. Hey, waiting a week or so isn’t a bad idea, though I think it’ll still be busy with repeat customers, like me :)

  12. I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment. I love this movie!

    There are only two things that made me scratch my head, which may have been explained in deleted scenes. Firstly, a huge deal was made of the fact that the helicarrier can turn invisible, and yet they never actually use that feature after the first demonstration. In fact, the bad guys find it quite easily. It felt like James Bond’s car in “Goldeneye” that he just let the American agent drive away without ever using the cool gadgets inside.

    Secondly, there is a moment when Bruce Banner rides up on his motorcycle…um, how did he get that motorcycle? How did he know where to go? Why did he arrive? It just happened randomly (other than an offhanded line from Tony Stark), and unless I missed something this was a plot hole. But that’s okay, if those are the only two things I can gripe about, that’s doing quite well!

    • Good point Jamie. It was invisible the first time around so why not do it again?? It’s not a deal-breaker though as the enemy might still be able to find the thing anyway.

      Ahah, I never thought of why Banner showed up in the motorcycle but I remember the whole theater laughing when he arrived w/ such a puny means of transport, I mean in light of all the techie gadgets are in the movie!

      • According to Joss Whedon, there are 30 minutes of delete scenes, so there may have been something cut. The scene where the helicarrier turned invisible was cool, so it’s understandable why they kept it. And the motorcycle scene could have easily been meant as a joke without further explanation. Sometimes cinematic impact supersedes logic.

        • Yeah, it’s possible. Wow, he’s talking about the DVD already? Well given that this movie will linger a long time in the theaters, I hope it’ll be released within the year yet. I just imagine that it’d be a lot quicker for Banner to just turn into the hulk and then take a few steps to NYC from wherever he was, but then it wouldn’t be as funny :)

  13. Applause Applause! bravo, Ruth. 10 fantastic reasons! I agree with you! And, I’m glad that you could appreciate Scarlett’s performance in this one (finally)! haha

    I LOVED the film! Great write up.

    • Ahah, well I tell it like it is, T. I’m still not a big fan of hers like you but I thought she did good here, some of her scenes are quite emotional. I do still like Maria Hill more though, Colbie is so gorgeous but somehow believable as a SHIELD agent. Very sad about what happened to Coulson though :(

  14. My god, the one liners had me in stitches. Think Iron Man’s, “Clench up Legolas” to Hawkeye was one of my favourites though.

    I was a bit disappointed with the score. There are some good pieces, and listening to the album in a stand alone way has made me enjoy it more (especially the piece for the helicarrier), it’s just not that memorable. I’m not humming it. I can’t remember it that well!

    It is an excellent film. So much fun. One big ol’ start to the summer blockbuster season.

    • I missed that line somehow but I LOVE it. Legolas, ahah, he’s prettier though :)

      Y’know I think the score is not as memorable as some other Marvel movies but I quite like it. The score for Thor is still my fave though.

      • Same. LOVED Patrick Doyle’s work on Thor. It’s the kind of score that’s actually memorable and I can sit and hum it right now.

  15. Agree with all these points, particularly the fact that Hulk was finally given some proper justice in a film and the one-liners. This film has so many amazing moments too and seemed to just take everything I wanted from the Avengers film, especially the hero vs hero match-ups, and put it on screen!

    • What’s fun about this movie is not just the battle between the heroes and the villain but also the scuffles amongst the Avengers themselves. I hope they do more of that in the sequel!

  16. Glad you loved it Ruth. You are like “I can’t give this a perfect score” on aM but yours is still higher than mine ;) I kid, it’s great popcorn fun and exactly why we love comic books and summer blockbusters in the first place. I hope Whedon gets free reign to direct the sequel!

    • He..he.. well I saw some people giving this a full 5/5 scores but I feel like it’s not a ‘perfect’ film even though it was highly enjoyable. Still, it’s an amazing feat considering the tricky subject matter.

    • I know! It’s such an abrupt shift and it’s odd that he could suddenly turn green on cue like that. My theory is that he could always turn into the Hulk at any moment, but he can’t control the reverse of going back to regular human form once he’s become that creature, y’know. Not sure if that’s what the filmmaker was going for.

      • Okay, I developed a theory on the way home from work that made me completely change my mind about it.

        Before he changes during the main battle, he says something along the lines of, “You want to know my secret? I’m always angry.” Apparently, he keeps it from happening (and manages to stay in control if it does happen) by maintaining his anger levels. On the ship, he was overcome with more rage than he could normally handle, so he wasn’t able to control himself once he changed.

        It all makes sense to me now.

        • Hey that works. Yeah I think once he’s consumed with rage it’d be hard for him to control what he’d do as the hulk but if he does it voluntarily then he can actually point his ‘fury’ into a specific target.

  17. Great list! The film is truly one of the most entertaining blockbusters of recent years, I was very impressed with Johansson and Evans’s work in this one.

    • Yeah I was pleasantly surprised by both of them. Evans’ role is the hardest to pull off I think as he’s such a goody two shoes, but he has a lot of great moments. I love the man-crush scenes between him and Coulson.

  18. I agree with all these reasons :) I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, it IS Joss Whedon, but as good as the trailer looked, I thought there would be less plot and less humor. I’d give it the same rating, although I’m not sure there’s any point in writing a review :)

    • Oh I’m sure there’s something you can still write about, Paula :) I think it’s cool that Whedon piled on all the funny scenes and one liners, but yet it felt natural. I guess having people like RDJ who can deliver such lines so effortlessly doesn’t hurt.

  19. Just saw it today and have to agree with you! This totally felt like a Whedon script to boot (especially with Iron Man’s naming of Loki and Thor as “Rock of Ages” and “Point Break” respectively). I even liked Scarlett Johansson and she was pretty terrible in Iron Man 2. The only issue i have is for a Whedon film the female presence was not nearly as feminist friendly as expected but that’s probably due to the constraints of making a superhero movie. Either way, it’s one of the best Marvel films we’ve seen so far.

    • Yeah, Scarlet is all right here, I like her scene with Loki the most. Oh I thought that because of Whedon, Black Widow and Maria Hill got pretty decent screen time, I mean it could be worse and they’d just be a blink-and-you-miss-‘em kind of roles.

  20. I just saw it earlier tonight, it was a great fun. I pretty agree with your listing there but I thought the 3D didn’t add much to the movie and the soundtrack was pretty forgettable. Then again I was never a fan of Silvestri’s work, besides the Back to the Future theme, most of his work were forgettable.

    I can’t wait to see The Skrulls wreck havoc on earth for the sequel.

    • Glad you saw it Ted. No, I think the 3D was just ok but at least it’s not horrible. I actually like Silvestri’s work in Cap. America, but didn’t know much about his work otherwise. I much prefer Patrick Doyle’s style.

  21. I hate to sound redundant and/or bitter, but I really really don’t get the hype. Didn’t find it funny or exciting and I don’t get why everybody loves the Hulk. Loki was amazing, though, and so was the actor who portrayed him, the great Tom Hiddleston.

    • Oh it’s totally ok that you didn’t like this movie, Fernando. I don’t always agree w/ the critics/general public either. Glad that you at least agree about Loki, Hiddleston is one of my fave up-and-coming actors!

    • Oh no! Are you completely swamped at work now? Oh I’m sure you can still catch Avengers on the big screen matey, it’ll be around for a while I reckon.

  22. I’m seeing The Avengers for the second time tomorrow Ruth, something I don’t usually do. It was great fun to watch and I love how Whedon created an atmosphere where everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and not taking the whole thing too seriously. I think that comes across in the film in the chemistry between the cast which, for me, earns the film its high rating.

    • Hi Ronan, glad to see you drop by! Second time already, awesome! Yeah, I think the fun atmosphere really came through. Every time I see the behind the scenes clips/photos, the cast look like they’re having such a good time. I do hope Whedon will be back for the sequels.

  23. Excellent review, nice point-by-point rundown of the highlights! I’ve heard so much good stuff about this movie, I can’t wait to see it. But I’m going to have to. :(

    As much as you liked THE AVENGERS, I somehow get the feeling that you’re even more excited for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES…

    • Yes indeed Jeff, very astute of you :D I’m still more of a DC girl at heart as I LOVE Superman and Batman so much, it’s just lately Marvel did a much better job w/ the individual movies. I do hope Man of Steel will help level the playing field a bit more and be on par w/ Nolan’s Batman movies.

  24. Yes! Yes, I agree with all your reasons. That Hulk-smash scene was hilarious, everybody seem to love it. Ruffalo did a fine job. I watched it twice (not that I planned the 2nd one) but it’s a nice movie to watch together. Wished I saw it on iMAX though (they recently opened it here, yeaayy)

    • Wow, that’s cool that you saw this twice already! Was the 2nd one even better than the first? Yeah, everyone loves that Hulk smash, that one with Loki is the best one IMO.

  25. I think you know i am planning to use my fandango bucks for this. Happy to know it will be worth it :) plus its been a while since i’ve been go to the theater with my dad. Neither of us have been able to go for a while, and now that he’s working he wasn’t able to go to the Hunger Games with me.

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  27. I think what I liked about it was that it was so much fun. And the Hulk. And the funny stuff Tony Stark says. And Captain America being Captain America. And Black Widow not being a throw-away character. And that Coulson actually played a part in the end. And…

    My friend designs t-shirts for boys and he’s fond of pointing out that young boys will always love the same things- trucks, firemen, robots, dogs, etc… And I felt exactly like one of those kids when I saw The Avengers. Every little boy will always love seeing a bunch of superheroes on screen beating up a villain.

    • Ahah, I think a lot of girls like seeing a bunch of superheroes on screen beating up a villain, too. That’s why that scene with Loki is just epic!! :D Glad you enjoyed this, John.

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