“The Avengers” kicks off summer with bang

“The Avengers” is by far the best comic book movie to come out since Christopher Nolan’s 2008 hit “The Dark Knight.”

It is entertaining and fun to watch, with solid acting performances and great special effects.

The film made its debut by breaking the domestic revenue record with a $200.3 million opening, beating last years $169.2 million opening of the last Harry Potter film.

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The film follows a group of superheroes learning to work with each other for the first time.

It opens with the villain Loki, Thor’s brother, as he tries to take over Earth with an alien invasion.

In response, Col. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) assembles a team of superheroes, including Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow, to fight back against the invasion. He calls this team The Avengers.

Outside of Black Widow and Hawkeye, these heroes have taken down villains in their own movies. Now they are asked to unite under the same cause, something they struggle to do at first.

Though the plot may be generic, it does its job by holding the audience’s interest.

Making any of these heroes believable can be a challenge, especially for Captain America, who fought during World War II, was frozen under a blanket of ice, was thawed out and now exists in today’s world, having not aged at all.

It’s hard for someone to take a man seriously who wears blue tights and is as patriotic as George Washington on steroids.

But actor Chris Evans does a good job as Captain America, making audiences focus more on his character as leader of The Avengers than the impossibility of his existence.

Other actors bring life to their characters as well, particularly Robert Downey Jr. and his turn as the wisecracking Iron Man.

While the performances of the actors are good, the special effects are even better.  The action sequences will make director Michael Bay jealous.

Most of the film’s impressive action sequences include watching the heroes fight each other before they find their stride working together as a team. One scene that was particularly entertaining was seeing Thor, the god of thunder, square off against The Hulk.

Beforehand, we see Captain America, Iron Man and Thor in a standoff with each other, where each hero counters essentially everything the other heroes throw at them with their own unique abilities. Each hero attempts to one-up the others and the contest ends up looking like little kids trying to impress each other on the playground.

“The Avengers” doesn’t stretch too far from its comic book roots, with top-notch action sequences and big set pieces. It’s what makes the movie good and also whats gives the film some of its problems.

Because “The Avengers” is a comic book film adaption, it doesn’t try too hard to present any serious theme outside of teamwork.

This does lead to one problem with the film: the characterization of the primary villain, Loki.

Loki’s character supposedly fell to his death at the end of the film “Thor.” The problem with “The Avengers” is that it offers hardly any explanation for how he returns from the dead. It also doesn’t develop his character well from his comic book confines, and as a result, audiences are simply told to believe that Loki is killing off numerous people in his pursuit of power and world domination, because apparently all villains think that way.

This is only a small problem with the film, and it does not distract from what is already a well-done movie.

“The Avengers” is the film any fan of comic books shouldn’t go without seeing. It delivers the one thing expected from a summer movie blockbuster: a good time.

 


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