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Is It Worth The Hype? Off to the Movies: Avengers? Assemble!

8 min read

The following article is best read with some sort of badass superhero music playing in the background.

Segment Introduction

I’m the type of person who tries to stay away from things that get a lot of hype.  If I’m told repeatedly how awesome something is I get worried that it won’t deliver on its promises and I avoid it like the plague.  I’ve been disappointed by “great” things before.  I’ve stood in line at midnight only to go home a sad little fangirl, I’ve dropped $60 on a game only to want to trade it in the next morning.  I’ve sat through 2 hour long movies and wondered what the weather was like outside because it just had to be better than the crap I had just spent money on.  So I’ve decided to do a segment about those popular things we’re all told to watch and play and answer the question, “Is it worth the hype?”

This week’s topic:

The world is in great peril, let us assemble a team in an avenging sort of way.

Plot summary:

When Nick Fury decides that it’s time to get that m*tha f*ckin’ Loki off our m*tha f*ckin’ planet — that’s the only Samuel L. Jackson joke I’ll do, honest… maybe? — he decides to bring together the most badass group of heroes that he can.  Enter Ironman, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye.  But are these mismatched heroes enough to take on an entire army led by the bitter trickster?  In the immortal words of Tony Stark, “If we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damn sure we’ll avenge it.”

The hype:

A project that’s been teased at since the first Ironman movie back in 2008, now is the time for the world’s greatest heroes to become a team and save the world.  Only one man can bring these powerhouses together: Joss Whedon!  It’s been four years of build up from Marvel, four years of sitting through the end credits of their movies to look for that next piece of the Avengers’ puzzle.  Unless you’ve been living under the tree roots embedded in the dirt that sits under that big, gray rock, you’ve surely seen about a hundred zillion ads for this team of heroes.  Let’s face it, this has been built up as the superhero flick of this year and years to come.

Is it worth the hype?

I went in with high expectations, no matter how much I told myself not to just in case I ended up tasting the sour burn of disappointment.  Well folks, the movie didn’t meet my expectations.

It blew them out of the water!

Is it worth the hype, you ask?  My friend, you should be running to the theatre right now, why are you wasting your time reading this artic- …. hey, h-hey wait, come back here!  Sit down and read this!

Why?

Well because it’s a good article and I put a lot of work into-

No, why is it worth the hype?

Ah, that whole thing.

This movie is the reason why my article exists.  The Avengers is something I’d like to call, “A long time coming,” hype.  Something gets mentioned, or hinted at, and you get excited.  But instead of said something being rushed it gets drawn out.  Maybe for a year, maybe two.  In the case of the Avengers it’s been four years.  This is the type of hype I fear the most.  There have been plenty of movies/games/insert random form of geekery here that has taken years and years and years to come out and then… BAM!  Let down.

Fortunately, the Avengers is far from being a let down.

This movie’s creation has been extremely clever.  By watching each movie for each hero and getting that small tease of the Avengers during each film, the build up itself has been a great ride.  While you don’t necessarily need to see all the movies to understand the Avengers, it certainly is more enjoyable that way.  Still, as long as you know who they are, you’re good to go.

All of the characters in the movie are rock solid.  You got a great villain whose motives are questionable — does Loki hate Thor?  Does he regret what’s happened?  Honestly, you’re not really sure, because Loki — or at least his actor — has perfected this look of sorrow that makes you think, “Wow he feels bad,” then he smirks and smacks you in the face.  Still, for a moment, you question, and that’s what makes Loki such a cool villain.  You got a great set of heroes who each keep their personalities without overshadowing the others.  You might wonder how that’s possible with Tony Stark on the team, but believe me, each hero is just as important as the next.  You got a great set of side characters who feel just as necessary to the movie as the main cast.  S.H.I.E.L.D agents, scientists, that woman standing in the cafe starring as the city is broken into pieces.  All of these characters work well together, creating a fantastic movie experience full of action, hilarity, and some touching moments, too.

Going into the movie you would think that one hero would get the spotlight, but in reality all of them do.  They’re all needed to save the world, and you get the sense that they couldn’t accomplish such a feat without one another.  I’m not sure how Joss Whedon does it, but it feels like everyone gets equal screentime — in and out of battle.  The scenes are done so well, even the big battles where it flows perfectly between each hero as they fight off the bad guys.  They communicate with one another, join in on each other’s fights, take shots at Loki, it’s… brilliant!  I’d hate to use such a word but that’s all I can think of in my fangirl haze of, “OH MY GOD THE AVENGERS IS AMAZING!”

Now this group doesn’t get along right off the bat — come on, would someone as good as Captain America really be best buds with a cocky son of a bitch like Ironman right away?  There’s tension between them, and that tension makes the movie more interesting.  They don’t see this threat and think, “We gotta work together,” right away.  They’re not shy about expressing their initial disdain for one another and if they want to beat the crap outta each other in the wilderness then, damnit, that’s what they’re going to do!  When they finally do come together it doesn’t feel like some forced afterschool special.  It’s not this sudden epiphany full of hand holding and campfire songs.  It builds up to it, and even after they truly assemble — ha ha see what I did there? — they still maintain their personalities.  Captain America is still the good soldier, Ironman is still snarky, and Hulk… well, he still smashes.  Even S.H.I.E.L.D. continues to be that secret group whose motives aren’t clear.  Even if they’re the ones who brought the Avengers together you still question, “What do they really want?  Are they really after what’s best for humanity?”  No matter what the answer to these questions is it is nice to see S.H.I.E.L.D. joining the fight.  They have to throwdown too, not just the Avengers.  It’s nice to see Hawkeye and Black Widow stand alongside the team of superheroes.  They don’t have special powers, but they’re just as capable as the ones who do.

Speaking of Black Widow, a moment to discuss her.  As a woman I always crave good, well written, kick ass female characters.  Black Widow is definitely that character.  She stands with the big boys and takes on Loki and his army, takes her lumps, and wins the day with the others.  The best part is that there’s no moment of, “You’re a woman,” or, “You’re good for a girl,” or anything like that.  Sure, the bad guys try and tug at her emotions, but Joss Whedon remembers that Black Widow is a trained spy.  She isn’t going to cry, she isn’t going to back down, she’s going to go in and fight.  There’s no part in the movie where someone is like, “Stay back, ma’am,” or, “Let the men take care of this.”  In fact, they put her in the direct line of fire.  It’s refreshing to see a strong female lead treated as an equal, it’s also refreshing to see that her gender isn’t brought up and that she’s simply seen as a soldier in battle.  This also goes for the other female S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in the movie, Maria Hill.

The relationship between the heroes is remarkable.  They’re just so different in every way.  It’s not just their methods of battle or how they approach certain situations, it’s the fact that Captain America is from the forties, Ironman is a modern hero, Thor is from a completely different world altogether, and Hulk is so focused on not losing himself.  The movie remembers this.  It’s not like the group comes together and doesn’t mention any of these details.  The movie plays with them, making the heroes feel more… human, approachable, and likable.  Captain America doesn’t get every reference of the modern world, Ironman and Hulk can talk science better than the others, Ironman has heard stories of Captain America from his father, it’s things like that that make these heroes come alive.  It’s easy to forget that Captain America isn’t from our time when he’s standing next to Thor, who isn’t from our world, but put him next to Ironman and you realize that, oh yeah, the forties.  It such a wonderful — and funny — thing to watch

Final Thoughts

The Avengers is everything I wanted it to be and more.  There’s a reason why, as I write this, it has broken the record for highest grossing opening movie ever.  While there are still other great movies to watch this summer, the Avengers is a must see.  This is how you want every summer movie season to start.  Amazing.  Amazing, amazing, amazing.  I’m already wanting it to be released on blu-ray in a ridiculously special edition to add to my collection.  This is not something to wait on, I’m telling you right now, go and see the Avengers.

Want to see something make it into the segment?  Let me know via email:[email protected]  Tell me what it is and why you feel it is over-hyped, under-hyped, or hyped just right.  Take care, fair readers.  And hey, I kept my promises, no other Samuel L. Jackson jokes!  Hulk SMASH m*tha f*ckas!  … oops, all right, THAT was the last one.

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