Friday, May 4, 2012

Avengers: The Movie - Assembling Awesome

There are very few things in this world that are worth waiting five years for. This is America. Usually, if we have to wait for more than a day we tend to say, "Fuck it, I'm going to a bar." For shit we're stuck waiting for, we tend to get easily distracted if we have to wait more than a year. This is a country where you could find the cure for cancer and solve world poverty, yet you will be completely forgotten the next day if news breaks that one of the Kardashians is in rehab. Yet as ADD as this country is, there is some shit we'll gladly wait for. The Avengers movie is a movie that's been building up hype for five fucking years ever since Sam Jackson had a brief two-minute part at the end of the Iron Man movie and after the fucking credits no less. Well now it's finally here and is really worth the wait? Well after having just seen it and after having endured my share of distractions over the past five years (most of them coming from titty bars), I can safely say that yes. It was so fucking worth it!

There's only so much I can do to dissect a two hour movie and explain all the ways in which it is awesome. I'll try to squeeze in as many as possible, but how much explanation do you really need? If you've seen the trailers, you've seen a good chunk of what it can deliver. Like most trailers, it tries to squeeze in as much as the good stuff as possible. The good stuff is usually shit that explodes, shit that laments over impending doom, and shit that has tits or a nice ass. The Avengers trailer is no different. Don't believe me? Look at the trailer and tell me I'm wrong.

But the trailer only tells one half of the story. I know, it's shocking...a heavily hyped movie that offers more depth than what you see in the trailer. But it's true. That big battle scene from the trailer was only the culmination of a story that hit the ground running and ran so fucking hard that if it had nipples they would be bleeding like a porn star after running 10 consecutive marathons. If you've been following the other Marvel movies such as Iron Man, Iron Man II, Thor, the Incredible Hulk (the new one and not the one that involved killer poodles), and Captain America then you'll see the story flow seamlessly. Even if you didn't see those movies (and welcome back from whatever cave in Mars you've been in for five years if you haven't), it's a very understandable story.

It boils down to a little something you could probably fit in your glove box. SHIELD is working with a new and potentially limitless source of power from a tiny little glowing cube called Tesseract, or the cosmic cube if you know anything about anything about Marvel comics. Following the events of Thor, Erik Selvig, the physicist who was grossly outshined by Natalie Portman, has been helping SHIELD tap it. Well that turns out to be a horrible fucking idea because during a test, it opens up a gateway that allows Loki to emerge. Despite being thrown off the Bifrost Bridge by Thor, he's as alive as a cockroach in a crack den and understandably pissed. Since he lost his chance to be king of Asgard, he'll settle for enslaving the Earth and ravaging it in the same way stoners ravage a bag of Doritos. I can think of some much better ways to cope with defeat, but none of them are nearly as awesome.

Armed with a special staff given to him by a shadowy alien figure that claims command of the Chitauri, he takes control of Dr. Selvig and Hawkeye to steal the Tesseract. Like Loki, they seem interested in taking the Tesseract and will gladly help Loki sucker punch the planet Earth to get it. Now why an advanced alien species is stupid enough to trust the god of mischief is beyond me, but I guess being an advanced alien species must get pretty fucking boring. Maybe they should focus some of that alien know-how on better weed, but that's their problem. With the most powerful relic on the planet in the hands of a disgruntled god, Nick Fury (the Sam Jackson Fury and not the David Hasselhoff Fury) starts assembling the Avengers. He enlists help from Captain America, whose only way of coping with this crazy modern world of iphones and internet porn by hitting a punching bag, and Tony Stark while he's in between cocktails. He even gets Black Widow to take a break from crushing Russian gangsters with her legs to recruit Bruce Banner. No one mentions how Bruce suddenly turned from Edward Norton to Mark Ruffalo, but like the Ashley Olson's eating disorder it's just not shit they like to talk about. The important part is Banner says yes and he agrees to help.

Seriously, who would say no to this?

What follows for a good chunk of the movie is the Avengers basically bickering and getting along about as well as Pat Robertson in a gay bar. It certainly doesn't help when Thor drops in looking to bring his wayward brother to justice for usurping the throne of Asgard, but it makes for a pretty awesome fight scene with Iron Man and Captain America. It doesn't sound too interesting on the surface, dedicating a good chunk of a big budget movie to just having a bunch of superheroes with overly bloated egos argue about whose dick is big enough to screw Loki over. But Joss Whedon makes this shit work. When you think about it, beings this powerful probably should clash. It would be even more disturbing if they all just got along, went out for beers, and took turns hitting on waitress. They're not exactly a team that was trained to work together. They were essentially cobbled together because Nick Fury was in over his head and didn't know how the fuck to handle shit that involves a renegade Asgardian god. The interpersonal dynamics really help flesh each character out. Some that really haven't been fleshed out like Black Widow and Hawkeye get some much needed backstory. It makes things all the more satisfying when shit starts to get heavy.

And yes, it does get pretty fucking heavy. Loki isn't just content with stealing from SHIELD. He needs some extra rare materials to make the Tesseract open the gate he needs to let the Chitauri in so he can grab a drink and watch them fuck up the planet. To do that, he uses his control over Hawkeye and a few tricks that involve pretending to surrender so he can further fuck with the Avengers. Along the way he helps expose a mystery that really twists the dynamics of the movie and of SHIELD in general. It turns out that they weren't researching the Tesseract to tap it's unlimited energy to give every man, woman, and child on Earth free electricity and cell phones that don't die out in the middle of a Mardi Gras wet T-shirt contest (still haven't forgiven Samsung for that). They were going to take a page right out of the Red Skull's playbook in Captain America and use it to make weapons. For reasons that are entirely understandable, the Avengers have a problem with this and Nick Fury doesn't apologize for it.

What? You didn't see me winking when I said I would use it for peace?

This secret threatens to undermine the whole order that SHIELD is trying to maintain in defending the world. To be fair, Nick Fury does offer a pretty valid reason. In previous movies like Thor, alien visitors and gods with way too much fucking time on their hands pretty much decimated an entire town. Granted it was in New Mexico and few outside of a few cattle rancher lobbyists gave a shit, it showed just how woefully unequipped they were. So why not develop the kind of doomsday weapons that tell guys like Loki and the Red Skull "You really want to piece of this, motherfucker?" Even if his reasons are valid, the Avengers aren't too keen on trusting a guy who only has one good eye and a shitty poker face. So when shit goes down, they decide to strike out on their own and end Loki's shit themselves.

Once everything is in place, Loki uses Tony Stark's own massive building that would easily compensate for even the smallest of dicks to open a portal. From there, the Chitauri hit New York almost as hard as the news about Tim Tebow being traded to the Jets. What follows is the kind of epic battle scene that Michael Bay probably jerks off to every night. It's even more satisfying than the previews imply, mostly because the movie dedicated so much time to setting up the dynamics between the Avengers. Plus, it's funny as hell to see the Hulk slam Loki around like a rag doll. Seeing it in 3D makes it all the more engaging. You couldn't ask for a better drawn out battle scene if Joss Whedon himself offered to pack your neighbor's garage with C4 and offered you a front row seat before blowing it up. It's the Avengers taking on an alien hoard and every moment is so immensely satisfying that if it were a hooker, Bill Gates would go bankrupt if he paid by the hour.

Overall, there's so much to love about this movie that I would need several blogs to list it all. Comic book movies have had their ups and downs over the years. Men like Joel Shumacher and Brett Ratner have tried their best to completely destroy the genre, but Joss Whedon and all the fine folk at Marvel have done a great job of giving those douche-bags the finger and showing them how you make a kick ass comic book movie. Watching the Avengers, it should give fans a true appreciation of how far we've come. And I'm not just talking about the five years of movies that built up the continuity that culminated in this one. A lot has happened since the days when comic movies were underfunded and not taken seriously. Now with this movie, it feels like the genre can finally spit on the critics and flex it's muscle.

We've come so far.

The Avengers isn't a perfect movie, but no movie is perfect no matter how many shots of Scarlett Johanssen's ass it tries to squeeze in. Some people will find some shit to be disappointed in. I personally thought it was bullshit when they killed Agent Coulson, but there is simply too much to love about this movie. It is the epitome of comic book excellence. For a long time, Marvel has been playing catch-up with DC since they had great movies like Superman all the way back in the 70s. Now with Avengers, they can finally say they have one-upped their asses and they are now the new standards in awesome. It is a great power for them to bear and hopefully they understand the responsibility of what they've done here. They can easily fall into the same trap as the Wolverine Origins and Superman Returns of the world, but with Avengers they have shown that they can do this shit right and do it well. I give the Avengers a perfect 5 out of 5. If there's even one cell of your body that enjoys comic movies, action movies, thrillers, or just shit that assaults your senses with weapons grade awesome then the Avengers is a movie you must see before you consider your life complete. Nuff said!


  1. It ROCKED!!! I hope they bring Coulson back in the next one! Staged death for motivation, etc,'s the movies they can do it! Jen

  2. Yes, that seems to be the sentiment. Everyone who sees the movie is perfectly okay with saying it was awesome. As for bringing back Coulson, that's a bit tougher in a movie than it is in a comic. But since he's now joining so many mediums, I would be shocked if Marvel didn't do something to try and exploit his popularity.


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  4. Man I have realized until Marvel get back his right of X-Men from Fox & Sony I think we don't gonna see epic movie like this one :(