It’s not just the special effects that are obviously much better these days, but even the script writing and story lines are leaps and bounds above what they used to be. The greatest strides were made by the Christopher Nolan Batman series and the recent Iron Man movies.
The latest in this camp is The Avengers. I was lucky enough to see this one in a theater and then recently watched it again as a rental. I feel quite confident in saying that it is easily the greatest superhero movie ever made… or at least ever seen by me. Admittedly, I haven’t had the chance to see The Dark Knight Rises yet, so I’m a bit biased. I am a big fan of the latest Batman trilogy, though, so I may have to revisit this soon.
Having a cast littered with good actors working off of a great, and often very funny, script doesn’t hurt, but the way the whole movie comes together is really quite impressive. It never feels like the movie is about any one particular character, and yet every time one of them is on screen it feels like it’s their movie. It genuinely feels like you went from the latest Iron Man, Captain America or Thor movie right into the most recent movie for any one of them, yet without losing the “feel” of any of the the other characters’ movies. Even The Hulk is done in a way that doesn’t skip a beat, despite yet another actor playing the role. Frankly, I think Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner in The Avengers is spot on.
The snarky arrogance of Tony Stark/Iron Man is never lost, and I’d dare say he’s better and funnier than in his own movies. Steven Rogers/Captain America works just as well in this as he did in the ’40s setting of his own movie and Thor is, well, Thor. The Hulk, as stated already, is better with some added comic relief and there’s the bonus of some new potential spinoffs from Hawkeye and Black Widow (as many of my friends are praying for). Somehow, the combination of all the characters together brings out all of their… character.
Mind you, this was the first BIG action movie I’d seen in a theater in quite a while, but it was just as good the second time around in my living room, so I wouldn’t hesitate to own this one. The only thing that seemed out of place and awkward to me was the ridiculous giant-horned getup that Loki wore in his full-on bad guy mode. It was oddly distracting, though it didn’t take away from the movie at all.
The action, story line and special effects were all incredible, but it was really the way all the characters worked together in the movie, yet kept their individual identities which I found most impressive. I’m already looking forward to the next round of Avengers movies. Any and all of them.