So Jenny & I went to go see The Avengers last night. So, that is...a movie about The Avengers. Which is basically the highest praise I can give a movie like that. Compare to The Dark Knight, which is a movie about a Batman that isn't very smart & doesn't do any detective work, a muted reflection of the "real" Batman-- The Avengers is a movie about The Avengers. Captain America makes motivational speeches, is timelost in a wonderful way, leads the group, & is a bad-ass who shields people in the face. Thor is a demigod who controls the weather, an alien from a weird otherworld, & grappling with family issues while rocking stuff with a magic hammer. Iron Man is a prick, a total genius, has sweet suits of armor, a complicated relationship with Pepper Potts & flies around blasting people with micro-missiles. Black Widow is a sweet spy who can ninja you to pieces, who can manipulate people like nobody's business, who has a complicated & tragic backstory, & who also wears a catsuit with an hourglass belt buckle like a boss. Hawkeye; well Hawkeye is in this movie, & they actually manage to make him pretty cool, which is like a miracle or something. The Hulk is like, the show stealer; you get puny Banner being smart as heck, you get the big green ogre punching spacewhales in the face, you get...well, you get a really good Hulk, way better than any of the movies starring him, so far.
Joss Whedon was a good pick for this film-- between this & Cabin in the Woods, this is really the Year of Whedon, isn't it? Kind of a heck of a vindication of his oeuvre, huh? His "quippishness" really works for an ensemble cast-- Captain America's "I get it!" being like, the purest, truest moment of Whedonism in a long time, & utterly adorable & humanizing. Plus, Whedon understands dissected tropes & can pare things down to their roots; I don't need a lot of exposition on the Chitauri. Alien invaders, got it...& Whedon gets it too. You've seen movies before, we don't need to belabour this stuff. I maintained a spoiler-free headspace for this movie-- there was a visual gag that tumblr ruined for me & another scene that the trailer wrecked for me-- & even though it isn't a "twisty!" narrative, that gave me a wide-eyed suspension of disbelief. I mean-- I couldn't see anybody but Whedon pulling off the helicarrier. It is just so crazy & big & stupid & wonderful-- & he just makes it crazy & big & stupid & wonderful, with sincerity & the sly underlining of the ten-dollar bet, just, yes. & you know who really stood out to me? Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill. I like Hill a lot as a character-- as the one who gets Fury's mess dumped on her, as the one who climbs to the top of the pile as heir apparent, as sort of the paragon of everything that makes SHIELD cool, without Nick Fury's Cold War cowboy spy angle. I think Smulders nailed it. But like I said, I think the Hulk was the show stealer. & Jenny has a crush on Loki; that's my girl, she loves the villains.