Friday, 11 May 2012

The Avengers - Walter's View

Flying mechanical reptiles? Really? Vic mentioned the mindless action and lack of imagination and the these reptiles symbolized this for me. Surely one might imagine a better alien attack than this. I mentioned this to someone who suggested the movie was simply being true to the comic books, but then my critique is towards the thin imagination of the comic book creators. The entire last half hour or more of the film is all kinds of silly (and utterly pointless). 

Apart from the humour and witty banter, the strength lies in the incredibly diverse mix of superheroes. I thought this would be a weakness. How could the Hulk and Thor and Iron Man etc. all work in the same movie? (I'll admit that I have little background in either the comic or movie versions of these kinds of gatherings.) But they did seem to work because there was just (barely) enough insightful character development for them all to represent interesting dynamics from passionate mythic responsibility (Thor) to self-centred scientific genius (Ironman) to anguished psychological dynamics (The Hulk) to old-fashioned, compassionate heroism (Captain America). I couldn't believe I liked Captain America, but I did. Go figure. This mixture of archetypes could make for a fascinating and rich movie if only they spent less time in silly fight scenes. 

The film also seemed to run out of time developing some characters. Whedon tried to develop the Black Widow but it didn't work for me - maybe because my lack of knowing the back story made me think her only super power was looking good (and she fights incredibly well while tied to a chair). I give Whedon points for mocking this element himself by having her arm herself with a little pistol when facing down the climactic arrival of the gigantic flying mechanical reptile.  

But as I said earlier, Whedon is at his best in adding a light touch and a witty energy to all the interactions. This clearly is what makes the movie worth watching. And if you like mindless action too - well, you're all set. *** from me too.

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