The Road To Infinity War Part 6: Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
If you were a comic book fan growing up, in your wildest imagination did you ever think an Avengers movie would ever happen? Growing up, movies like Superman and Batman heralded the way for the modern superhero movie and even then a Marvel team up movie seemed out of reach. When it was finally announced that in fact an Avengers movie was coming, equal measures of excitement and nervousness could be collectively felt by the fans. So much in a superhero team up movie could go wrong (Justice League) but in this fan’s eyes, Avengers succeeded brilliantly.
Joss Whedon was an interesting choice to direct, I knew him of course from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly. Despite Whedon not having a wide range of big screen credits, I was trusting enough based on the five previous MCU entries that we would be in good hands. Don’t get me wrong, Avengers is not a perfect movie. While the Avengers theme is very good, the majority of the soundtrack isn’t very memorable. The costuming is done very well for the most part but Captain America’s modern outfit seems a bit off. Thankfully in later appearances it gets a much needed update that continues to work well. We also get the obligatory hero vs hero fight which as a plot device is too predictable and overused, it’s still fun here though.
The Chitauri are essentially canon fodder but they are presented in a threatening way, at least visually. The invasion of New York and the aftermath is still felt in the MCU today, even in the ABC and Netflix series shows. I’m really not sure Loki knew what he was really getting into with this plan, even more so when he meets the Hulk late in the film. With Infinity War on the horizon, I’m not so certain we’ve seen the last of them.
I for one was really pleased that Captain America became the natural leader of the team as he does in the comics. “Hulk....smash.” was one of my favorite lines in the film. Whedon definitely kept the humor in the film intact without making it jokey. I think their is a certain section of the fan base that believe the MCU is too “light” and often use the Avengers as an example. I strongly disagree and once again you get movies like Man of Steel and Batman V Superman that try to be the anti-Marvel. You need to strike a balance and I feel Marvel does that well.
I could spend all day geeking out over The Avengers. It met every one of my expectations and sits in my top five of all time favorite films. The team dynamic is spot on, the casting is nearly perfect, and the events from the film set up the future films of the MCU nicely.
HOW IT CONNECTS TO AVENGERS INFINITY WAR: Two Infinity Stones are present, the Space Stone and Mind Stone and of course the big first reveal of Thanos himself.