Average User Score: 7.9May 7, 2012This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is perfect, but I want to be very clear about what I mean about that. I'm not saying that everyone should think this movie is perfect, or even that everyone should like it. Nor do I think that it being perfect makes it better than other movies I think are less perfect. All I'm saying is that The Avengers, and Joss Whedon handled what they were working with flawlessly in my mind. So I want to talk about a few things that I think Joss Whedon handled perfectly.
Joss Whedon made a movie that blended well with all the universes he had been given by the other marvel movies (Iron Man, Captain America, etc). Specifiaclly he didn't try to get more out of it then he could. All of the superhero prequel movies before this weren't built as entertaining but not all together thought provoking endevours. So going into an ansamble piece like this helmed by a new director, there's a huge risk of the new piece clashing in tone with the seperate prequel pieces. So while Joss Whedon might have been able to make an elaborate dark Avengers Movie, similar to The Watchmen or The Dark Knight, he couldn't do that without conflicting with the universe of movies he was suppose to be working in.
A second thing Joss Whedon handled well was character development, or rather lack therof (in a good way). There was no "team building" emotional lessons or character changes throughout the movie, and I think that's a good thing. I was worried coming into this that we'd see the Avengers unable to function at all with eachother and then they'd grow to love each other and no longer fight. This worried me because this type of thing is so poorly handled normally. In the Avengers Tony Stark is the same narcasystic playfull jackass the character was known for. So certainly there are team conflictions with that personality, mostly Captain America whose much more straight forward, but these don't get in the way of the simple fact that these people are already superhero's. Despite how they feel about eachother each of them (sans HULK) is genuinley interested in helping the weak. The best example of this is about halfway through the movie Captain America and Stark are arguing and Cap is Saying "put on the suit", taunting him to get this argument to come to blows to settle it. And all of the sudden in the middle of this an explosion errupts and the Avengers' ship is under attack, and without missing a step Captain America says to a recovering Stark "Okay seriously put on the suit" as they race off to combat the threat. To me this very clearly showed that Joss Whedon understood the characters he was working with, and how to aproach them. In Iron Man (one) we see Tony Stark learn through his traumatic experience that there are things more important than himself. He saw that despite himself he needed to save those in harm's way. So I feel like it would have felt insulting to come to this movie and Stark had to learn those feelings all over again because he was to busy arguing with Captain American and let that get in the way of being a hero, but that's not how the movie handled it thankfully. As coy and sarcastic and antiauthoritarian as Stark is, he's still a superhero. So it would have seemed weird if he let a petty argument prevent him from saving someone. And Joss Whedon showed that perfectly. Yeah Stark and Captain were being petty and going after eachother but the moment people were in danger all of that got put on hold and they functioned together perfectly. And thats how it should be. They're both Superhero's there's only so much you can show of them not being able to function together before it becomes illogical.
I had a lot more to talk about like Whedon's use of dichotomy, and the need for the massive battle at the end of the movie, but I'm running short on characters so I'll just pick one last thing. Whedon's Avengers captured the Hulk better than any modern attempt to date. In both the Eric Bana and Edward Norton movies I feel like the Hulk was poorley displayed to capture it's meaning. (Though I think Edward Norton was amazing in the movie) But in the first two Hulk movies of this millenia, what the Hulk is was poorly captured. In both movies what's shown is a Dr. Banner being hunted by the military and the Hulk responding and destroying them. So the feeling of uncontrolled rage never translated because despite the chaos the Hulk was still targeting people trying to kill him. And that made the climax of those movies less meaningful. But in this movie the first time we see the Hulk he's rampaging after a frail girl (okay black Widow, but in comparison) who has no intention to harm him. So the feeling of uncontrolled rage translates to the watcher really well. And at the end of the movie when the Hulk displays somewhat controlled Rage, in a 'these guys are beating up the guys i'm beating up, well i won't go after them then', the contrast seemed more meaningful.… Expand