Reflections of the Hierophant: Marvel's The Avengers !MINOR SPOILERS!

Last night was the night we've all been waiting for... Find out my feelings on one of the most anticipated films ever after the jump...

      I waited patiently for last night. It’s been 4 excruciating years since the Marvel Cinematic Universe got started, and captured my heart, with “Iron Man.” It’s been a long, and painful journey for all of us fans, but last night was the night. The midnight release of “The Avengers” over here in the United States. Now, I decided to see this movie in the traditional format for a couple reasons. 1) IMAX was sold out, and 2) I refuse to support 3D in any way (with the clear exception being “Jackass 3D,” which basically mocked 3D). No matter what way you decide to see this movie in, you will NOT be disappointed. So, that being said, let us jump right into my Reflection on “The Avengers.”

      Or, as I’ve been calling it, “The Incredible Hulk with Some Other People.” I thought this movie would really hinge on if Mark Ruffalo could pull off his turn as Bruce Banner. We all know that Edward Norton was fantastic as Banner, and blew Eric Bana out of the water. But, the same comparison can’t be made between Norton and Ruffalo, seeing that they played two different versions of the iconic character. In any case, Ruffalo was brilliant and, for me, became the “Main Event” of the movie. I found myself drawn more towards Ruffalo’s performance than anything else in the film. The exception to this is Tom Hiddleston’s performance. Yet again, he delivers a great performance and is one of the greatest CBM villains ever. But, I was still proven wrong when it was all said-and-done.

      Much like The Avengers themselves, the success of this film was a team-effort. And, no team could function without their coach, i.e. Director Joss Whedon. While I’m not well-read in his works, it doesn’t take a Whedon super-fan to know he did a fantastic job with this movie. He did what no other could’ve done, and seamlessly blend the scientific-based world we saw in “Iron Man” with the otherworldly feel of “Thor.” Whedon took these characters, who we all know, and a story we’ve seen time, and time again, and made a movie that nobody can keep themselves from.

      But, the movie as a whole really shines in the way The Avengers finally assemble. It’s here where we get one of the most poignant, but equally essential deaths you’ll ever see. The actor’s performance in his/her final moments is one of the best you’ll see in a CBM, perhaps in any film. I do feel that, if this wasn’t performed well, the movie really would have fallen apart and lost the faith of every audience member in attendance.

      As a matter of fact, not one performance in this movie was bad. But, if I were to choose the weak-link of the movie, I’d have to say it was Jeremy Renner. There was just something missing from his performance. I do think that has more to do with this film being the first time we are really introduced to Hawkeye, thus we only scratch the surface of what Clint Barton is all about. So I’m positive we’ll see more from Renner, who has already shown us he is a great actor, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’d also like to say, for the most part, all the costume work in this was great. I don’t typically care too much about the costumes, but they were done so well in “The Avengers” that I couldn’t ignore it. I do have to admit, that I absolutely hated Captain America’s suit. I understand that it was closer to the costume from the comics, but this was a case where they should’ve stayed away from being so true. I am glad Stark makes a remark about it, it showed that the filmmakers were aware of how ridiculous the suit was. And, I do understand why he kept it for the final battle, as it keeps with the reason they assemble.

      Ensemble movies like this can suffer from
several things, two of those things being either too much star-power, or an imbalance of screen time. I can safely say that this movie does not experience this ailment. The movie does possess real stars, it manages to give them each nearly the same amount of screen time, favoring nobody in particular. The exception, and deservedly so, is Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, the one who lead us down the glorious path. Something I feared about this movie, too much action and not enough story, proved to be unfounded. There is a perfect balance between story and action, with a good amount of humor thrown in for good measure. The action sequences throw in the shaky camera effect to give us that feel of chaos, but doesn’t overdo it like another recent release *cough*Hunger Games*cough. The movie flows well, and doesn’t feel like the 2 hours and 20 minutes that it is.

      Overall, the movie was fantastic, and I recommend it to everybody, not just comic book fans. Is it the greatest CBM of all time? No, but only misses out by one “Epic Heath Ledger Performance.”

PS. Be sure to stay all the way through the credits. I was amazed to see so many people bailing after the mid-credits scene. The post-credits scene is easily the greatest in history!

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