Marvel’s The Avengers was THE 2012 box office juggernaut, without question. As of the writing of this article, it was poised to cross the $1.5 Billion dollar mark worldwide. Yes, you read the correctly, $1.5 BILLION DOLLARS. And with such enormous success, most would believe that there was little more to such a movie than extreme special effects and summer popcorn movie action. This, however, is not the case with The Avengers. Recently, and for a 4th time, I have watched The Avengers, and here are several reasons why the movie works and is the best comic book film ever made.
Note: As a DC universe fan, writing this article was a tough pill to swallow. However, credit where credit is due to Marvel for putting together their cinematic universe in a way that has us all asking for more.
1. Casting and Characters
There is no arguing that casting Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man has been a home run for Marvel. For this writer, when I now see Downey Jr., I think Iron Man instantly. He embodies everything that Stark is, from crass smart-ass to the most egotistical of personalities. Aside from Downey Jr., most of our other Avengers are lesser known but equally as valuable. And here is why they work:
Thor: Chris Hemsworth, relatively unknown. Paired with Shakespearean theater veteran Kenneth Branagh as his director, Hemsworth made the Thor character intense, relatable, and most importantly understandable. Let’s face it, Thor’s dialogue is nothing if not a bit hard to read in all its Victorian influence.
Captain America: Casting Chris Evans as The First Avenger raised many eyebrows. Evans made his name as Johnny Storm in the “it was just OK” Fantastic Four film series from several years ago. However, Evans appears to have left Storm far behind, and he has embraced the Captain America character and all its heritage. Evans makes the character his own, and makes us believe that one man can make a difference.
The Hulk: Not much can be said here, other than recasting, yet again, the Hulk character with Mark Ruffalo as the Banner alter-ego was surprisingly on point. The Banner side of this character was in need of being portrayed as an introverted genius, something his previous film iterations lacked. Ruffalo makes Banner appear damaged, burdened and vulnerable, something Hulk’s previous two films failed to do.
Nick Fury: This goes without saying, seeing as how The Ultimates version of the Nick Fury character was redrawn to resemble Samuel L. Jackson. Perfection!
Black Widow and Hawkeye: Two big name Marvel characters cast with two big name Hollywood actors; they are secondary players to Marvel’s cinematic Avengers universe, but important nonetheless due to their ties to S.H.I.E.L.D. These are two huge names, with Jeremy Renner now moving on to his own film franchise with Bourne, and Scarlett Johansson proving that the Widow needs her own spinoff film.
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