Thursday, April 26, 2012

An Assembly of Epic Proportions: Our Review of "The Avengers" (2012)

Directed By: Joss Whedon 

Starring: Robert Downey, Jr.; Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth

Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference

Synopsis: When Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the evil brother of demigod Thor (Hemsworth), arrives on Earth and steals a highly valuable and dangerous source of energy that threatens to destroy the world, Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. assembles a team of superheroes - Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye and The Hulk - to fight back.


Andrew: Hello readers! Tonight's review is a particularly special review for Two Tickets For... One of the perks of working for The Walt Disney Company is that every now and then we get to see a sneak preview of some movies. Tonight was one of those nights, as Sarah and I were lucky enough to see Marvel's The Avengers. One of the most anticipated films of not only this year but of that past few years, I think it's safe to say we were NOT disappointed were we, Sarah?

Sarah: Not at all! It was one of the best action films that I have seen in a long time! It was as if they took all the excitement of all the separate films (Iron Man 1&2, Thor, Captain America, and The Hulk) and smushed them all together for one epic movie.

A: I think that's a pretty good description of what this movie was. But let's talk about what those awesome parts are!

S: Well let’s start with the basic look. The special effects in this movie are some of the best that I have ever seen. The motion capture technology has really done a lot for movies since it allows the actors playing computer generated characters to still be on set interacting with the other actors. 

This really helped with The Hulk. This was the first time that we saw Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, and he really did an amazing job. The transformation from Bruce Banner into The Hulk was seamless and worked really well against the other characters.

A: I love that point about the motion capture and how it worked with Ruffalo. Much like the motion capture they used on Avatar to make the Na'vi characters look like Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington, you could SEE Mark Ruffalo's face in The Hulk's face. It was great, as were the bad guys that start blowing up Manhattan, as were the effects to create the flying aircraft carrier that served as home base for The Avengers, as were the effects that have been perfected for Iron Man flying around.

S: The alien army was actually one of my favorite parts of the movie. They just seemed to fit so well into the universe. Sometimes when a director throws in more bad guys toward the end of a movie it can seem a little garbled, but in this case it was great. It really set up the perfect transition into a potential second Avengers movie. 

Another favorite part of this movie was the humor! The audience was laughing many times, and it wasn't just comic relief! We got the usual Tony Stark humor, but no one warned us about how funny all the other Avengers and even some of the villains were going to be!

A: I don't think we needed to be warned, because I found not only Robert Downey, Jr.'s Tony Stark to be funny in all the films he's been in, but I also found Thor to be funny and Captain America had a sense of humor at the right times. But yes, director Joss Whedon (who also co-wrote the screenplay) infused his trademark sense of humor perfectly into the characters.

Stark was hilarious per usual, and other characters had their lines as well, but my personal favorite was the humor Whedon found with The Hulk. It could have easily been cheesy to do the things they did with Ruffalo's character, but in the context of everything going on in the film it was perfect.

(Btw, this truly is a standout piece of work by Whedon and all involved. Whedon's teetering on the verge of genius in my opinion, having seen this and The Cabin in the Woods the other week.)

S: Yes, it really was a great movie. There really isn't much that we could find to complain about. This movie really brought to light a lot of other characters and a lot of their backstory. They even did a great job at bringing the audience up to speed on what all the characters have been doing in the past few years since their single movies came out. We even got to find out a little more about Black Widow and get to meet Hawkeye who becomes a stronger character than the previews alluded to. This movie could have been pretty bad; there are A LOT of famous people in this movie. History has shown that egos can really start to get in the way, and there was no lack of egos in this film, but they all played off each other brilliantly.

A: You just mentioned Black Widow and that reminded me of maybe my two favorite scenes of the film, and they just happen to have her in them. (SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT SOME PARTICULAR SCENES AND WHAT HAPPENS IN THEM, SKIP DOWN TO THE NEXT PARENTHESES)

The first one is after The Avengers are able to capture Loki and they're trying to figure out what his grand plan is. Black Widow goes to the holding cell and tries interrogating him to no avail, but it's Tom Hiddleston's performance as Loki that I loved in the scene. Hiddleston absolutely BRINGS it to this role - he's fiery, he's angry and the way Joss Whedon sets up his shot is perfect.

The second one is the first time Ruffalo's Banner Hulks out for the first time and chases Black Widow. Whedon shoots it like a horror movie and it's the perfect way to introduce The Hulk. It's primal, it's scary, it's exciting and Johannson and Whedon make it work. It fits in perfectly with the tone of the film when it really could have been out of place. Just talking about these two scenes makes me want to see it again.

S: Actually, I really agree with those two scenes because they're two of the strongest scenes in the whole film. They also help bring to light more of what Black Widow is other than just being an assassin. But just how she and Loki play off of each other in the scene you mentioned is incredibly revealing on both their characters.

So even though the two characters are playing each other in the scene, they're actually able to hit some of the characters' underlying issues and it brings to light how insecure Loki is and how much pain he's in, like why he's doing what he's doing.


Now, we did have one little complaint. If you were hoping to have the same amount of screen time for every character, you will "Thor"-ly disappointed. Yes, the demigod has his screentime, but for his brother being the bad-guy and all, we thought that he would have a little more of the main story.

A: Yeah, compared to all the other characters in the film that you'd truly care about and want to see in action, Chris Hemsworth's Thor definitely gets the short end of the stick. He comes in last, he has his fair share of fighting, but other than that all the other big players get more screentime. Even Hawkeye got more time, I feel. (Not that that's a bad thing, until this film all we got of Hawkeye was his cameo in Thor.)

I enjoyed how they went into more detail about what Johansson's Black Widow does and why, her relationship with Hawkeye, and that we got more of Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury! Sam's been popping up here and there in all the other movies but it was well worth it for him when this film finally came around.

Now here's something that I was wondering as we were leaving the theatre, and you kind of touched on it just now with Thor getting short shrift, but what were your thoughts on the amount of story that was given to Iron Man and to Captain America?

S: That's interesting that you mention that. I definitely liked that they held a majority of the story, but I also really liked how each of the characters had their own little stories with each other. Separately, they all seemed to bond really well together. What did you think about that?

A: I don't think anyone else could have done a better job of tying together all the different characters, their personalities and the threads of their stories than Joss Whedon. At no point in this film did I feel bored, at no point was there a slow moment, and I think Whedon did a PHENOMENAL job of interweaving between the different characters especially during the climatic battle.

You will NOT be bored with this film, and if you loved or even just enjoyed all the Marvel films that have led up to it, you will enjoy The Avengers. I think this is the movie fanboys were all hoping for. I know it exceeded my expectations.

S: It exceeded my expectations as well. Alright readers, you absolutely MUST see this one of the big screen! I for one cannot wait until this one comes out on DVD/BluRay. We will be owning this one.

A: And as one last suggestion, if you haven't seen all the other Marvel movies, you don't absolutely NEED to, but it would be VERY helpful if you have seen Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. So go see The Avengers and as always, thanks for reading!

(Out of Five Clapboards)


  1. Some friends tried to convince me about watching this film today but I wasn't quite sure. Your post piqued my interest, I'll give it a try tonight :)

    1. Thank you for your comment, Clara! We hope you enjoy the movie! Let us know what you think!