The Avengers (2012)
We've got a Hulk.
This is one of the movies that I feel me doing this for is pretty much a waste. I mean, let's face it, anyone who wants to see this movie has already seen this movie. At this point, the only reason anyone is going to read this is because they either want to know my opinion on something they've already seen, or because they've accidentally come here looking for Avengers 2 reviews. I guess just for my own ego, I'm going to pretend its the earlier reason and not the latter, but lets flash back and figure out if someone should be seeking to avenge this movie, or to avenge our wallets.
SHIELD is having a bit of problems at their base. The mighty cube of unlimited power seems to have turned itself on, and is building power for no reason. As the building and surrounding area is evacuated, the head of SHIELD swings by to check things out. While he's questioning the local scientists and one of his best operatives over whats going on, the cube's energy spikes again, this time projecting a beam out and opening a portal to another place. In a very Terminator like fashion, a man appears from the portal - a man who happens to just be the trouble making Loki - who proceeds to make sure you know his role of bad guy by capturing some minds and killing some others. He manages to steal the cube, and him and his new entourage escape the clutches of SHIELD as the entire place implodes on itself.
With the story starting off with such a bang, you know it can only go up from there. Aware of the extreme danger the world is now facing, the director of SHIELD starts up his Avengers program, going forth to gather a handful of superheros to deal with the threat that is currently out of own power levels. We get a quick rundown of personalities as the movie takes turns gathering the heroes - starting with their best spy, who they use to gather the brilliant scientist who has anger issues, and ending with the director himself gathering up an old war hero who they thawed out. It's a ragtag sort, for sure, but the world rests on their shoulders. While the scientist tries to track down the cube, the soldier goes out to stand toe to toe with the main bad, only to be backed up by the playboy and his robotic armor battle-suit when it looks like the tide might turn in the baddy's favor. With the enemy captured, they start heading back to the base, only to be interrupted by a god-like alien with the powers of thunder - come to claim his mischievous brother the bad guy and stop his plans. There's a brief scuffle between the heroes at this point, but eventually they manage to return to the base with baddy in tow.
It's at this point that the enemy's plot starts to come to play. As team good tries to figure it out, tensions start to rise. As tensions start to rise and SHIELD's secrets start coming to light, the enemy plan rears it's head with an ambush on the base. The scientist looses his cool, turning into a rage-powered green monster who starts causing some big damage on the base - and who gets drawn out of the base with a little baiting from a plane. While he does that, the soldier and playboy go about getting the engines up and running so they all don't fall out of the sky. The spy finds and does battle with the corrupted agent, and finds out that a good solid impact to the head seems to shake off the mind control pretty well. The god of thunder ends up being tricked, and ejected from the base. With the heroes demoralized over their defeat and the death of an agent they all knew, the world looks to be in some decent trouble as the bad guys plan of opening a portal and unleashing an alien army to take over the world begins.
You'll notice how I didn't use a whole lot of the character names in that plot description, even though most will be able to auto-fill the names of the characters themselves. You see, as of late, it feels a lot like Marvel movies sometimes get a free pass from the audience - and don't get me wrong, most of the time they are good, if not great, movies. The thing is though, they aren't perfect and can do wrong, even if they are in fact very enjoyable movies. If you read that plot description and thought "this sounds dumb," then simply slapping Marvel over it shouldn't really change that. However, the implementation of the plot is done relatively well, although if people could complain about "plot holes" in something like Pacific Rim, then they should easily find some in here. Heroes who are dumb enough to not question what a bad guys motives are when he doesn't run away while unattended for example. The plot works for what it needs to, but there's still a good few moments that should have people scratching the heads.
Effects work is wonderful here, as is most the fight choreography. There's even some shaky cam to add to the "hectic" nature of chaos during the finale battle. For all that you could argue about for this movie specifically, the effects department surely isn't the biggest thing to bring up to bat. The Hulk probably looks the best of his live-action versions as well, not being overly shiny, but also not look too ridiculously comical. Iron Man of course comes in probably the most unreal looking at this point, given his mechanical suit, but even then nothing ends up looking so outrageous as to ruin the experience. As far as our alien invaders go, there's some pretty interesting design touches in there (giant armor plated doom worms), extending even to how their weapons work (arm-cannons and almost musket-styled blasters).
Acting is great. I really can't argue much around that, all the characters act how you would really expect them to act at this point. Of note, there's also a bunch of lines that end up being fun or memorable - such as "pucker up Legolas" and "puny god" - that one would usually expect out of a good action movie. There's even some particular moments in which the joke takes a little while to pay off - such as Fury's bet with Rogers. It's nice, and despite the serious nature of the world being threatened, the movie manages to stay pretty lightearted and overall fun.
Is it worth watching again though? For some, the answer may be yes. For others, it may be no. It's a fun movie, and it's certainly good for anyone who likes the blockbuster style movies. It has it's problems, but they aren't so glaring that most people couldn't overlook them. To be honest, I would argue that Guardians of the Galaxy is a more enjoyable watch than this - more interesting characters and a better soundtrack - but Avengers really does have it's pretty stand out moments. Worth a watch once, particularly for people who like comic book heroes (but aren't particularly anal about their adaptions), and after that I'd say mileage will vary.