I sneaked (snuck if you’re the informal type, and snucked if your the informal type who knows nothing about grammar) out on Tuesday afternoon and saw The Avengers movie. I couldn’t bear to go see it in the evening in a jam-packed theater with a horde of cell-phone-using … patrons that wreak havoc on my easily distracted brain. It makes author want to smash! Which brings me to the best part of The Avengers movie, the Hulk. I’m not the first to say it. Many a geek-a-fide moviegoer has said the same thing. In fact, it’s sparked a debate on how to make a good Hulk movie.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am such a fan of the Hulk I didn’t mind the two previous films on the big green goon. The worst part of those two films wasn’t the Hulk or the actors playing Bruce Banner. The worst part was the idiotic military back story that was supposed to provide the compelling conflict. It was just stupid. The Hulk works in a solo story when it’s Banner trying to lead an ordinary life and your basic street thugs pick on the wrong person. The military/government interest in the Hulk can’t be the driving force of the story. It’s way too cliché. It can be a secondary plot that keeps Banner on the run, but making it the focal point of the story is a big mistake, IMHO.
Besides the Hulk, the best part of The Avengers was… almost everything else. Hats off to Joss Whedon for pulling off an impossible feat; making a much anticipated film that lives up to the hype. I’m usually bothered by the mix of CG characters and actual human characters, but the action was so non-stop and engrossing it didn’t bother me this time around. Whedon is an excellent storyteller, and he deserves every bit of success and praise that is being tossed his way.
The worst part of the film is Captain America. I’m sorry, but the cornball, clean-cut superhero type is soooo boring, and it’s really hard not to giggle endlessly at his costume. It’s the same feeling I got when William Katt donned his super threads in The Greatest American Hero. It’s just hokey. They tried to make Captain America a little more tormented and modern, but every time I saw him on screen in his getup, I wondered why they didn’t have him in something that was a little less 1944 and a little more 2012. They even made a point of saying they updated his costume, but they didn’t update it enough.
The Avengers is well worth the price of admission. In fact, it might be one of those films worth seeing a couple of times… as long as there aren’t people in the crowd updating their Facebook status during the film.
BTW – If you’re too young or too sophisticated to remember The Greatest American Hero, here’s a little taste.