I wanted to love the shit out of The Avengers.
I wanted it to become the baseline movie that every other comic movie will be compared to and copied from (“it was good, but it wasn’t no Avengers”). Basically, I wanted it to be the kind of movie I will want to go see a dozen times in the theaters (but will eventually be stopped at about three screenings by my rational mind).
A little background: I’m a Joss Whedon fan, I have been since I saw the hyena episode one mid-afternoon in the first season of Buffy. Mind you, that was when years started with the number 19. Whedon isn’t afraid to let characters change and switch alliances, he has a reputation of killing beloved (and usually most harmless) protagonists, and he has a kin ear for memorable dialogue. In the recent two-weeks gap he had between projects he just up and filmed an adaptation to Much Ado About Nothing, at his house – the man genuinely loves his job.
So combining a director who has rarely done wrong (in my opinion) with the Marvel universe plethora of superheroes casted almost flawlessly (finally! a decent Hulk), add a massive build up by Hollywood (made up of essentially 7 prequels), it seemed like a guaranteed home run.
The battle sequences were beyond stunning and the Whedoesque vibe was felt through and through with wry sense of humor and peanut-gallery commentary. But the plot seemed a little over-simplified for the masses and even rushed, although thankfully they did manage to turn it into an ensemble piece and not just “Iron Man and his Buddies”. Eventually, it ended up just being a very fun film. Which is perfectly fine until you condition it on the marvelous (see what I did there? *grin*) starting point advantage it had. I enjoyed the 2 hours and 20 minutes I spent at the cinema, but I doubt I’ll dub The Avengers as the best movie I’ve seen this year.
And that’s damn disappointing.
And no one even said AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!
But then again, we always need to remember that in some alternate universe they’ve casted Will Smith as Nick Fury and this was the ending credits number, so at least we weren’t subjected to that: