I will be using the spoiler cut tag and I will put a nice big warning before we go into the spoiler part of the post. Please do not repost spoilers without the appropriate cuts and warnings so that those who have not yet seen the movie may remain spoiler free. I ran into several spoilers before I saw it and it doesn't bother me, but some people hate it. Thank you. /end of public service announcement
Okay, so on the the important stuff; this movie is epic, epically awesome even :). It's packed full of action and plot and humour. You'll find yourself laughing at the most unexpected times, which is sheer brilliance on Joss' part, because, especially the battle at the end is a little heavy and without the bursts of genius, it might actually have been too much.
I came out of this movie so buzzed I was sure I wouldn't sleep. In fact I lay there chatting about the movie with my husband for about half an hour and then the adrenalin wore off and I crashed into the best night's sleep I've had in ages. I then dreamed about superheroes and a VHS tape (no, even I don't know where the VHS tape came into it).
One thing though - the 3D is shite. I want to see it again in 2D so I can see the fights properly. At times I could see the outlines of the 3D on the screen because it had been converted post filming and it just didn't work. I HATE 3D!
Under the first LJ cut or the next few paragraphs (depending on how you reached this point) is the non-Spoilery part of the review, but if you want to be 100 sure don't risk reading it. There are no plot spoilers, but if you consider personal views on the characters to be spoilery then don't click into the post.
Let's break it down.
First of all, my favourite, Loki. Not gonna lie, still my favourite even though he's a raving crazy who really seems to like blowing things up. Tom Hiddleston did an amazing job. Loki is at times vulnerable, at others totally badass, and utterly fails to understand the human condition or really give a shit about it. There are levels in Tom's performance that are just brilliant.
One character I didn't think I was going to like at all was Nick Fury. He's a hard nosed bastard when he needs to be and that doesn't usually appeal to me, but Samuel L. Jackson was amazing. I actually care about Nick Fury now and want to see what he will do next.
Clark Gregg is simply superb as Coulson. I'm not going to give away anything in this part of my review, so all I will say is badass and so much more.
Cobie Smulders doesn't have a whole heap to do as Maria Hill, but what she does do is perfect.
Now on to the Avengers themselves.
OMG Hawkeye! So didn't see his storyline coming and it's epic. Trust me when I say it's a winner. Jeremy Renner is kickass and very, very hot as the bow wielding Avenger. Have to say at one point I thought he might have infinite arrow syndrome, but that was actually dealt with. Love his quiver.
Black Widow was no where near as cold as I thought she would be having seen her in IM2. Don't get me wrong, she is still lethal and brilliant, but she has some brilliant moments. Scarlett Johansson gave a great performance.
Mark Ruffalo was excellent as Banner and the Hulk. The fact that he's being used as brain as well as brawn is superb and when he and Tony get going the geek out is fantastic.
Chris Evans was great as Captain America, but I didn't actually get as much from him as I got from the others. I think the fact Joss cut out some of his scenes (which I believe Joss said will be on the DVD) may have helped the pace of the film, but didn't help me empathise with him as much as I could have. He's not a bad character and he has a really epically brilliant moment at one point, but I didn't have the big feels I had for him in his own movie.
Now the other Chris as Thor; I loved him to pieces. I wasn't sure what accent he was going for at times, but who the hell cares when he has so many awesome moments. I wanted to kick him up the arse and hug him in equal measure, which I shall go into more in the spoilery part of the post.
Then, of course, there is RDJ as Tony Stark. All I can say is, the man is brilliant. Tony was utterly epic; there was wit, arrogance, courage, despair, love and intelligence all in one, not as tall as most of the others, package. He has so many brilliant moments in the movie that it would take a whole post to list them all. That scene they released in the trailer, good, but no where near the epitome of Tony scenes.
and I don't mean a couple of spoilers, I mean everything that jumps out of my brain about the film.
Since I have a sudden doubt about the spoiler tag working correctly (even though it looks fine on my machine) I have just made it so you have to highlight to read until I am sure it is working. Apologies if anyone caught a glimpse of something they did not wish to see.
[Don't click if you don't want to know my excited ravings about this movie and all that happens there in]Okay, so y'know all the trailers, so not giving a real hint of the story. I knew the tesseract was important, but I didn't know it was the central theme. Loki's entrance via the tesseract portal was brilliantly shocking and the fact that Hawkeye called it before it happened was superb. Thank you for proving the guy with the bow has a brain too.
OMG Loki magically brainwashing Hawkeye - squeals of delight. Evil Hawkeye is so damn sexy ... hmm, I think I may have a bad guy thing going on with this universe. It was amazing to see the master assassin at work without any conscience and Loki and him went together so well. I may or may not ship Loki/Hawkeye somewhat now, but then I think I ship Loki/anyone so that's not much of a shock.
Selvig does brilliantly as well. He seems so happy after being brainwashed by Loki. Free to just create his tesseract machine to open a portal to bring through the Chitauri without any care except the joy of creating it.
Which brings me to a thought - those who have seen it, y'know how their eyes went all funny when they were under Loki's control? Do you think Loki's eyes were like that a couple of times or was it the 3D messing with what I was seeing. Loki's sceptre seemed to be messing with people's heads when Bruce and Tony had it in the lab (even though they never actually came out and said that), it would not surprise me if it was messing with Loki's as well.
But anyway, let's rewind a bit.
Tony and Pepper - awwwwww. I'm totally a slasher at heart, but they are a perfect couple. I feel that if I am ever to write Tony paired with anyone else, it will have to be a threesome. Not that this bothers me much :).
Coulson being a Captain America fan boy - oh wow, that was so well done. Gregg is so good at delivering the dry lines; "I saw you when you were sleeping..." *snigger* and then he tries to dig himself out of the hole. Not to mention the trading cards :).
There was one part that made me cringe; the Yanks dropping in to save the Germans from a dictator. I'm pretty sure Joss was trying to mirror WWII and the allies liberating Europe from the Nazis, but it just made me want to go 'oh no, please tell me you did not just go there'. The only thing that would have made me want to throw things more is if they'd come right out and said the guy defying Loki before Cap arrived was Jewish.
The rest of that scene was amazing though. Loki's scream of 'kneel' - OMG, shivers. The armour, the arrogance, the callous disregard for life; nghhhh.
Rob thinks Loki's helmet is hilarious, I have to say I've moved on to thinking it's really sexy. Really not sure how that happened. The first time I saw Thor I was just as amused by the horns.
Thor attacking the Quin Jet to get to Loki and Loki's apparent actual worry about Thor being there. So cool. It was when they were on the ground having had their first little spat that I wanted to kick Thor the first time. I can't remember the exact phrasing, but 'perceived slights' or something along those lines.
I'm pretty sure not all of Loki's grievances are in his head and unless Thor get's that into his brain they are never going to be able to put right their relationship. Loki's really lost it in an epic way, but he had one hell of a stresser. He didn't just turn out to be adopted, he turned out to be adopted from a race he had been taught to hate and he's the son of the most feared of all of that race. Also all of Thor's friends immediately decided he was up to no good when he became king, which rather gives you an indication of how they usually view him. Suck it up Thor; Loki's mental, but he has reasons.
The way Loki just sat down to watch the fight between Thor, Cap and Iron Man was funny and perfect, although why it didn't ring alarm bells I will never know. He could have just walked away, but he sat there. If I'd been SHIELD I wouldn't have taken him anywhere near the hellicarier, because that was clearly where he wanted to be.
Even Fury points that out!
Oh the fight between Thor, Iron Man and Cap is brilliant.
Tony: "Doth mother know you are wearing her drapes?"
I was most disappointed with our cinema - Fury's line when they have Loki locked up about 'Well let me know if real power wants a magazine or something' got no laughs, well apart from me :).
Loki in a cell ... PPM (personal pornographic moment)
Now to the lines that seem to have become imfamous, even though they were as funny as hell (please excuse me if the phrasing is not exactly right):
Thor: "He is still of Asgard and my brother."
Black Widow: "He killed 80 people in 2 days."
Thor: "He's adopted."
It made everyone laugh, but some people are hating on Thor for saying it. Personally I thought it was hilarious and wanted to clip him round the ear for saying it, so win/win.
Black Widow pretending to be all vulnerable to get info out of Loki. I liked it, but it added fuel to my fire thinking Loki might not be totally in control of himself. This is the liesmith, the guy who has been causing mischief for a thousand years, who manipulated most of Asgard and then some and he falls for the weak woman trick???!!!! Um ... really? Not that that makes Black Widow any less cool.
The one time I really didn't like Fury was when he just about came out and asked Thor to torture his own brother. Excuse me? There are laws against that for a reason.
Badass evil!Hawkeye firing arrows at the hellicarier FTW. What is it about bows and arrows that are so sexy?
"Will you ever not fall for that?" Loki to Thor after Thor gets locked in the cell by going for one of Loki's illusions.
Coulson! Stabbed through the chest with the sceptre, nooooooo! I knew this was coming though, it was one of the spoilers I ran in to by accident before seeing the movie. Stabbed and dying and yet he still manages to get off a really funny one-liner; another win for Joss.
Of course I don't think Coulson's dead. There was the whole bit about the trading cards not being in his jacket, but being in his locker and Fury manipulating the situation to get the Avengers to assemble. The fact that the EMTs got there and we never actually saw them call it, just heard Fury say so has me totally on board with believing Coulson is absolutely not dead.
Tasha's (Black Widow) reaction to Bruce turning into the Hulk was brilliant. The fact that there is something she's afraid of was perfect.
Her fight with evil!Hawkeye - epic and her description of how she got him back: 'cognitive realignment' I think was the phrase. She then translates that as 'I hit you on the head really hard'. Kind of shit reprogramming if all it takes is concussion to undo it, just saying.
Please allow me to take a shallow moment; Hawkeye in restraints ... yum ;)
The whole bit with the turbine engine was cute bonding time for Tony and Steve, but I didn't get much more out of it. The fact they all ran off together after that without permission was so cool. Loki might have been a manipulative bastard, but Fury comes in a very, very close second.
After Loki and Tony's little talk at the bar, when Loki tries to convert Tony like he did Hawkeye and Selvig and the sceptre goes 'tink' on the arc reactor and then he does it again. That was hilarious. Very silly, because, y'know, what would be wrong with an inch or so to the left, but still, very, very funny. Another indication Loki was totally not firing on all cylinders as instead of trying somewhere else on Tony's chest he decided to throw Tony out the window instead.
BTW Mark 9 armour - absolutely stunningly amazing. The armour assemble scene is even more epic than the suitcase armour scene in IM2. I did wonder why Tony started off the trailers with the triangle and ended up with the circle in his chest plate.
Thor and Loki's little battle on the STARK tower was superb. It really looked as if Thor almost got through to Loki, yet another tick in the box that screams programming at me, but that could just be my little fanfic brain going tick, tick :). Clearly not the same as what Loki did to Hawkeye and Selvig because Loki was hit way too many times not to have concussion, even if it is godly concussion.
Then the final battle. Chitauri arrive. Beautifully done, probably much easier to see without 3D. It was exciting and there were some great moments. Bruce's 'My secret is I'm angry all the time' and then Hulking out - oh man, so cool. The way the huge dragon/flying fish thing comes towards him and he smashes it's nose and bam it's out of play was wonderful.
Then Cap giving everyone their assignments and finally saying, 'Hulk' *pause* Hulk growls 'smash' Hulk grins and smashes.
The timing in this movie is fabulous and it was just another example of that.
What I liked about this battle is it even managed to do 'the good guys aren't winning' without making it too much like 'good guy hits bad guy, seems to be doing okay' 'bag guy cheats and starts winning' 'good guy comes back to win'. It's the classic scenario, but it wasn't too in your face.
The funniest bit of the whole movie IMHO - Hulk and Thor, having just kicked serious butt are standing next to each other recovering and out of nowhere Hulk punches Thor to the side. They had a long drawn out battle earlier in the movie that Thor won, and this is so payback. It was so funny.
Loki by this point is on one of the flying sledge things the Chitauri are using and there is a great bit where Hawkeye fires and arrow at him. He catches it like a true badass god, but then it explodes, which is both funny and gets him out of the air.
I think a lot of people would think that the funniest ever part of the movie came shortly thereafter, although I didn't find it as funny as Hulk and Thor. Probably because it hit my embarrassment squick a tiny bit. Loki is yelling at Hulk he will not be bullied, he's a god, and basically going into a rant and Hulk picks him up and smashes him into Tony's penthouse floor several time. It's comic genius, especially when Hulk leaves and we see Loki, lying in the floor (not on it) and he lets out this tiny little whine of breath. Kudos to Tom for that scene.
Now the good guys are winning, but the SHIELD council have sent out a nuke (which Fury tried to stop with a rocket launcher and failed). Tony gets to play the sacrificing hero and takes it through the portal and uses it to blow up the Chitauri mothership (at which point all Chitauri on Earth fall over, are they all computer controlled soldiers?). He then falls back through the portal just in time before Black Widow and Selvig close it and gets caught by Hulk and there is another perfect one line from Tony when he apparently comes back from the dead.
Tony: "Please tell me no one kissed me."
This then left only a little bit of clear up and the part that made me go weak at the knees. Loki bound and gagged as he is taken off to Asgard by Thor. A gorgeous guy in leather and armour, in cuffs and a gag ... OMG they could not have fired more kinks at the same time. So many feelings and most of them filthy ;)
I didn't expect the movie to end with all the Avengers unassembled again - that was a surprise, but then I suppose it gives them lots to work with for the solo movies and the next one.
The only thing I was really unimpressed with was the in credits scene. It meant nothing to me and I got nothing from it.
I have one big complaint about the whole movie though. In Captain America we got semi-naked magnetic abs, in Thor we got semi-naked demi-god, but in Avengers we had no semi-naked super buff guys. The only one with his clothes off was Mark and he's not bad to look at, but he's no Chris (either of them). I would like to protest about this very loudly.