Saturday, May 12, 2012

Cinema Babble: Super Heroes United...Sorta

The Flick:  The Avengers

The Peeps: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johanssen, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Stellan Skarsgard, Paul Bettany, Jenny Agutter, etc, etc. Etcetera.

The Dealio: When Earth is threatened by  petulant demi-god (and adoptive brother of Thor), Hiddleston's  Loki , Nick Fury (Jackson), the apparent liaison between  the governing committee and the military/S.H.I.E.L.D., brings together a committee of his own: people with...distinct and 'highly developed, very specific skill-sets'. Total mayhem ensues as Iron Man, The Black Widow, The Hulk, Hawkeye, Captain America and Thor meet up en route to saving the world and, well, fight like a bunch of schoolyard toughs. The first 30-40 minutes spin out the set-up wherein an item called the Tesseract, apparently, the mother of all energy sources, has been stolen by Loki to fuel his goals of assuming control of Earth and everyone on her. More chaos, explosions, power-drains, mind-control and even a pan-dust-up among several of the Supes in order to sort out who is the baddest of the bad. Answer: Nick Fury, since he is the only one who doesn't get a mark on him from the interplay. Then onto the serious bidnez of  curbing evil, restoring peace and order and waiting for that always-entertaining, over-the-credits-reveal.

The Grading Session: 4.19 pengies out of 5. There is no earthly reason for this movie to clock in at over 2.5 hours. The mix of personalities should have delightful, enjoyable and loaded with tongue-in-cheek. Instead, the only time the dialogue seemed to snap and snarl was when Downey's Stark/Iron Man graced the scene. In addition to scoring almost all the best lines, he also seemed to be having the most fun with what he was doing (Hiddleston and Ruffalo got in a fair amount of satisfyingly engaging shots, though). Johansson and Jackson were completely underutilised and that's just plain sad. 

Lessons Learned: First of all,  it always has to be NYC or LA. Alien travel agents must be promoting the crap out of those two as must-destroy dream destinations. Next: OK, what am I not getting about gods? I thought there was definitely an element of immortality about them. But in movies of this sort, people- even other gods- are always trying to kill them. And this: in the immortal words of Axel Foley: 'I'm not fallin' for the old banana in the tail pipe trick.' Take note, all y'all: if the bad guys are trying to lead you someplace, just don't go. THIS IS ALWAYS A TRAP. Are you listening? ALWAYS. Lastly: if you are trying to fashion an alien force that will scare the scrambled eggs out of a group of citizens, you should definitely make 'em look like mechanised coelacanths, which totally would not be able to move and articulate, let alone fly. This here must be the stuff with which film-makers' nightmares are populated.

Notable Quotables: (all come from Tony Stark. Of course): 'Clench up, Legolas.' (to Hawkeye). 
'No hard feelings, Point Break. Ya gotta mean swing.' and "Shakespeare in the Park?' (both, to Thor) and
 'OK, Reindeer Games' (to  Loki. NOTE: Seriously? You could have chosen any sort of get-up and this is what you chose? Geez.)  
'You might have missed a few things while you were being a Capsicle.' (to Captain America). And, from Agent Hill: 'When did you become an expert in thermonuclear astrophysics?' Stark: 'Last night.'

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