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‘The Avengers’ lives up to hype

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The plot, as in most superhero movies, was simple. The bad guys steal something that belongs to the good guys. And the good guys spend the entire movie trying to get it back.

The Avengers, the name for the group of superheroes in the film, protected Earth from aliens. Though by 2012 almost every form of alien invasion has been recorded on film, this was one of the few ways to unite all the superheroes in one movie.

However, as with all superhero movies, no one watches the film for a complex, unique plot. Superhero movies are fun, and, with the exception of Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” film series, they rarely meet the criteria to make them classics. They are about the journey good makes to defeat evil and the special effects, both of which were stellar.

The acting was superb; the movie had an all-star cast comprising the main characters of Marvel Comics’ most recent productions. Robert Downey Jr. (“Sherlock Holmes”) and Gwyneth Paltrow (“Emma”) reprise their roles as Iron Man and Pepper Potts, as did Chris Hemsworth (“The Cabin in the Woods”) for Thor and Tom Hiddleston (“The Deep Blue Sea”) as Thor’s brother Loki, Chris Evans (“Fantastic Four”) as Captain America and Samuel Jackson (“Pulp Fiction”) as Nick Fury, a character with a small appearance at the end of “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Thor.”

As expected, most of the character development resumed from the previous movies. Not only did all of these actors continue their roles on “The Avengers,” but also many directors overlapped on the films. Joss Whedon, who directed “The Avengers” directed the post-credits scene in “Thor.” He also built more character connections in “Captain America: The First Avenger.” Jon Favreau, who directed the first two Iron Man movies, was an executive director on “The Avengers.”

Because so many characters and directors overlapped, the storyline flowed seamlessly from the characters’ previous movies, a necessity because of the short time allotment. In a film with so many of Marvel’s best superheroes, none could receive the screen time he needed.

Fortunately most characters were in recent movies, and most were played by the same actors, with the exception of Mark Ruffalo (“The Kids Are All Right”), — who was selected to portray the Hulk instead of Edward Norton (“American History X”) or, lest we forget, Eric Bana (“Troy”) — Scarlett Johansson (“A Love Song for Bobby Long”) as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner (“The Bourne Legacy”) as Hawkeye. Hawkeye’s character development was minimal. He had little onscreen time, during most of which he was possessed. Black Widow, the only female superhero of the bunch, had much more development.

Not only were they in a battle of brawn against the enemy, but also in a battle of wits among themselves. In a movie with such large, conflicting personalities,the superheroes were bound to disagree. Watching them in this battle of brains to undercut one another and establish credibility among peers kept the story interesting.

Many of the one-liners arose from an understanding of the characters or from continuities in the plot. Still, moviegoers with no background on the characters could enjoy it. Black Widow, Agent Phil (Clark Gregg, “The New Adventures of Old Christine”), Agent Hill (Cobie Smulders, “How I Met Your Mother”) and Nick Fury were newer characters. Their dialogue had nothing to do with previous storylines. Even beyond these one-liners, the banter among the superheroes kept up with Whedon’s previous screenplays (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” “Toy Story,” “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope,” “Astonishing X-Men: Gifted”).

The coolest scene by far in this is when the camera pans throughout the main fight scene to capture all the superheroes fighting side-by-side to protect the planet against the alien invaders. And with that, the scene highlights all of the superheroes’ talents, successfully upholding Marvel Cinematic Universe’s high standard in films, special effects and characterization of superheroes.

And the main reasons for seeing the superhero movie, the awesome special effects and watching the good guys restore justice, remains.

By Avantika Khatri

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