NB: This is a review of The Avengers combined with a comparison of this film to The Dark Knight Rises. You can check out my review of The Dark Knight Rises here.
So I’m way behind the times and I’ve only just managed to watch The Avengers but I have to say I wasn’t as impressed as I thought I would be. Sure, it’s a pretty spectacular movie with the right script, the right cast, the right director, yada yada yada, but I still can’t shake the feeling that it was hyped up to be a lot more than it actually was. It probably doesn’t help that I saw The Dark Knight Rises before seeing The Avengers as I was so completely mind blown by that I don’t think that another film will live up to the high bar that TDKR has set up in my brain.
Now before I write this review, I have something to admit. I haven’t seen The Incredible Hulk or Iron Man or Thor or read any Marvel Comics about any of the characters mentioned in this film. The only film that I had seen was Captain America, because let’s face it, Chris Evans is super hot. I was worried that I perhaps wouldn’t quite understand all of the characters or what was going on in this film but you don’t really any need superhero movie knowledge prior to watching this film. I was also worried that perhaps the combination of so many brilliant characters would be an onscreen disaster rather than masterpiece, but thankfully it was the later.
This film starts off with Loki (Thor’s brother) stealing the Tesseract, an alien source of energy, and threatening to enslave the entire human race with the help of an extra-terrestrial army. In order to combat this, Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson), the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D, a covert government unit, assembles together a group of superheros, collectively known as ‘The Avengers’. The Avengers is made up of Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye. Things don’t go as smoothly as Nick Fury hoped as it’s hard to get all the members of the team to cooperate and get along with each other which they need to do in order to defeat Loki.
I had been putting off watching The Avengers for a number of reasons, primarily because I hate Robert Downey Jr. and anything to do with Iron Man, which, incidentally, I haven’t even seen. I’m not really sure why, but I just really don’t like him as an actor and the Iron Man movies never really appealed to me. However, after having seen The Avengers movie, I am now a pretty big fan of Robert Downey Jr and he is definitely my favourite Avenger. Another reason why I prefer TDKR to The Avengers is probably because I hated Robert Downey Jr/Iron Man, just as much, if not more, than I hated Christian Bale/Batman, but I didn’t feel the same sort of epic transformation after watching The Avengers as I did after watching TDKR.
The other actors in The Avengers were also brilliant. The brilliant thing about all the actors in this film is that they were all so versatile. They could all play their characters in a funny way and in a serious way and they also managed to preserve their characters’ unique personalities even when The Avengers had all come together. I’ve never heard of the Black Widow in my life so I’m still not really sure what sort of character she was supposed to be, but Scarlett Johanson did a kick-ass job. I can’t really single out any actor for being particularly impressive, apart from Robert Downey Jr. as I mentioned above. If I had to pick one of the character’s as the leader of The Avengers, it would definitely be Tony Stark, as you can see above he is even in the forefront of the movie’s poster. As far as I’m aware he wasn’t officially a leader, but it sure felt like he had the biggest role to play and had more of a grip on the situation than the other characters. All the characters had mini sub-plots going on but the one that was the most prominent, and the only one that I can really remember, was that of Tony Stark (yay romance!).
The CGI effects in this film were pretty impressive, though I didn’t see this film in the cinema, so some of the impact of them was lost on me. This film involved quite a lot of extra-terrestrial interaction which is quite hard to pull off well because in most films everything just looks completely fake, but it was all authentic-looking in The Avengers. There is a particularly large battle scene towards the end of the film when an entire city is pretty much wrecked as the Avengers battled Loki’s army and it looked like a real battle could have just taken place. There are also quite a lot of robotics and high-tech-looking things in this film which also looked like they could have been real which made the whole film so much more believable. Again, I think TDKR beat The Avengers on this front because the CGI effects in that made my jaw drop and I didn’t get the same reaction whilst watching The Avengers, but they were stunning nonetheless.
I was surprised to see that Rotten Tomatoes gave The Avengers a rating of 92% and The Dark Knight Rises a rating of 87% when I believe that TDKR was as good as, if not better, than The Avengers. I think the reason for this is probably because The Dark Knight was seen to be the best in the trilogy by many that it was nigh on impossible for The Dark Knight Rises to compete with it, whereas The Avengers some average to amazing superhero characters making this film better than anything Marvel had come up with before. As you can see both movies have incredibly high and impressive ratings and it is pretty difficult to compare these two movies as they have completely different tones. The Avengers is quite light-hearted and funny as well as action packed whilst TDKR is serious, deep and mindblowing (as well as action-packed). These are both brilliant films and I wouldn’t say that either one could outright beat the other; however, I personally preferred TDKR by far and in my opinion it ticks more of a film critic’s boxes.
I could ramble for days about why I prefer TDKR to The Avengers, but I don’t want to bore you. All in all, both are absolutely phenomenal films that are an absolute must watch. They both incredible casts, directors, CGI effects, plot lines, they’ve got it all. The main difference between the two would be the overall tone of the films. The Avengers is the sort of film I’d watch when I’m in the mood to be entertained but TDKR is one I’d watch when I’m ready to be completely mind-blown.
Who’s seen either/both of these films? Which is your favourite?