By Keith Crandell Jr.

Editor’s note: Back in May 2012, The Avengers actually kicked off this website. For this special Marvel Week occasion, we’ve decided to update the review a bit. But don’t worry, the message is the same: The Avengers is fantastic, and everyone should see it.

Avengers 3

It’s four in the morning, and never before have I been this damn giddy in my life. Every worry has been lifted off my shoulders and the last four years of waiting have not been wasted. Marvel’s The Avengers is an absolutely brilliant and entertaining movie.

For those who have been living under a rock for the last few years, all you need to know is that five movies over the last four years have shown the origins and heroics of four famous comic book heroes: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and Captain America (Chris Evans). The movie has strong supporting roles from super agents Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and the big man, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) himself. Each of these “Phase 1” movies has fit together like a puzzle to bring all the characters together to team up and protect the world as The Avengers. In this movie, the evil Asgardian Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is hell bent on global conquest, and the semi-dysfunctional team must put aside their differences and stop him. While this plan might not seem too complex, it’s a perfect way to establish the characters in a group setting, and is something that has never been tried before on such a large scale.

Avengers 2

Like any stereotypical first team story, egos flare and fights ensue. This one destroyed a whole forest.

Joss Whedon proves that he is more than capable of handling anything thrown his way by tackling this beast of a project. While bringing together so many different characters, perspectives, and attributes from the comics may seem like a daunting task, anxious fans across the globe can breathe a sigh of relief. Not only is the action fantastic and the writing enthralling, smooth, and hysterical, but the general atmosphere and tone of the movie is both crisp and exciting. In this larger than life world, nothing actually feels out of place; sure it’s a comic book superhero movie, but almost everything within it feels natural. Somewhat sponsored by “big brother” organization S.H.I.E.L.D., The Avengers is a group made up of a genius narcissist, an out of time super soldier, a brilliant scientist with breathtaking anger issues, an otherworldly demi-god, and a pair of assassins who wield nothing more than awesome gadgets, and comes off feeling almost realistic; sure the superpowers and all aren’t real, but these are real people with actual problems, and they are certainly an entertaining bunch. One of the best parts of the movie is watching the team work together, and fall to pieces as their constant bickering puts lives in danger.

Replacing Edward Norton in the role of Bruce Banner/Hulk is Mark Ruffalo. Ruffalo is FANTASTIC in this role, and brings not only Bruce Banner, but the Hulk to life as well through motion capture technology. The Hulk may be animated, but Ruffalo provided all of the foundation, expression, and energy to the table to make this Hulk the defining one. Tom Hiddleston cements his legacy as one of the best villains ever as Loki, Thor’s power hungry brother. Though Cobie Smulders feels extremely stiff and somewhat one dimensional in her portrayal as Maria Hill, and Hawkeye doesn’t get the screen time he deserves (though it’s a quality vs. quantity argument here, and when he’s onscreen he never disappoints) these are small complaints, and they don’t detract from the overall experience.

Avengers 4

This time around, Hulk is actually fully acted out by Mark Ruffalo using motion capture. Complete with bulking muscles, and you can actually see the spit fly.

The Avengers is an amazing film, arguably one of the best comic book blockbusters ever created, and its mere existence is in and of itself a small miracle. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a grin on my face through an entire movie or wanted to watch it again immediately after it was over. Anyone who has ever expressed even vague interest about this movie should go see it; I can’t recommend it enough, and can’t wait to go again.

Score: 10/10

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