Welcome and thank you for choosing to include Postmodern Idiosyncrasies as part of your Avengers experience. The review will begin in a moment, after a quick caveat: I make, and hope I never have made nor ever will make, any claims to objectivity, but in the case of superhero based media, be it game or film or television show, even my ability to gauge and limit the effect of my subjectivity is severely impeded. Call it juvenile, call it plebeian, or just call it idiotic, but my critical faculties take a hit when the object of my attention concerns impossible feats by characters clad in implausible costumes of garish primary colours. It’s my agony and ecstasy, the highs of a brilliant film like Spider-Man 2 or Iron Man matched only by the obsessive irritation caused by much of cinematic farragoes like Spider-Man 3 or Green Lantern. I know that in life, even in culture, these things I love and hate are essentially transient, even if that is less true than some critics plaintively declaim, but the knowledge doesn’t mediate the experience. Superheroes are essentially aspirational, it doesn’t matter that they’re also impossible. This caveat was more expansive than I anticipated, but pray, read on…
The Avengers, or Avengers Assemble as the film has been awkwardly retitled here in the UK, is an impossible film. An ensemble based on egos, in characters if not amongst the cast, which required the work of some five films in order to establish a cinematic continuity capable of bearing the amalgamation of sci-fi, fantasy, horror and unironic matinee without collapsing beneath its own weight. It needed special-effects which could render a green behemoth alongside a futuristic knight, a soldier out of time, a Norse god and two mere mortals and have him match them in humanity and dwarf them in sheer physical presence. It needed a script and direction and cinematography and a unifying aesthetic which could cut through all these things, and work where they couldn’t stand alone and, finally, it needed an enemy brutal, cruel and cunning enough to bring them together. So if not impossible then at least implausible, surely, that the progression of Marvel’s cinematic universe could proceed smoothly enough to reach its first milestone, the close of the first chapter in their shared universe? Even more implausible perhaps that that film, that Avengers Assemble, might even be that series’ unanticipated zenith, rather than its predictable nadir?
After which hyperbole, which melodrama, my opinion (filtered through an understanding of my opening caveat) must surely be clear: Avengers Assemble is extraordinary.
~ by Thom Dicomidis on 27/04/2012.
Posted in Essay-Type Stuff, Just... Stuff, Review Stuff
Tags: Agent Coulson, Avengers Assemble, Black Widow, Bruce Banner, Captain America, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Clark Gregg, Clint Barton, Cobie Smulders, Dr Selvig, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hawkeye, Hulk, Iron Man, Jeremy Renner, Joss Whedon, Loki, Maria Hill, Mark Ruffalo, Marvel, Natasha Romanoff, Nick Fury, Pepper Potts, Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johanson, Stellan Skarsgård, Steve Rogers, The Avengers, Thor, Tom Hiddleston, Tony Stark