Go See 'The Avengers' (a movie review)

Overall rating: regular nighttime show. I mean, maybe not Chicago prices—unless you're running a student discount—but a $7.50 ticket, perhaps even a $9, is perfectly reasonable. (This probably translates to 3/4 stars.)

Good: I didn't realize Joss Whedon was involved with this, but considering the totally sharp dialogue it's not surprising. Every single major character in this had at least one hilarious one-liner, including the people you wouldn't expect it from at all (let's face it, Thor is adorably dumb...playing remarkably well to the myths he's borrowed from). Also it's well-paced. There's a bunch of characters introduced, so even if you have seen 'Captain America' and 'Thor' (which directly set up for this one) and 'Iron Man 2' (which is a bit more indirect, but does have some jokes that carry over), there's still a bunch of new characters and characters that didn't get much of an introduction in the first place. That said, it's not like there's a ton of depth, but they move quickly through the material and give you enough background where you're not lost or anything.

The graphics are, of course, pretty. The one that was a bit substandard was the Hulk's skin. My theory on this is that we actually know what to expect from skin, not so much crazy alien races or different kinds of metals, so it's just more obvious. Let's face it, even 'Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within' couldn't take it all the way (and that one was ridiculous for its time). Generally speaking, this is an eye-candy happy movie. Even straight dudes and lesbians can at least enjoy Scarlet Johansson's catsuit. And everyone can enjoy Samuel L. Jackson maintaining his record of being a badass.

But, anyway, lots of explosions and sweet fight scenes from both the dudes and the (few) chicks. They're getting better about equal race and sex representation—a hard feat considering the background material. No complaints on that ground.

Moderately amusing, but also a bit confusing: Sustainability! It comes up a bunch of times in this, mostly carrying over from Tony Stark's whole eco-friendly arc reactor as a source of near-infinite clean energy. Considering that I was downtown for the Chicago Green Festival, I obviously approve. Although...you know...considering that they blow up half of Manhattan and have giant machines everywhere the message is a little...eh. Also I'm pretty sure Jackson-as-Fury disses on the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, but that was way subtler. He could have been sneering at the economic woes.

Bad: Loki still has major daddy issues everywhere. Well, there's a nice thin layer of angst, refreshing after seeing the trailers for 'The Dark Knight' whatever and 'The Amazing Spider-Man', but still there's just a little. I mean, I get the whole making them more human and appealing business but when it's like three seconds of time and back to the giant boom noises everywhere...pfffpffpfff.

Alright, here's my real gripe with the movie. It's pretty ranty, so you may want to skip it.

Jeremy Renner cannot hold a bow. Not even a little. I did archery for four years in college, and even if I think aiming is for pussies believe me, I know what a good stance looks like. Seriously. You do not grip a bow. You do not pull on a bow as if the only muscle in your entire body is your arm. A good stance is relaxed (imagine you're standing on a skateboard) and the bow basically rests in the gap between your thumb and other four fingers. You'll get a callus on your thumb-meets-hand joint, but you will not grip the bow like your life depends on it. Also, when drawing a bow, there is no pulling. Your back muscles are supposed to do all the work: the string is drawn back with the first joints of the fingers (2nd-4th depending), hence the little finger tab, but seriously what.

I suppose they deserve some credit for not actually showing his atrocious stance until closer to the end, but astfgl. You know what, I'll just focus on the sweet aerial tricks and also the humor, okay.


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