Avengers Assemble. 10/10. I was going to give it a 10/10 with a half dozen caveats about being an action film and dumb fun and then I watched it again. Straight away again. You know what it reminds me of? It reminds me of Star Wars. Back in the day.|
I love Joss Whedon's writing, in a hokey way. I get a bit bored of how every character sounds the same and all the dialogue is snappy and he can't resist a withering 1990s putdown but he was born to write comic dialogue and he fits this film like a glove. He gives Thor the extra syllables, takes them away from Tony Stark, but mostly he trusts his actors to make the difference and have enough in them to make each character different.
He can't resist poking his own head through and it does sometimes show. 'Hilariously' outmatched is not something SLJ would say (ande he doesn't even really know how to say it). The crewman playing Space Invaders, the (studio led) pops at Superman and Batman, the constant need for deflation where a character gets interrupted when monologuing, these are moments when he can't help himself and maybe gets too clever for his own good. But most everything else is bang on the money.
This should be a larger than life film. It should have ridiculous, over the top characters flying around, doing extraordinary things. It should have willing sacrifice and learning to trust and forgiveness and understanding and newfound strength and belief, and to find the room to do all this in one film is a masterclass. Yes, it helped that these had a solid core of films to build on and yes it helps that there isn't a weak performance in it (I wondered about Loki, and the English Hellboy look, but his cruelty and especially his face, all smile and teeth and bones, is stark as Skeletor and just as memorable), but even so there was a solid expectation to live up to and even then it was more.
It says a lot that I needed a second pass to get the things I'd missed. What comic book film has ever needed that? Ever? SLJ's speech, right at the heart, about heroes, and being old fashioned, and belief, was far more than I'd given it credit for the first time around. Loki's taunts to his brother and the fear at the army at his back which made him hide in violence and malevolence. Thor was beautifully anachronistic, as was Captain America, although the one was stubborn and the other bemused. Tony Stark needed only turn on the charm, and then sulk when it didn't work. Hawkeye and Black Wossname were sensibly given their own space to do their own thing, but why have they made a ton of Hulk films and only now used Mark Ruffalo? I can't decide whether he was better as himself, or whether the actual, true, best character in the whole damn thing was a CGI effect.
Get this man with Laurence Kasdan working on the new Disney Star Wars. Man of Steel is going to have to be something special because the last Batman film was bad enough against normal fare, before I'd seen this. Like I said, 10/10.
LB, you really are a massive geek.