Keeping quiet about having seen The Avengers more than a week ago hasn't been easy. And as much as I've wanted to just dive right in and talk about the movie that I saw, I thought long and hard about a way to do this post without talking about the actual plot of the movie. You see this is the movie that proves you can do a big budget superhero film that isn't based on a single character. This is the movie that is going to make Warner Bros. rethink every aspect of their proposed Justice League movie - because this movie raises the bar so high on the concept of a multiple superhero movie that to make something less would be an epic mistake.
I can say with the utmost confidence that I am a huge superhero fan. Those of you that listen to the podcast or happen to know me beyond that probably know that I'm about as geeky as they come. And my knowledge and love of superheroes is something I pride myself on. This movie brings me back to my childhood in ways that it's hard to describe. There are moments that I dreamt of all those years ago, moments I never for a moment thought I'd see on the big screen, and there they were before my eyes. And those moments brought tears of joy to my eyes.
If you think you've got the whole movie figured out from the trailers, or prior tellings of the tale this movie sets out to tell then I'm sorry to say, but you're probably wrong. I was wrong. I went into this movie with extremely high expectations - setting myself up for a huge disappointment. Instead what I got was something above even the bar I set. Those trailers tell you nothing. They spoil nothing. The moments in them are both great and meaningless to the whole. It's the moments before and after what you see in them that matter.
You will learn why this team of comic book heroes is considered to be one of the greatest teams ever assembled, and you will understand not just who they are, but why they work. The character dynamics are true to the source material right down to the tiniest of details that pay homage all the way back to their very first comic book story. All the actors reprise their prior roles with amazing success, and in a way where none of them take away from the others. A greatly architected work.
The only change to the cast that bears mentioning is Mark Ruffalo who plays both Bruce Banner and the Hulk. His take on the character is amazing bringing in aspects originally brought to the character by John Byrne, while also bringing us back to the days of the old Bill Bixby version of Banner seen in The Incredible Hulk television series. He then takes the whole Hulk package, turns it on it's side, kicks it a little, and serves it back to us in a way that can only be described as finally getting the Hulk right on the big screen.
The heroes of this movie are not those they resemble in the Ultimates or the Avengers comic books. They instead take the best qualities from both sources and transcend them to become something more. The Man. The Monster. The Knight. The God. The Archer. The Spy. An unlikely group brought together with a common goal, learn together to become a team, and save the day.
"And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born..."
That day is May 4th 2012. Yea Verily!