by Allison Racicot
When I was waiting in line to see The Avengers for the second time, I overheard two girls talking in front of me. One of them proudly said that this was her fifth time seeing the movie. Her fifty dollars in movie tickets undoubtedly helped The Avengers to take over the opening weekend record that was previously held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, an impressive feat in and of itself, but after seeing The Avengers, it’s pretty clear as to how Nick Fury and company managed to overtake the record-setting adventures of Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
Placed into the more-than-capable hands of geek god Joss Whedon, who wrote and directed the movie,The Avengers succeeds in fulfilling nearly every expectation that was thrown its way. The plot centers around the Tesseract, a cube filled with an endless supply of sustainable energy that is promptly stolen by Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who pulls double duty as the movie’s villain and the adopted brother of Thor (Chris Hemsworth). In a desperate attempt to stop Loki, retrieve the Tesseract, and save the world from destruction, Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D., assembles the Avengers, a group of superheroes in the Marvel comics universe comprised of Thor, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Sudbury, Mass.’ own Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).
I’m a big fan of Whedon’s, but I’ll try to keep the fangirling to a minimum. He manages to combine the personalities and storylines of each member of the Avengers with grace and style, sticking true to Tony Stark’s banter and smart-alecky backtalk while also seamlessly capturing the cautious persona of Bruce Banner. Scenes that focus more on characterization and humor are paired with fast-paced battle scenes that utilize amazing special effects, bringing the members of Loki’s army to life. For those who haven’t seen Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America, you don’t have to know all the characters’ backstories to enjoy The Avengers. Almost all of the Avengers have had their own movies released in the past few years and learning about them can be a potentially daunting task. However, The Avengers strikes a perfect balance between giving enough background info to bring casual fans up to speed while also including cameos, inside jokes, and Easter eggs to satisfy the more hardcore fans, as well.
At nearly two and a half hours, The Avengers is a movie that doesn’t lend itself well to bathroom breaks. Sure, you could go, but there’s so much going on that it’s hard to decide on a scene during which you could make a bathroom run and not miss anything. And a word of advice to those who haven’t seen The Avengers yet—stick around after the credits for two pretty cool bonus scenes. With this being the summer of superheroes—the eagerly awaited The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man are both due out in July—the aforementioned now definitely have their work cut out for them.