Sorry, been a tad busy of late. Fair warning, there's going to be some spoilers regarding Marvel Studios' latest cinematic offering, Avengers. So if you've not seen it, you may want to skip this post. Then again, it's going to be a fair amount of fanboy gushing, so you might want to skip it anyway.
So I opted to catch an evening showing of Avengers at the local cineplex, figuring that after a long day of work, I'd take a chance to unwind a bit. I tend not to go into most movies with high expectations, just that I'll be entertained for a couple hours.
To sum up, Avengers rocked.
It was pretty darn close to being a perfect super-hero movie, with Iron Man just being slightly better in my opinion. They got each of the characters more or less right, though I'm not sure how I feel on Banner being a tad too light-hearted about his "monumental anger management issues." Then again, since Thor seemed to be the more mellow fellow he was at the end of his movie, I guess Banner's attitude is just a reflection of his character growth from the end of the Ed Norton flick. For me, Tony Stark pretty much stole every scene he was in, though I wouldn't have minded Black Widow getting a tad more character time, but that could just due to wanting to see more of Scarlett Johannson on the big screen. I'm a guy, sue me.
As should be expected from a Whedon-directed film, there was a lot of humor to be found in many of the character interactions, such as "how nothing is gonna surprise me anymore" from Cap to Fury, who responds with saying that ten bucks proves Cap is wrong. The next time Cap sees Director Fury aboard the SHIELD helicarrier, Steve just pulls a ten-spot out of his pocket and hands it over without a word. Or the SHIELD bridge member that actually was playing Galaga when Tony made his entrance onto the helicarrier's bridge. Or Tony making his Big Damn Heroes entrance by first hijacking the PA system on Black Widow's quinjet to blare out AC/DC's "Shoot to Thrill." Or Tony mocking Thor's old-fashioned manner of speaking. Or Hulk's reaction to Loki's attempt to scold the giant brute as though he were an unruly child, followed by Loki's reaction to Hulk's response. Tony was right, things really did not end well for Loki. Also, the post-credits scene with the group, most of them still in costume, taking Tony's earlier suggestion and having a meal at the shawarma place, which was hilariously awkward as the place is still a mess from the fighting outside and the group is coming off one heck of an adrenaline rush.
But seeing as how this is a super-hero movie, there needs to be great action scenes, and Avengers did not disappoint in this regard. The entire final battle sequence was just amazing, with everyone making meaningful contributions to the battle and playing to their respective strengths. But the fight between Thor and Hulk aboard the helicarrier (started when Thor steps in to protect Black Widow from a raging Hulk) was cool as well, as throughout the movie Hulk pretty much dominated any fight he was in, except for this one. I got the feeling that Thor was still holding back for most of the battle, and he still gave Jolly Green a heck of a fight.
There aren't many movies I'll pay theater prices to see more than once (Revenge of the Sith was the last one), and Avengers is definitely one of those I will gladly pay to go see a second time, maybe even a third.
One a gaming related note, seeing this movie made me fish out the PDF copy I bought of Margaret-Weis Productions' Marvel Heroic RPG and give it a more complete read thru (to be far, I was a good deal more enamored of One Ring at the time). I dunno if this will ever get on the table, but I can at least appreciate the more narrative approach they took in regards to a superhero RPG, which does at least fit with Marvel's generally "low-powered" feel to their characters. Still, I might be willing to try a one-shot to see how it goes.