Full of Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing.
I've long advocated that the real crux of any story is its characters—whether they are interesting, compelling, fun, captivating. With that in mind, I am not
this film's target audience: I've never read comic books, I didn't watch Thor
or Captain America
, I don't know how Hawkeye snuck into the movie-verse, and I don't know Maria Hill from a hole in the ground. I don't
find these characters interesting, and that means I lack the emotional context of Marvel's target audience. As such, Your Mileage May Vary
But I just don't see what the big deal is about.
I felt like a lot of good actors and characters were wasted. Cobie Smulders had basically nothing to do; no one would've noticed if she wasn't in the film. I have loved Jeremy Renner ever since Ghost Protocol
, and he saved the character, but he also felt jammed-in. For that matter, I'm privately convinced that they made a Thor
movie solely to set up this film. Even worse, they're Static Characters
in this movie, since it's assumed that the arcs and baggage they had in their solo outings are sufficient. (Here the fact that Fox owns Wolverine, and Sony Spider-Man, also becomes a liability, but that can't be helped.)
I found the acting kind of uneven. Robert Downey Jr stole every frame he could (and Tom Hiddleston made off with the remainder). That's either casting's fault, for not finding actors who can hold their own against Downey (which, to be sure, is a daunting task), or the screenwriters', for not finding more interesting beats for those actors. Regardless, I kept waiting for one of the other Avengers to steal the show back
from Tony Stark, and the fact that they never did just undermined the whole "ensemble" cast further.
Don't get me wrong: the characters were not flat, and all the actors did a great job. It's not a mummified wreckage like Batman Forever
; it breathes. But it doesn't do anything more. And from actors and a director this good, phoning it in isn't sufficient. This movie brims with so much potential that, even spinning their wheels, they made a decent film. Imagine what they could've accomplished if they'd actually tried to make a good one.