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Reviews Comments: Full of Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing. The Avengers 2012 film/book review by slvstr Chung

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.


  • JackAlsworth
  • 11th May 12
Hawkeye "snuck" into the movieverse via Thor (he had a throwaway cameo there).
  • Scardoll
  • 11th May 12
It's funny that you say that Downey stole the show, when the majority of reviews for this film cite Ruffalo as the film's strongest performance.

I disagree with your review, but I'm glad that you explained your viewpoint clearly and concisely. As long as I liked the movie, I'm happy.
  • Jobbeybob
  • 12th May 12
"Full of Sound And Fury".

I see what you did there...
  • CasualBanshee
  • 14th May 12
I agree with you about the hype over this movie and your point about Maria Hill (Colbie Smulders). I'm not even sure why she was there.

And you're spot-on about the films potential, which never really adds up. I found it very frustrating that this film is evocative of so little emotion: I never felt like I was rooting for anyone in a fight, but that might be a side-effect of so many heroes in one movie. You never spend much time with any of them.

Even though you didn't enjoy this one, I would reccommend Thor and Captain America as movies. What Thor doesn't have in storyline is balanced by excellent acting and great characterization, especially with the leads, Chris Hemsworth (Thor)and Tom Hiddleson (Loki): they had a brilliant dynamic in that movie. And Captain America is just great.

  • Tomwithnonumbers
  • 15th May 12
I hope they use Maria Hill more in the sequels, she put in an impressive performance to be so notable really. If Smulders had done less it wouldn't really have been noticeable even that she's a character.

I mean I think they introduced Coulson and Hawkeye in similar not-much-going-on ways so I guess it's set up for a bigger role in the future

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