The Avengers

I’m warming up Dragon with a blog post. I’ve discovered it’s a little sluggish first thing, and so I thought I’d do this before using it to write today.

I watched The Avengers recently, and I’m apparently the only person on earth who didn’t like it. As you all know, I’m a big fan of Joss Whedon. And this movie has been hyped up for ages. So it’s possible my expectations were too high. However, when I recently went to see Cabin in the Woods, at first I thought it was kind of ehh, but then I realized that for people who weren’t fans of Joss, it was a darned good flick. I waited to come to a similar conclusion about this movie. However, I haven’t.

The Avengers is nothing more than splashy special effects, empty action scenes that don’t evoke an emotional response because the heroes’ winning them is a foregone conclusion, and a bunch of admittedly witty one-liners. What’s missing is any real depth to characters or any urgency in their situation. In some ways, the slick dialogue (which is arguably the best part of the film) keeps the film from ever feeling “real.” If it were really so bad that Loki was taking over the world or whatever, then would everybody be joking all the time? The result is that there are like five or six heroes against one bad guy (who doesn’t even seem that scary) and the 130 minute exercise in defeating him seems like overkill.

There are some really great moments in the movie. I really enjoyed watching the characters interact. The action scenes bored me. Whedon seriously needs to watch the Red Letter Media critique of the Star Wars prequels, because he commits the sin of having so much going on that the audience is desensitized to the objective and the stakes of the protagonists. However, no one does snappy dialogue like Joss Whedon.

In short, I think I’ll be sticking with the Nolan Batman franchise for my superhero movie fix. (Unless someone wants to make Marvelman/Miracleman into a movie. Of course, if they get it right it would probably get an NC-17– not for sex, for graphic violence.)