Steve Rogers, a rejected military soldier transforms into Captain America after taking a dose of a "Super-Soldier serum". But being Captain America comes at a price as he attempts to take down a war monger and a terrorist organization.
Samuel L. Jackson
As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with a fellow Avenger and S.H.I.E.L.D agent, Black Widow, to battle a new threat from history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier.
Samuel L. Jackson,
When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner try to jump-start a dormant peacekeeping program called Ultron, things go horribly wrong and it's up to Earth's mightiest heroes to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plan.
Robert Downey Jr.,
Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
The warrior Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard by his father Odin (Sir Anthony Hopkins) for his arrogance and sent to Earth to live amongst humans. Falling in love with scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) teaches Thor much-needed lessons, and his new-found strength comes into play as a villain from his homeland sends dark forces toward Earth.
There is a statement at the end of the closing credits: "Thor will return in The Avengers (2012)." See more »
The version of the film shows in AMC Theaters as part of a pre-Avengers Marvel Phase One marathon features an exclusive intro from Agent Coulson, talking about the film and the character. These Coulson intros were later includes as bonuses in the Avengers Phase One box set. See more »
This is a throw-off piece of Marvel fiction that is packed full of cliché and predictability...to a point.
I found myself cringing at a lot of the scenes of heroism and there's a definite stink of pure cheetos-stained fanboyism in many of the scenes in general, with the usual over-the-top "glory" of this old four-color trope.
But certain things caught my attention as well-done.
First, Asgard is absolutely beautiful. They went all out in making a realm of metallic and elemental grandeur. I had no trouble in buying this as the realm of Asgard, the ultimate land of beautiful heroism. In particular, the rainbow bridge, the weaponry, and the interior scenes were very fitting in general style and specific detail. Very impressive visually and even thematically.
Second, Branagh's touch can be seen with Shakespearean flair in the family of Odin the AllFather. Odin himself is brimmed with both the rime of age and the wisdom that comes with it and yet his voice can instantly summon fearful authority. Hopkins does well with that balance, even through some cheesy scripting.
And the brothers... the sibling rivalry here is very very potent in that it is nuanced and fully realized by both actors. There is love there, but also a lack of understanding, envy, and hate. Loki is far from a cardboard villain, in that we see, all in one package - a fighter who protects his allies, an honest counselor, a liar, a cautious thinker, a smooth tongue, and an awkward one. He loves and reveres his father, but comes to almost fatally doubt him and even hate him...but it's all very real and very stirring. And even when it's clear that he's done very grim deeds, you can actually understand and accept his motives...and his last scene in the film brings all three of the family men together in a very poignant moment of utter loss.
I was pretty surprised how moving this all was, especially when put in the middle of some otherwise-uninspiring hero pablem.
So in summary, this movie both met my negative expectation of disappointment and surprised me with some purely moving content. See it to see if it surprises you at all as well, and forget the whole comic-book hero thing, since that's been done far better.
Thanks for reading.
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