Early Reviews for ‘The Avengers’ Are in – “Best Superhero Movie Ever”?

- 04-21-12Comics, Film Posted by Sarah Moran

Not sure if you know this but The Avengers is releasing in the U.K. before it does here in the good ‘ole U.S. of A. Bummer, right? What did we do to deserve this punishment? They’re our superheroes, RIGHT!?!

Not much can be done about this, so let’s look at the silver lining here. We can read those early reviews now, two weeks before it releases here on May 4th. What’s even better is they are almost unanimously positive. In fact, most of the reviews are positively glowing. Some even make the bold claim that The Avengers is the, “best superhero movie ever.”

Yeah. EVER.

I’m getting goosebumps I’m so excited. io9 was awesome enough to collect a good chunk of the incoming reviews, here’s what they’re saying,

Den of Geek:

To Whedon’s credit, he pulled it off. He didn’t just make the best superhero action film that has ever been made, he somehow did it while making a Joss Whedon film – smart, funny and dramatic, but with all the trappings of a sci-fi action movie presented fully intact. Imagine if Transformers 3 had a plot, a script, actors you liked and comprehensible special effects: that’s what Avengers feels like. It’s all so very… big.

Best superhero movie ever and a damn good Joss Whedon flick. This is gonna rock!

Variety:

Crucially, sequences that might have played as laborious buildup are handled in a brisk, straight-ahead manner that quickly focuses attention while methodically elevating the stakes, scene by scene… The battles are excitingly staged, with a sweep and coherence that actually gain something from the 3D conversion, especially when the camera starts to pinball from building to building in a breathless flurry of digital zooms and tracking shots.

I’m happy to hear the 3D adds to the experience rather than detracts. I’ll be seeing The Avengers as part of Marvel’s Ultimate Marathon at AMC (I know,jealous?) and my only option is 3D. Usually I wouldn’t choose 3D so hearing it won’t fuck up the movie is good news.

Says Screen Daily:

Though overlong and inevitably burdened by the need to juggle so many protagonists – not to mention their different emotional arcs and back stories – this much-anticipated kick-off to summer movie season manages to maintain a playful, crowd-pleasing spirit… The Avengers’ tart comic timing and plethora of funny quip help keep this nearly two-and-a-half-hour movie as breezy as it is.

The Hollywood Reporter:

It’s clamorous, the save-the-world story is one everyone’s seen time and again, and the characters have been around for more than half a century in 500 comic book issues. But Whedon and his cohorts have managed to stir all the personalities and ingredients together so that the resulting dish, however familiar, is irresistibly tasty again.

Popcorn Junkie isn’t nearly as praising, saying it’s not as good a The Dark Knight or Superman: The Movie, but they still give it a thumbs up:

The action is spectacular and every set piece is crafted to make jaws drop. It’s so exciting that some people may shake so hard with excitement during the main sequences that they may spontaneously combust or travel back in time… As a long time comic book fan ‘The Avengers’ is a dream come true and I can honestly say that I am so happy to have witnessed it. My future children will have to compete with the film for my love and attention.

Movie Web:

Avengers Assemble is by far the most spectacular superhero ever made in terms of a visual extravagance, and is truly something that has been worth waiting for and it’s the Marvel equivalence to Nolan’s Batman. In final words prepare for something that is truly indescribable as your theatres roars in applause… Joss Whedon has officially created every fan boy’s dream.

The Telegraph:

Joss Whedon’s lavishly enjoyable, chewily-titled film (the branding’s there to warn British cinema-goers that John Steed will not be making an appearance) is an assemblage of everything that’s good about contemporary popcorn cinema; just as importantly, it’s a rejection of everything that isn’t. Avengers might be short on bright ideas of its own, but co-writer and director Whedon has a magpie’s eye for stealing other people’s, and an enviable knack of improving them.

Australia’s Telegraph:

Upcoming US summer blockbusters such as The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man had better be at the peak of their powers to match the absolute blast that is The Avengers. … Overall, The Avengers is a fist-pumping cause for celebration for comic-book hard-liners and action fans alike.

Okay, I guess not everyone loved it, Box Office Magazine:

The Avengers almost works. It’s funny and it’s physical, but even at two and a half hours, it plays like it’s on fast-forward. Forget character development-there’s not even character explanation. The lesser Avengers are most slighted…. Samuel L. Jackson continues to be the franchise’s weak link as an unconvincing military bureaucrat. Though his co-stars fight in horned helmets or turn green when enraged, he can’t even credibly wear an eye patch.

Ouch.

The Daily Mail also isn’t exactly flattering:

The biggest weakness is its premise, which is that the Norse god Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is plotting the downfall of the human race, yet we never really know why… The first half contains too much laboured exposition, and even the action-packed second half may not convert every-one who finds superhero movies immature. But this is a superior example of its kind, with sequences on a par with the best Spiderman and Batman movies. And technically, it’s a real marvel.

The Guardian:

The hero-against-hero slugfest that the comics have been trading on for decades is entertaining at first, but the various combinations of Hulk v Thor v Iron Man quickly blow themselves out. Perhaps it would have helped if they had a properly combative adversary. Hiddleston’s Loki, while a gloriously over-boiled caricature of the emotionally crippled boy-man we met in Thor, is backed by a horde of faceless, disposable allies, and it’s hard to see how they put up much of a threat.

Empire:

This might not match the pyrotechnic power or CG clout of, say, the Transformers films. Yet there is something much more valuable – real human interaction and more of a brain on display. Whedon opens up the canvas and offers something that, with so many characters in play, feels epic and yet never loses sight of the real reason we’ve come to enjoy this particular dysfunctional super-family forced to play nicely together for the first time. In a few brief moments, the pace seems to sag, and the exposition needle pushes a little into the red zone once or twice, but even that is usually wrapped up with swift aplomb.

IGN:

The Avengers is an utterly unique film – both the payoff to something being set up by five other movies, yet also the launching point for its own series. Yes, with so much to deal with and so many characters, it can get a bit messy. But Whedon does an excellent job of giving nearly everyone their due and mixing and matching these amazing characters in several different ways, bouncing them off each other both physically and mentally and charting just what these heroes have to go through to find their footing as a team.

Total Film:

With great power comes great banter in writer/director Joss Whedon’s blockbuster multiplier, which isn’t the best superhero movie ever – but might well be the funniest… Perhaps inevitably, there’s never quite enough real drama or danger for our effectively invincible protagonists. But this 142-minute romp between gods, monsters, men and supermen packs so much crowd-pleasing colour and humour that it’s impossible not to walk out grinning.

What Culture:

Thanks to the talent and immeasurable passion of Joss Whedon, the film not only works, it excels and it is easily one of the most enjoyable and certainly the purest superhero movie ever made. It is not quite a resounding success however, with a number of developmental issues holding it back from being an unblemished masterpiece, including some clunking sections of dialogue that are a little too reminiscent of Michael Bay for comfort and the occasional imbalanced story choices that inspire little more than a slight frown but which gestate quickly and frustratingly offer a picture of what have been.

See? For the most part everyone is loving this movie. Even those who find something to criticize are for the most part pleased with the film overall. I also noticed that some reviewers are being unnecessarily nitpicky. Amy Nicholson of Box Office Magazine states right at the beginning, “The bad news is that if you haven’t seen Thor, Captain America and Iron Man 2—that’s six hours and three minutes of homework—The Avengers won’t make sense. The good news is if you’re a human under the age of 45, you probably already have.” Duh. While the title may not contain the usual trappings of a sequel, and thank goodness the earlier films weren’t titled something retarded like The Avengers Saga: Iron Man Part 1, most audiences will know seeing those earlier films are kind of important to enjoying The Avengers. That’s a real stretch pulling out, “You need to see Marvel’s other movies to enjoy this culmination of all those movies,” as a criticism.

Will you be seeing The Avengers the day it releases? Catching a midnight show? On a scale of 1 to 10 just how excited are you?

Category: Comics, Film

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