30 April 2012

That Loki Fucker Will Rue The Day!

 This is a big film and thus a big blog- read on only if you have seen the film or don’t mind some minor spoilers.

Like an arrogant David Blaine, God was pretty smug about bringing Jesus back from the dead. It was a brilliant trick to be fair, but not overly impressive when compared to the miracle Joss Whedon performed in resurrecting Firefly. Serenity was a genuinely brilliant film that featured great humour, action and characters. Unfortunately though, any chances for a sequel were destroyed when the movie was only seen by about nine and a half people. Considering it made approximately £14.20 back I can't help but think Whedon would have made more money by sticking his hand down the sofa and digging around for loose change.

A Calm Jason Statham
Thankfully though, Marvel are smart people and have been matching their movies with the perfect directors. Thor required someone who could handle the camp sub-Shakespearean themes and so they hired Kenneth Branagh. For The Incredible Hulk they got Louis Leterrier, a man most famous for directing the shaven headed, rage monkey that is Jason Statham and thus a larger, greener version would surely come naturally. With The Avengers they needed someone who could not only spin a lot of plates at once but would also be able to keep all the fans happy. Short of hiring a geeky whore with a mechanized wank-hand, Joss Whedon was probably the only name that could step up to the plate and provide the nerds with so much pleasure – he did not disappoint.

Loki's Darker Days
The film starts with Loki stealing the Transformers’ Allspark and pissing off somewhere with it to cause some troublesome shit. Nick 'Motherfucking' Fury is therefore tasked with formulating a plan to defend earth from Asgard's cunning- and better looking- version of Withnail. 
Shaft Fury - Best Porno Title Ever
The one-eyed Shaft (not an innuendo) therefore spends the first half of the movie rounding up any stray heroes from previous films creating the comic-book equivalent of Super Smash Bros Melee. Basically, this is all your favourite characters in one place kicking the living fuck out of each other, but with the added bonus of a typically witty Whedon-esque script.

Helping Fury to recruit his gang is Scarlett Johansson who, for some reason, bothers travelling the world to find her target. All she'd have to do is text those leaked pictures of her arse to Bruce Banner with an address and I can guarantee it, him and his big green dick would be there in seconds. Admittedly, if he's aroused, the phrase 'Hulk smash!' would seem somewhat more intimidating, but fuck it- the world's in danger- she should take one for the team.

It's nice to be outside, sometimes.
By the time the group has formed, Loki Withnail is chilling out in a fish tank and they're all bickering like a super-gang of comic-book fannies. Whedon is on record for saying that he wanted them to behave like a dysfunctional family, however the banter is a little more like The Simpsons than the Fritzl's- I don't know what fuel is used to power the invisible plane’s furnace but I'm going to assume it's probably not German babies... apart from anything, Chinese ones are much less complicated to get hold of.

... Wind your neck in, Liz.
Like an office day-out, this film is all about the heroes learning to work together as a team but that's not to say they don't have an army to fight against, too. Like a (probably) gay passenger of the Titanic, Loki Withnail's basic plan is to become king of the world which is fine by me. If we have to have a monarch, I'd rather one that had fought for the position rather than just having been born into it. By just asking, we could have put him in a jousting tournament with the Queen. As is well documented, old Lizzie can still snap a pheasant’s neck so I'm sure she could deal with a mischievous demi-God. If Princess Diana's car crash proved anything it's that she's still shit-hot with a sniper rifle and blatantly doesn't give a fuck. 
With this in mind, the Asgardian coward wisely decided against it and so instead gathered himself a bitch-army of Aliens from the rocky planet of Uber-Bland.

The second half of this film is therefore balls-to-the-wall action. Thor hammers, Hulk smashes and Black Widow lunges vagina first like a sexy, neck snapping, face hugger. The action here is exactly the opposite of Transformers 3, with The Avengers being more character driven than cog-smashingly shite. With Michael Bay's CGI turd-fest, it's hard to care about anything that's going on because all of the characters are just like him... under-developed, clichéd and soulless.

With The Avengers however, each action ‘beat’ shows the team and how they have begun to mesh. The fighting develops their personalities and progresses the story justifying every second of screen time. There's a tracking shot near the end that zooms from hero to hero, showing each performing their individual role. Not only is it exhilaratingly brilliant, it's also basically the moment that the last few years have been building towards. This is quality, as opposed to just being an overpriced video-game cut scene from the mind of a talentless, rent-o-cunt who just wants to ‘cluster fuck’ himself onto the Sunday Times’ Richest Prick list.
Case in point...
The main reason for this costumed quality is of course that Whedon is simply not a hack director. Although his success on the big screen has been limited, this latest work contains traits that are recognisably his. For a start, the movie is truly an ensemble piece with no one character taking the lead. Obviously with Tony Stark bleeding charisma from his ex-junkie veins, there was a risk that this could unintentionally slip into becoming Iron Man and His Shadow of Forgettable Bitches. However Whedon avoids this by simply allowing the other characters to be just as interesting. Nick Fury is inevitably cooler than a polar bear’s bell-end and Jeremy Renner is as watchable here as when playing “fuck my life” with a huge cunt of a bomb in The Hurt Locker.

You see my point...
In fact, for me the new characters were the most interesting people simply because I wanted to get to know them as well as I do the others. Many people have been saying that Hulk steals the show and although for me that wasn't quite the case, he was still brilliant. Third time ‘round and they've finally got the menstrual snot-beast spot on with the simple key being to hire Mark Ruffalo. By having him physically portray and facially resemble the monster, there is a connection there that has in the past been noticeably missing. In previous cases, it was as though Chopper would fuck off for a twenty-minute cup of tea whilst some mouldy man-frog smashed shit up. Now finally we believe that Bruce Banner can steroid himself green and go on a stomping fuck-off rampage.

You can't see it but his mini-Mal is out.
Another characteristic of Mr. Whedon is to imply the threat of the film’s villain by killing someone off. Serenity 2 doesn't exist not because of financial issues, but because there's only about two fucking characters left. If he were to make it, the storyline would just be Captain Mal wanking and crying because all of his friends are dead and he's got nothing better to do. Whedon applies the same trick here too by offing an important but disposable character. I won't ruin who it is, but if you don't look like an A-list actor, chances are you’re already on borrowed time. Although the death isn't quite as emotional as when Jean Gray popped Professor X like a fucking party balloon, it is still quite a bit of a moment.

The Star-Spangled Man
The Avengers isn't a perfect film but considering the difficulties of what was required, it is the best we could have hoped for. Thor's appearance is a little sudden with the explanation smacking a little of Asgardian bullshit. I can't remember the muttered reasoning for his appearance but it may as well be that, “one jizzed oneself here by sliding down through the shiny realm of Sphincterlube”. Captain America too has had a slight suit change- in his own film, the costume served the purpose of boosting morale and acting as a kind of armour. Here however it looks a little more like he's broken into a clothes shop and stolen a range of Marvel sponsored Captain America pyjamas. I'm pretty sure it has a buttoned hatch round the back for him to do his military-approved midnight crap.

Whilst we're nitpicking, Loki Withnail's Alien army was probably slightly too devoid of any individual personality. They weren't quite cardboard cut-outs but nor did they reach the memorability of Emperor Pope-a-tines witless Stormtroopers from the good half of Star Wars.

Enough of this silliness.
I also thought the way in which people who have been possessed regain their self-awareness was a little clichéd. Although the revelation came at the end of a fight, it was only slightly more cinematic than having a glass of water chucked in their face. In some defence though, Whedon does avoid most clichés by building them up and then stifling them with his typically smart-arse put downs. Kind of like the classic Serenity quote, “We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and then – explode”. His dialogue is typical of the genre but with a knowing and humorous twist.

In the end though, Whedon has managed to make a film that lives up to the hype. It's not retarded like the supposedly light Fantastic Four but nor is it as serious as the gritty Dark Knight. It's fun without being shit and serious without being depressing. I'm sure people who come straight to this film might be a little confused by some things. A gamma ray might sound like something that killed Steve Irwin and the Iron Man could be mistakenly thought to be Dennis Thatcher. However, for the rest of us with an ounce of geek in our DNA, this is the perfect blockbuster. It has thankfully been worth the wait and Whedon has proven that he really is the Pop-Culture God we all thought him to be. Also fuck yourselves, marketing people, it's The Avengers, not Avengers, Assemble! Anyone who goes to this film expecting to see Sean Connery and Uma Thurman is walking proof that Darwin was wrong.

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