THE AVENGERS Movie Review : Hulk hogs limelight
Saturday, April 28, 2012 1:26:57 PM (IST)
Anaam, Bollywood Trade Editorial
He turns out to be the ‘baap’ and the real hero of the latest Disney tent pole THE AVENGERS, a $220 million all out gamble by the world’s leading studio to recover from the aftermath of its recent box office setbacks. All its Marvel super-heroes come out of the boondocks in the rescue act. THE AVENGERS is certain to avenge Disney’s box office humiliation of the recent past, thanks to the great green giant, the incredible Hulk, who plays a key role in saving the city of New York, the only universe known to American comic book writers and super-hero creators.
The film has already hit the Indian screens yesterday (27th April, 2012) a full week prior to its North American bow. The 143 minutes ‘save the world’ saga filled with Comic book superstars is engaging and it has some inspiring moments too. The one major disappointment is its aspect ratio. It is a wide screen film, instead of cinemascope, which makes it less epical than what it should have been. Probably the director felt that the inevitable downsizing could be compensated by post-production 3D recycling. I don’t think it was a good idea even though it was necessitated since the over-sized Hulk had to fit in with comparatively pint-sized world saviors and super-heroes.
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. ( Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate), gets a group of independent thinking and generally anti-establishment superheroes like The Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America /Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), and the Hulk/ Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), along with two flesh and blood heroes Clint Barton / The Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Natasha Romanoff / The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to deal with a bad guy, a runaway, and super ambitious Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the malcontented adopted brother of Thor.
He almost finishes off S.H.I.E.L.D., steals a power source, as well as the hearts of S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives like Hawkey, forms an evil axis with aliens to conquer the world and enslave humanity. It is the combined might of the super heroes led by the wizard of one line repartee the Iron Man that helps somehow thwart such evil plans and bring the world back from the brink of certain ghulami and slavery of Loki, ghastly aliens, and their demonic mechanical contraptions.
What differentiates this film from the other super hero films is the ‘humane’ and ‘irreverent carefree intelligent humor’ factors brought into play by Dr. Bruce Banner and Tony Stark. Bruce now lives incognito in India, helping the slum dogs, while keeping control over his adrenaline, testosterone, and BP levels using Yoga techniques. The highly persuasive Natasha, the Black Widow, motivates him to come out of hiding. On the other hand Tony Stark has further perfected his Iron Man suit. The world needs to be saved and you need a magical combination of super-intelligence like the Iron Man and the raw physical power and simmering angst of the Hulk to subdue a wily, scheming, super ambitious and heartless enemy like Loki in an intense battle of attrition.
This magical ‘Aamir –Salman’ kind of combo succeeds all the way but the Hulk steals the limelight. He makes you laugh heartily when he beats up Loki in ‘dhobi paat’ style. He must have learnt it sub-consciously during his sojourn in India. While the Iron Man appeals to your mind, the Hulk wins the heart of the audience and emerges as the most likeable among all super-heroes. Marvel should have every reason to revive their Hulk franchise.
The writer and director of the film Joss Whedon has his fingers on the pulse of his audience. He is innovative and comes up with some heartwarming surprises. One of them is this awesome contraption, a kind of a fully automated Iron Man wardrobe. Tony Stark just walks through it and his Iron Man suit comes off in stages. What more, the suit itself has been humanized. It can reach its master in free fall from a sky high tower and self-fit itself to his person to save him from certain death. This takes the touching relationship between a man and his machine to a different level.
The other surprise that has the audience roar with whole-hearted approval and applause is the wrestling arena kind of an encounter when the Hulk meets the invincible looking titanic juggernaut, an alien mechanical destroyer and carrier, headlong and makes it crash, stop, and disintegrate. That is the climactic point where the ultimate victory of the Super Heroes gets sealed and certified and so does the box office success of the film.
Now, here is a fervent message to the world in general, and Indian filmmakers in particular. You don’t have to spend $220 millions to extract such emotional response from a film’s audience. You can do it much cheaper here in India, creating flesh and blood super heroes and wily villains. The south Indian filmmakers have the wherewithal to do it. They have been doing it for years now. They just have to raise the bar, look at the whole world as their audience, and develop globally popular film franchises, confidently using spicy Indian ingredients and flavors. If they do it well, they can beat the Hollywood juggernaut the way the Hulk does the ‘dhulai’ of the villain in THE AVENGERS.
We give 4 Stars to the film - one for the Hulk, one for the Iron Man, one for the humanised Iron Man suit, and one for its writing and direction.
Rating - 4/5
Tags : The Avengers Movie Review, The Avengers Review, Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Joss Whedon