I finally saw The Avengers, and I gotta say: Avengers, fuck yeah!
Most of the world agrees with me that this movie is awesome, but I'm really enjoying the high-brow critical response. With all the pretentious goofiness they're spewing about it, it seems some people were expecting a sequel to Citizen Kane.
First: While this movie has a lot of action and explosions, no one sees a movie just for that. There have been tons of onscreen explosions since the second Death Star was destroyed, and it takes a lot more than things that go BOOM! to impress people. If just blowing shit up were impressive, Fourth of July fireworks displays would be the most popular YouTube videos ever.
Second: There ain't nothing wrong with blowing shit up. Watching Grand Central station get flattened and the Hulk tearing up everything is hella fun. People have to care about the shit that's being blown up, and it has to look good, if it's going to work. Making this stuff look good is a skill. If you don't care about visuals, you should be reading a book. For those of you who have seen the movie, imagine how lame it would have been for The Hulk to punch Thor and have him fall down, vs. how fucking sweet it was to watch Thor get kicked entirely out of the frame by an effortless side punch. Or watching Hulk interrupt Loki's Evil Monologue of DOOOOOM by tossing him around like a naughty ragdoll. No one says, "Well, that sunset sucked. I've seen that shit a thousand times." Violent scenes done well are great no matter how often you've seen a dude fall down.
Especially entertaining is the idea that this movie isn't "important" enough. Because guys in spandex pants and giant phallic horns need to change the landscape of cinema. Look here: Moby Dick might be one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time, but I can't get through it because it's boring as hell. It seems like some reviewers are disappointed that The Avengers isn't Casablanca.
Side note: Loki really needs to just buy himself a Ferrari or something. The giant phallic horns on his head aren't subtle at all. I'm sure the girls think it's hot on Asgard, though. Loki's superpower is his ability to stand upright under the weight of his massive...headpiece.
This ended up being a critique of movie criticism more than anything else. I would take movie reviews more seriously if reviewers would judge them within the context of their own genre rather than assume that every movie needs to be a deep, meaningful visual treatise on human nature. That assumption makes a lot of reviews at worst tedious and at best irrelevant, like comparing candy bars to racecars.
But back to the movie. I have three remaining questions:
1) How does the Hulk not lose his pants when he gets biggie sized? 2) How does Tony Stark not get a shit-kicking when he bounces around in that suit? 3) How does Samuel L. Jackson stand being that awesome?
P.S. It makes me happy that New York has recovered enough from 9/11 that we can watch NYC getting blasted without having a collective PTSD reaction. I mean that seriously.