First Reviews of THE AVENGERS Hit; Reactions Enthusiastically Positive

     April 20, 2012


Though we still have a couple of weeks to go before the highly anticipated release of The Avengers, the film has already screened for a number of audiences.  Given the fact that Marvel has to corral a number of busy schedules for its actors to appear at the film’s premieres across the globe, they got a head start a few weeks ago with the U.S. premiere in Los Angeles.  The cast is now making its way across the globe for the films various premieres, and we’re now starting to see the first full reviews of the film (we previously brought you Twitter reactions to the U.S. premiere).

So what’s the verdict?  Well, early reaction is extremely positive.  Though we only have a handful of reviews to sift through at the moment, the top trades like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have very nice things to say about Joss Whedon’s all-star superhero movie, with many outlets calling it the best Marvel movie yet and one of the best superhero movies ever.  Hit the jump for a roundup of some quotes.

the-avengers-thor-chris-hemsworth-imageThe Playlist’s Oliver Lyttleton cites the particularly weak opening scene as an anomaly in relation to the rest of the film as he gushes about how well the pic succeeds in its over 140 minute runtime:

“It’s not just the best Marvel movie to date (although it is that), and it’s not just in the very top tier of superhero movies (although it is), but it’s one of the most all-around satisfying summer blockbusters since God-knows-when.”

Lyttleton goes on to state that Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is a standout in the film (“almost revelatory”) and that each actor gets his or her chance to shine.  We had heard raves of Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk in the previous Twitter roundup, but Lyttleton confirms his status as the film’s M.V.P.

avengers-movie-image-chris-evans-robert-downey-jrVariety’s Justin Chang cites writer/director Whedon for much of the film’s success:

“As written and directed by the ever genre-savvy Whedon, it’s a clean-burning, six-cylinder entertainment that exudes discipline in every particular, from the script’s balance of sincerity and self-effacing humor to the well-integrated visual effects to the keen sense of proportion that governs the ensemble. Whenever the possibility of boredom or excess rears its head, Whedon finds an elegant solution.”

THR’s Todd McCarthy points out that fans and non-fans alike should be sufficiently pleased:

“As creatively variable and predictably formulaic as the Marvel films have been, this one will not only make the core geek audience feel like it’s died and gone to Asgard but has so much going for it that many non-fans will be disarmed and charmed. This is effects-driven, mass appeal summer fare par excellence, that sought-after rare bird that hits all the quadrants, as marketing mavens like to say.”

the-avengers-captain-america-chris-evans-imageIGN’s Eric Goldman echoes many other peoples’ complaints about Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye being underdeveloped, but has great things to say about how Whedon handles Tony Stark and Steve Rogers:

“Iron Man and Captain America probably get the most screen time (or at least the most focus). And while Whedon and the funny and clever Tony Stark seem made for each other, I was very impressed how he handled Captain America, who is a far more straightforward and unwaveringly noble fellow than Whedon – who prefers his characters to be a bit more ambiguous and flawed — is known for, but one he handles very well, as Cap takes on the leadership role he was destined for.”

As for the visual effects spectacle, The Daily Mail’s Leigh Paatsch praises Whedon’s use of the film’s budget:

“It is not often you can say this, but The Avengers is one $200 million-plus event flick where not a single cent has been wasted.  The special-effects work is spectacular, especially during two truly awesome set-piece battle sequences.”

the-avengers-loki-tom-hiddleston-imageAs far as complaints go, we’ve already mentioned the lack of development for Hawkeye, but Lyttleton of The Playlist cites some problems with Loki, the film’s villain:

“It’s not that [Tom] Hiddleston is bad — far from it, in fact. But the film relies on you having seen “Thor” to be able to read into his motivations, and even then, both what he’s doing and why he’s doing it remain a little opaque.”

Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston, on the other hand, has some issues with the film’s action-heavy bent:

“But in the end, its a film about people fighting and blowing shit up. Much of Joss Whedon’s previous work is, at its heart, generally about far more than what you see on the surface. The purpose here rarely elevates above playing with toys. It’s closer to, say Batman: Killing Joke than Civil War in that respect.

Despite a few issues, these first few reviews have all been overwhelmingly positive.  We should have a better idea of the overall consensus closer to the film’s release, but the Whedon-helmed culmination of four years of Marvel planning is off to a very promising start.


Around The Web
  • jarvis3205

    Oh hell yeah.

    Can’t wait.

    That’s about all I have to say about that.

    I gotta fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiind Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuubbah!

  • TJ!

    More “Killing Joke” than “Civil War”?? Don’t really get what he’s trying to say there but I’ll take it!

  • Stan Cantrelle

    I was at the LA world premier… and I’m a huge Avenger’s fan. This movie kicks ass! Great film.

  • Rickey G

    Shut up and take my money!

    • Joe

      The only amendment I’ll add to the comment is:

      “Take my money. At least three times.”

  • Henry Pym

    I am not surprised that Clint’s story is underdeveloped. He has had maybe 5 minutes of screen time in all the movies leading up to the Avengers, so I don’t blame Renner’s performance. But really, Josh, when Edgar gets my story straight, give me and my wife a call about Avengers 2. Hopefully we’ll be ready by then.

  • Yhinka

    Pls remove the IGN reference – IGN as a media Corp is FAIL, every one knows this (cough *gamers).

    Speaking about the under-development of Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye – are this guys for real? It’s going to be very difficult with all the heavy weights already in the movie. Besides they are not equal.

    A simple example would be try to develop on say Martian Manhunter/Flash in the Justice League if the movie is ever done… Seriously with SuperMan and the All knowing, All wise “Batman” then Wonderwan then Aquaman… leaving Green Lantern, say the final slot.

    Enough said

    • Wockerdaw

      Jeez, you have to be a little less harsh to an entire media outlet, if you aren’t agreeing with their opinions, then you shouldn’t read their movie reviews.

      There’s always someone that enjoys a sites reviews.

      I don’t read their reviews, but based on the stuff I’m seeing here, Goldman’s opinion seems to be matching everyone elses.

      Sorry, I’m just a sucker for trying to defend people that seem to be picked on for no relevant reason.

  • Daniel

    This might be just me, but when the claim is made that a certain movie is “Marvel’s best,” it should be clarified by whether it is “Marvel Studio’s” Best or the best overall Marvel movie.

    Too nitpickey?

  • eSense

    FK YEA:))))))))

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  • stylus59

    I am all up for The Avengers, but I sincerely hope The Dark Knight Rises will beat them both critically and commercially.

    • Wockerdaw

      Just hope that either of them are the best movies that they can be. Stop comparing, that just makes one movie less enjoyable than the other.

      Everybody wins.

      • Angel of Death

        I’m all up for the Dark Knight Rises, but I sincerely hope someone beats YOU, you lousy troll.

  • Twojawas

    Comes out in Australia in a few days!

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  • @Peterg_TMT

    The review at THR has to be the worst review of any film I’ve ever read. Wow, that shit reads awful. It sounds like half press release half dipshit movie goer.

  • Oscar Jimenez

    “But in the end, its a film about people fighting and blowing shit up. Much of Joss Whedon’s previous work is, at its heart, generally about far more than what you see on the surface. The purpose here rarely elevates above playing with toys. It’s closer to, say Batman: Killing Joke than Civil War in that respect.”

    OK, let me get this straight. Is Rich Johnston’s equaling “Batman: The Killing Joke” to “people fighting and blowing shit up (…) the purpose here rarely elevates above playing with toys” as opposed to “Civil War”, equaled to “far more than what you see on the surface”?

    Er… let me put it this way…


    • prfrsr_x

      Seriously, am I the only one who thought Civil War was a poorly contrived money grabbing cross-over disaster that sucked all of the life-blood out of the Marvel universe?

      For me, the best cross overs are a fun, action packed ride that makes you want to go check out the other characters you may not have had the inclination or budget to check out previously. Civil War just came off to me as defeatist and preachy. Especially compared to the far more fun and well-developed Secret Invasion.

      Maybe I’m the only one, but I can’t shed all of the baggage that Civil War brought into the Marvel U fast enough. Give me a great team up against a pretty clever, long-gestating alien conspiracy over a preachy, cluttered, whiny bitchfest between the “heroes” any day.

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  • George

    “Both what he’s doing and why he’s doing it remain a little opaque.”

    No shit Sherlock. It’s Loki, the God of mischief and deception. he’s complicated.

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