Seventeen and a half hours. On Thursday, I spent 17-and-a-half hours sitting in the same chair, in the same movie theater, all to watch movies I have seen countless times before. And I paid for that. I bought a rather expensive ticket to sit there and see all the comic book movies leading up to Avengers. I know this sounds like a complaint, but actually it was one of the best days of my life.
AMC Theatres at Universal Studios CityWalk hosted an Ultimate Avengers Marathon. I had to pre-purchase my ticket over a week in advance and arrived at 9:15 a.m. for the event. The marathon was sold out everywhere else, so when I saw availability I jumped at it.
At 10 a.m., we nerds who had gathered in our Marvel T-shirts were led into our respective theaters and given commemorative 3D glasses themed to one of the four Avengers. Then starting at 11:30 a.m. we all watched “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger” and finally the midnight premiere of “The Avengers.”
Having seen all the other films many times before, it was nice to see them on the big screen again. And also seeing them all in a row really set us up for the midnight screening when the characters were all collected into one film. And it was great.
I am a comic book nerd. I have never tried to hide that fact. I love Marvel comics in addition to DC. I have read so many comic books and story arcs that I have lost count as to how many. So let this be a qualifying factor when I say that “The Avengers” is the best movie ever made. If there were anything wrong with it, I would be the first one to criticize that it was not like the comics, or Captain America wouldn’t do that, or the chemistry between the characters is off. But after seeing it twice now, I am still hard pressed to find anything of great import wrong with this film.
Nerd-God Joss Whedon was tasked with writing and directing this movie. The odds were stacked against him. He had to bring together a narcissistic millionaire playboy in a super advanced suit of armor, a Norse God of thunder (who, by the way, was trapped on a distant planet), an All-American goody two shoes soldier from 70 years ago and an unrestrained rage monster whose only thought is destruction. And to top it all off, these characters had to take orders from a super spy with his career on the line. To raise the stakes, if they didn’t come together and work as a unit, an army of aliens led by Thor’s crazy brother would invade the world.
For all intents and purposes, this movie should have been terrible, especially with so much to live up to that we have come to expect from the Avengers comics. But it defied all odds and not only broke box office records for opening weekend, but is actually a great film that, hopefully, will have legs and continue to perform well. It is funny and exciting and you really get a sense of who these people are on their own terms and what they have to put aside to come together as a team.
This is the first in hopefully a long line of Avengers films, and I pray that Joss Whedon comes back for more because between his directing style and his amazing script, there is nobody else, in this or any of the Nine Realms, who can match what he has done here.
Rated PG-13, I give this movie 10 out of 5 stars. And for the first time since I was a kid, I can say I have a new favorite movie. Move over “Casablanca” – “The Avengers” have assembled.