The Avengers This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

May 12, 2012
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With a record-setting box office opening weekend in North America, “The Avengers” seemed like an over-anticipated movie with more flamboyance than substance. I went to the theater wondering what could possibly be so special about this superhero mash-up – until I got caught up in the action.

“The Avengers” is brilliant because it has everything a ­traditional superhero movie should – and more. It has the basic clash between good and evil, as well as all the classic Marvel characters that inspire fond nostalgia: Iron Man, ­Captain America, the Hulk,
the Black Widow, Thor, and
the savvy supervillain, Loki. The special effects are splendid, and the action scenes flow flawlessly.

It has the catalytic beginning of Loki stealing the Tesseract, the most destructive energy source on Earth, and cackling maniacally. It has rising tension that peaks with a battle between good and evil.

Unlike a typical superhero movie, however, “The Avengers” doesn't draw a straight line between good and evil. The superheroes aren't all good, and the villain isn't entirely bad. Loki seems to be a malicious invader who believes that “humans were made to be subjugated,” but an equally valid interpretation of his character is that of a petulant warrior trying to get childish revenge on his brother, Thor.

By the end, we see Loki as a “reformable” villain. Iron Man, the leader of the Avengers and the analytical genius, is selfish and egocentric. Dr. Banner (the Hulk) and the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) both harbor extreme insecurities about their past. Even Captain America (Chris Evans) is initially skeptical that he can help save the world again. The director of peace-keeping organization SHIELD, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), is depicted as a righteous but unscrupulous man who would do anything to manipulate the Avengers and force them to save the world. Although he intends to do good, Fury is just as power-hungry as Loki.

The reason we perceive all the characters' subtleties is because of the brilliant cast. Three deserve special mention: Robert Downey Jr. is a perfect fit for the snappy, hard-minded Tony Stark, Iron Man's alter ego who cares, only deep down, about the world. Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk, brings a new dimension to the great green monster. In the classic Marvel comics, we pity and dislike him, but here we learn to love him through Ruffalo's rendering of his dual personality. Tom Hiddleston as Loki is a relative newcomer to Hollywood, but shows immense potential in his ability to play a conflicted, not entirely evil villain.

The ending is a triumph, not just for the heroes but for the audience too. In a year fraught with political strife, we really needed an old-fashioned superhero movie to remind us that justice and fairness still exist, if only in fiction.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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beautifulspirit This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 27, 2012 at 7:34 am
Your record was insightful and dead on about describing the characters and their faults. Even Lilo the bad guy is not all that he seems to be but just as conflicted as the heroes. The Avengers was excellent.
LucindaGentry said...
May 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm
Make your life easier take the home loans and all you need.
Makayla F. said...
May 23, 2012 at 9:21 am
Wow! That was a fantastic review. I wanted to see The Avengers before, but now I really have to see it! I'm so excited!
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