Retrospective: What Makes Marvel's THE AVENGERS Such A Box-Office Phenomenon? | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Retrospective: What Makes Marvel's THE AVENGERS Such A Box-Office Phenomenon?


By now, I guess (everybody) knows how enormously successful Marvel's THE AVENGERS is, both critically and financially at the worldwide box-office. As of this writing, THE AVENGERS has already grossed an astounding $486.3 million in just 22 days at the U.S. box-office alone, and also earned its spot at No. 4 (beating STAR WARS: EPISODE 1 - THE PHANTOM MENACE's $474.5 million) for the all-time domestic box-office results! So deep down, what makes THE AVENGERS such a phenomenal summer-movie blockbuster at the first place?




1. KEEPING THE PROMISE OF A "BIG THING" WILL COME AFTER A SERIES OF POST-CREDITS TEASERS FROM INDIVIDUAL MOVIES.

Beginning from 2008's IRON MAN to 2011's CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, all these Marvel-produced superhero movies have interlinked altogether to mash up for the all-star superheroes movie extravaganza called THE AVENGERS. And for that, the studio holds the promise well enough to justify all the long wait where die-hard fans and moviegoers alike are reward with a spectacular movie it's hard to give it a miss.

2. DIRECTOR JOSS WHEDON KNOWS WHAT FANS WANTS FOR A SUPERHERO MOVIE.

In order to make THE AVENGERS works in full circle, choosing the right director is the most crucial aspect for this process to be successful. THE AVENGERS was originally opted for Jon Favreau (IRON MAN, IRON MAN 2) to direct before subsequently bowed out to make way for a little-known director named Joss Whedon, who is only primarily known for his extensive TV background including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Angel, and Dollhouse. However, the studio made a very risky but right choice to put him in charge for THE AVENGERS. Well, the huge gamble pays off handsomely because Whedon is a die-hard comic book fans himself who knows how to handle such material inside out. Unlike most big-budget superhero movie (e.g. Brett Ratner's X-MEN: THE LAST STAND), Whedon is given creative freedom to make an entertaining genre with a fundamental and technical know-how.

3. DIRECTOR JOSS WHEDON KNOWS HOW TO PUT THE "FUN" BACK INTO AN OTHERWISE "DARK AND BROODING" SUPERHERO MOVIE PLAGUED LATELY IN HOLLYWOOD

Okay, don't get me wrong here about all the criticism about those "dark and brooding" undertones that plagued (most) superhero movies nowadays especially if you notice the trend that many filmmakers wanted to ape Christopher Nolan's filmmaking techniques he did so successfully in BATMAN BEGINS (2005) and THE DARK KNIGHT (2008). It's just that not all superhero movies are suited to "dark and brooding" approach. So in THE AVENGERS, Whedon made a wise choice not to jump the bandwagon but instead, making his movie an all-out fun and entertaining movie for the masses.

4. DIRECTOR JOSS WHEDON KNOWS HOW TO MAKE GOOD USE OF EACH INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERS TO STRUT THEIR OWN STUFFS.

Superheroes ensemble like THE AVENGERS is actually not easy to pull off, especially so many superheroes characters shared at the same space. Look at movies like X-MEN trilogy, which they are generally showcased the most popular character to strut their stuff while others are neglected to fillers. Not so for THE AVENGERS here. Even less-popular superhero characters like Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Agent Hill (Cobie Smulders) are given enough limelights to show off their action skills.

5. DIRECTOR JOSS WHEDON KNOWS HOW TO INJECT COMIC RELIEFS AT THE RIGHT TIMING

Ever heard the famous quote that reads "dying is easy, comedy is hard"? Well, if a superhero movie ends up too jokey, it can ruins the entire premise into a self-parody. But Joss Whedon manages to pull this off handsomely with a load of comic reliefs here without being ridiculous. The good news is, (all) of them are spot-on hilarious (my personal favorite is the sarcastic encounter between Loki and Hulk) while Whedon's penchant for witty dialogues are simply unforgettable.

6. DIRECTOR JOSS WHEDON KNOWS HOW TO GIVE WAY FOR HIS ACTORS TO LET LOOSE

THE AVENGERS is certainly blessed with an all-star, yet highly talented cast. Each of them are given the chance to shine in their roles. In fact, they make such a great ensemble. I mean, the way they bickering at each other and such (e.g. Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark/Iron Man quibbles against Chris Evans' Steve Rogers/Captain America), are just fun enough to watch for.

7. DIRECTOR JOSS WHEDON KNOWS ACTION VERY WELL

Action-movie trend nowadays are all about rapid-fire/incomprehensible editing and jerky camerawork. But Whedon knows that resulting into this tired tactic is really a side-splitting headache for fans to enjoy their favorite characters in action. So he favors all the action scenes shot steadily so fans can see what's going on loud and clear.


8. SAVE THE BEST FOR THE LAST

THE AVENGERS is a classic example of an action-oriented genre where the best scene is saved for the climactic finale. Once again, Whedon pulls this off with a flying color. The all-hell-breaks-loose destruction at New York City which pitches The Avengers against Loki and an army of Chitauris is no doubt one of the most spectacular action scenes ever made in a long while.

9. DIRECTOR JOSS WHEDON KNOWS HOW TO ELABORATE KEY ACTION SCENES

By now, you should know that THE AVENGERS' most popular scene is the 30-minute, action-packed finale. I admit it's not easy to pull this off continuously but Whedon does it so well with varied camera techniques and even upped the excitement by orchestrating an unbroken long take following each of The Avengers fighting off against the Chitauris on their space chariots.

10. A PROMISE OF "BIGGER THING" WILL COME AT THE POST-CREDITS TEASER

Die-hard fans of THE AVENGERS' comic book should know that there are so much story to tell. Midway throughout the end credit, it's best not to leave your seat yet because Whedon reveals an all-important character that will make way for sequel(s) to come.

Even though THE AVENGERS isn't a pitch-perfect superhero movie by all means, it remains one of the best superhero movies ever seen in a long while. Additionally, you can check out my review here.

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