PART ONE!: In which Adam reviews The Avengers
Have you ever eaten so much amazing chocolate amazingness that you started getting grumpy and tired about 3/4 through the bag?
END OF REVIEW.
PART TWO!: In which Adam reviews the marketing campaign for The Avengers
The marketing strategy appears to have been two-fold:
Step 1: Over the course of four years, release five films introducing each of the protagonists, most of them human, some of them aliens. Purposely en-vaguen when exactly the humans learned of the existence of aliens.
Step 2: Utilize the stars in press junkets much like the Avengers themselves, each with their own gift. Actors Assemble!:
Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans, Thor and Capt. America, the Chrisses. Cutie-patooties so early into their careers, they’ll charm any talk show crowd, anytime, and be glad to do it. Boys, you’re charged with luring in audiences that would otherwise resist seeing a Big Explosions Movie. The Chrisses will drop interviews over at Out and Advocate magazines, and answer questions like “Do you support marriage equality?” (They do!) and “Why are you so pretty?” (Lots of running on the beach and laughing as the wind hits their faces!) Gays in the bag. Chrisses, your next stop is The View, where you will be pawed at by four ladies and Bruce Jenner (It is Guy-day Friday after all). You will answer questions like “Were you always into comic books?” “Was there ever a moment on set when you couldn’t believe your luck as an actor?” and “Why are you so pretty?” Ladies and further gays in the bag!
Next actor! Robert Downey, Jr., Iron Man. All snark and shrewd experience. Where the Chrisses are eager, Downey’s stardust is in his carelessness. Mr. Jr., your role in this marketing strategy is to make the jackoff sign with your hand when everyone else talks about respecting source material. But when you make the jackoff sign, do it with your eyes. Downey chats about the film with an easy, “ain’t no thang” grace. He may even blow a scene or two in an interview. That cad doesn’t worry none ’bout spoilers. Mr. Jr. has been arrested on heavy drug possession before, he won’t sweat the spoiler police.
Next actor! Mark Ruffalo, The Hulk, the brains of the operation. Mr. Ruffalo, your film pedigree and liberal hipster hippitude will convey that the movie has a whiff of elevation. Come on, boy, let’s get some of that indie magic to rub off on us! Compare the movie to a metaphor for America; several strong egos and viewpoints that need to reach across the aisle to defeat common enemies. Yeah, that’ll do the trick. It’s, of course, bullshit. It’s a terribly exciting movie, and that confection sounds nice, but come on, if that metaphor reads even once in the movie itself, it’s only at the volume of an episode of Glee or a Burger King Kids Club commercial.
Final actor!! Samuel L. Jackson, Nick Fury, the hothead. Mr. Jackson, sir. We just love it when you blow your stacks on someone. We need you to be a pinch hitter; swoop in and read the riot act to any poor schmoe critic who might be experiencing Superhero Movie Fatigue. A.O. Scott of the New York Times, or as Sam Jackson might say “The New York Fuckin’ Times,” reviewed The Avengers in a way that, I swear, read as mildly positive, save for a general pontificating that a movie with so much CG hooptedoodle got a little much after awhile. Mr. Jackson immediately tweeted that Mr. Scott needs a new job (the actual tweet contained a lot more CAPS and Exclamation Points!).
Having seen the movie myself, I have to see where Scott’s coming from. The movie was a Brinks truck of fun, and it never pretended to be anything it wasn’t, but indestructible superheroes and never-ending CG creature action is turning every big studio movie into an arms race of how much crazy crap we can throw at you for how long a sustained period of time.
If you think I’m being a big no fun, a real Inner Child-denier, tell it to my Batman underwear and listen to the thunder. Something about Avengers is making more than just A.O. Scott crack up under the strain. Roger Ebert and Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly both reviewed the movie with sentences that looked like baggy eyes. With so much branding out there, these characters struggle (even through Joss Whedon’s much witty dialoguing) to be more than properties, corporate commodities, forever repeating, forever multiplying, like CG robot centipede snake alien ninjas.
The last Matrix movie, all Transformers movies, the final two Lord of the Rings, the Clash of the Titans movies, Avatar and Avengers are all showcases of CG orgies that last up to and over an hour, all part of the same 80’s coke party where no one ever wants to come down…
Which means at some point it won’t just come down, but will crash down. And then no drugs for anybody. Ask Mr. Jr., he knows.