But after turning green and angry towards cruddy projection practices at Boston’s major multiplexes, including my first viewing of Marvel’s “The Avengers,” I returned to the scene of the crime (Regal Fenway) to watch the film again at a midnight showing—this time in 2D, and in a theater I hoped would look superior to the ugliness that Boston eyes have grown accustomed to.
And lo and behold, it looked significantly better. The sound was loud, the images were bright and crisp, and the colors actually popped. It’s a better experience when the Hulk, you know, is actually green.
How is this the same multiplex I’ve been complaining about for months? The inconsistency between theaters is astounding. In some, viewers are being subjected to out-of-focus 3D, in others a 2D picture with the 3D, polarizing lens left on the projector. And then, there’s the off chance they actually did it right, as with my lucky midnight experience.
But shouldn’t this be all the time? How would we feel as consumers if our coffee shops only occasionally remembered to brew the beans correctly, or if concert venues only sometimes checked the quality of their audio equipment before a big concert? Nobody wants to be ripped off, and the cinematic experience shouldn’t be any different.
Speaking of cinematic experiences, “The Avengers” is an unabashedly fun one. Considering everybody and their grandmother have already seen the movie twice opening weekend ($200 million, for real?), the power of this film is undeniable, even though Hollywood could have dished out an uninspired turd and made just as much money.
But they didn’t. They made something smart as a whip in the dialogue department, and dumb as dirt in the plot structure—but that latter part seems less and less important for a 142-minute movie that flies by with endless momentum and rollicking good times.
“The Avengers” is loud, in your face, and completely proud of its franchise-spinning accomplishment—even though the beginning of this long, four-year road, 2008’s “Iron Man,” was the best submission this multi-movie behemoth has offered.
It becomes the best possible movie it can be though—and for a bold idea that could have easily spelled disaster, “The Avengers” is smooth sailing all the way through. Kudos to writer/director Joss Whedon for making the superhero genre feel like a genuine comic book.
From the colors, to the energy, to the snappy dialogue and goofily convenient plot devices—this is pure, comic book pulp from page to…err, scene to scene. And in terms of making the wet dreams of nerds around the country come true, “The Avengers” has that magic touch. I swear, in both viewings, I could just sense the theater’s atmosphere becoming uncomfortably sticky.
Name one character from this universe. Now name another. Odds are, you get to see them do something awesome on screen together—from Thor facing off against the Hulk, to Tony Stark offering Captain America a blueberry. Everything here is all enjoyable fluff—making “The Avengers” a comically charged, action-packed, playful and pleasurable hit.
Greg Vellante is a film critic for The Eagle Tribune.