With the nearly-awful looking Justice League just around the corner, I thought I would look back at the first ensemble film and see the little moments of genius that made it so good.
NO-ONE EVER WAITS: You go through the movie and can pay attention to the characters, you will notice people hardly ever wait. When people are walking around or walking into the shot, they are having conversations. In the action scenes, people are constantly moving around and flowing from one to the other.
FLOW OF SCENES: This seems like primary school stuff. When I was taught to write stories, I was taught the last line in a paragraph or section should link with the first line of the next section. Here, there are nearly seamless transitions at the beginning of the movie between scenes until the momentum is built up.
ABBREVIATED INTRODUCTIONS: The character introductions are done quickly and efficiently. Allot of times people talk about the world building done before the movie. However, even if you didn’t watch many previous movies, the movie efficiently and respectfully brings people up to speed on characters, relative powers, etc. while still making sure each scene contributes to the overall story.
SUBTEXT: There is a subtext in the middle of the movie where the good guys (SHIELD) want to use weapons of terror to fight terror. However, Nick Fury wants a team of heroes (the Avengers) to succeed so they don’t have to do this. It is almost like they are talking directly to the audience of which do we want to succeed- dark, gritty, gray “heroes” or bright, inspiring heroes.
TIME TO BREATHE: Despite an efficient plot, there were plenty of times the story was allowed to breathe. Things such as Coulson talking to Captain America, Banner and Stark interacting or characters contemplating things (even in the middle of the battle for New York). Every scene had a purpose, including the scenes to let the audience calm down and preventing us becoming numb to seeing how cool these heroes sharing the same screen are.
These are some of the little things I noticed that helped make Avengers stand out. There are also allot of big things they got right (the heroes treated the villains like threats, great action, good prior world-building, etc.) but these are more the unsung heroes and perhaps some of these they didn’t quite nail in Age of Ultron as well.