Avengers was… there needs to be a better word than “awesome”. Also, some thoughts on movie critics.
One of the most satisfying movie-going experiences of my entire life! The Hulk stole the show. FINALLY someone totally nails the Hulk, thank you Joss Whedon.
Can I rant for a second? I read a negative review of The Avengers in LA Weekly (I don’t know why I’m addicted to reading movie reviews because they always end up annoying me) and it seems to me that when critics review an action movie, or superhero film, they talk about the action and special effects in a really dismissive way if not borderline contemptuous. Then they babble on about things like how the film “does not explore the emotional damage of these characters in any substantive way”, paraphrasing. Because… people want to go to the Avengers to see a substantive exploration of the emotional damage of these superheroes?
If I wrote a review of Schindler’s List that went “Sure, there’s lots of drama and moments attempting to make you feel things, but this movie is very short on laughs.” you would think I’m a crazy person, or at least not very smart.
I’m not just talking about Avengers, because even critically that movie is doing great, but the way people talk about and regard action films in general is frustrating to me. I feel like people look down upon movies that are meant to be pure frivolous entertainment, even when they like them they’ll say something like “it’s not Citizen Kane, but it was fun” or qualify it in some way to point out that it’s enjoyable despite not being serious business. I’ve even seen critics say weird shit like “Is it a good movie? No. Is it fun? Yes.” Wait a minute, wasn’t the point of the movie to be fun? If it succeeded in being very fun, doesn’t that make it GOOD? I think entertainment for entertainment’s sake is as legitimate a form of art as drama for drama’s sake. What’s worst is when critics speak so derisively about the audiences that enjoy big escapist movies. They like to make it a matter of intelligence instead of taste, and put down anyone who would disagree with their review and often flat out imply that they’re morons. Dick move, movie critics, totally unnecessary.
Look, there’s a lot more to be said about what makes a good movie and what makes a good movie critic that I’m leaving out for the sake of not making this post any longer than it is, but in a nutshell I feel like action spectacles are treated like an inferior form of art, and critics do not give enough credit to the skill and effort it takes to craft elaborate impressive action and effects sequences. If you like movies that emphasize more emotional or psychological moments, that is totally fine, but don’t judge a movie that is not even attempting to do that by those arbitrary standards, and don’t like apples are intrinsically better than oranges because you like the way they taste more.
I guess that’s enough ranting. Entertainment is fun, and as legitimate an art as any.