The Avengers: A Superhero Rollercoaster Ride

The COOList Movie

By Bel Hernandez

I hate superhero movies.  I was more a Veronica & Betty comic book fan so I was not interested in the least in going to see grown up men dressed in ridiculous costumes, flying around saving the world.  The Avengers?  Get real!  However after seeing Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., in a recent press interview talk about how this film put the “comic” back in this “comic book film” — I was intrigued.

As the movie opens, I swear I’m watching a scene from The Matrix.  As a “movie fashion conscious” fan I recognize the long “Neo looking” black leather coat Samuel L. Jackson is wearing and the skin tight fitted pantsuit Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) has on as she walks alongside him. That was the last conscious thought I had before being whisked away for the superhero ride of my life.

As The Avengers are recruited, one by one to defend against a global threat we are re-introduced to their backstory and their super powers. Most of the superheroes are reluctant to put their lives on hold, especially since they are suspicious as to what the mission is really about.  However, after witnessing the evil Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who is on a rampant revenge mission, not only against his brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the powerful former prince of Asgard, but against all humanity, they are convinced they need to engage in an epic battle to determine the survival of the future of the planet.

Truly a comic book come to life thanks to the creative direction of Joss Whedon and the genius mind of Stan Lee, THE superhero of comic books, and creator of the Marvel Universe. This movie has a little bit of flavor for every movie fan.  Scarlett Johansson (need I say more?) as The Black Widow, one of the world’s greatest spies, lends beauty and cunning to the chaos. Billionaire, playboy and philanthropist Tony Stark AKA Iron Man played by Robert Downey Jr. to perfection, with his sharp wit, smart dialogue and oh so rugged good looks, make any female swoon…and we did.

Oh, yeah, for the diehard superhero fans, there is also WWII living legend Captain America (Steve Rogers) who has thawed out after having spent decades frozen in the icy tundra and handsome Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) who when angered transforms into an uncontrollable green-skinned behemoth – The Hulk.  Bow and arrow wielding Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) who is one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s most elite agents and who at the start of the film crosses over to the evil side, makes it back just in time to fight THE big fight.

So, hang on tight for a rollercoaster of a ride.  You will cheer, you will laugh, and for some real sensitive ones…you might even shed a tear…but not for long, because there is no time for sentimentalities — the world is at stake.

But don’t take the “pinche movie so seriously”, (a reference to a line by The Pachuco character, the role that launched Edward James Olmos’ acting career in Luis Valdez’s play Zoot Suit) as the movie doesn’t either thanks to director Joss Whedon.  These superheroes don’t pussyfoot around.  With six superheroes all doing battle at once how does Whedon keep it exciting and different?  Common sense.  If you are a big green clobbering monster and this puny guy comes at you what do you do?  Yes!  That’s what he did, to the delight of the audience who didn’t know whether to laugh of cheer, so they did both.

There was no expense spared with a budget of $220 million! The movie looks spectacular thanks to director of photography Seamus McGarvey; Production Designer James Chinlund’s team did an outstanding job; and the literally hundreds of special effects professionals under the supervision of Dan Sudick outdid themselves.  Hair and special make up was perfection.

The COOList part of the movie for me was when I saw my friend Jesse Garcia as one of the spaceship crewmembers.  You would have thought he was also a superhero with the way I reacted!  But hey, there was ONE recognizable Latino in this BIG BUDGET movie, how could I not cheer?

The other cool part was checking out all the Latinos behind the scenes, especially in art direction and special effects…so what you saw on screen was made with a lot of Latino talent who stand on the shoulders of special effects wizard Marcel Delgado.  An SFX innovator, Delgado built the original stop-motion animated King Kong in the 1933 film.

As I excited the screening room, I realized it had been years since I had shared the ultimate movie going experience with my fellow audience members.  It is what a movie experience should be and what you cannot get anywhere else!  We truly bonded and we have The Avengers to thank (and the cast & crew).  Not only do they save the world, they just might save movie audiences around the world.