Thursday, 10 May 2012

Secrets of Avengers' incredible success

The Secret Sauce of 'The Avengers': It's Darn Funny

I could talk about any number of reasons why The Avengers is on track to be one of the biggest successes in film history. The all-star cast, the incredible effects, the sheer enormity of a movie that’s been hyped for years and delivers.  All of those things are true, but the real magic is that the movie is genuinely funny.
‘THE AVENGERS’ NOW BIGGEST OPENER! Shocking $200M Record Domestic Weekend: Expecting $642M Global From First 12 Days
Schlock humor is expected in movies like this. Every super hero movie has at least a little (except maybe for the uber dark Batman franchise). Usually it gets a few laughs, but more than anything it’s just one of those contrivances we put up with.  Schlock isn’t hard to write and directors seem to rely on it for levity amidst the mayhem.
I’m not going to tell you The Avengers is schlock free, but without giving anything away I will say that the movie delivers a much higher grade of action humor than we’ve seen before. Rather than being filler between explosion scenes, the humor in The Avengers is an integral part of the movie.

I credit that anomalous approach to the genius of director Joss Whedon, who is known for his quick wit and skillful dialogue maneuvers. Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans will recall Whedon’s craftiness in blending humor with horror to great effect.  Comic book fans will know that Whedon is a master writer of dialogue, having written one of the most successful comic series in Marvel’s storied history:The Astonishing X-Men.
So it comes as no surprise that Whedon would work his magic in The Avengers as well — easily his biggest canvass to date, and an opportunity to shine like few others have, or fail worse than Mark Steven Johnson did with Daredevil.
Whedon succeeds, in no small part due to the consistent thread of humor woven throughout the movie.  You can see how much fun he had pulling off punchlines, as if he could hear the audience laughing before anyone had seen the movie.  Well, Joss, they’re laughing alright, and in the viewing I attended they were clapping, too.
The Avengers is the super hero movie we were waiting for, and the laughs make it the super hero movie we’ll want to watch again.

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