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Avengers (2012) - Directed by Joss Whedon

"The Avengers. That's what we call ourselves. We're sort of like a team. "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" type thing."

Stan Lee, comic book genius and creator of many of the world's mightiest heroes, passed away today on November 12, 2018. he was 95, and lived a life full of success, love, and fame. He was one of the men responsible for the true success of Marvel Comics, and his creations have had man incarnations in other forms of media, like television and film.

The thing is, for a long time, superhero movies were hard to make due to their logical impossibilities like superpowers/dimensions/technology that was hard to recreate on film. Because of this, the comic book company that ran that specific movie industry was DC due to the success of simple heroes like Superman and Batman being brought to successful Warner Bros. films. We had Spider-Man related TV movies, an unreleased Fantastic Four movie in the 90's, a cheesy Punisher film, I could go on.

But since the release of 2000's X-Men, superhero movies met with a new standard, and Batman was out of the depths of cheesy Schumacher films, an Fantastic Four and Punisher were given other opportunities with no success. Spider-Man had a successful trilogy and a revival, and a Daredevil movie did poorly. But in 2008, The Dark Knight met with a serious contender: Iron Man, the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe which was followed by The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and finally, the movie I will review today in honor of Stan Lee: The Avengers.

After the events of the first five installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, super-soldier Steve Rogers/Captain America, weapon's specialist billionaire turned robot-suit pioneer Tony Stark/Iron Man, mutated fugitive scientist Bruce Banner/Hulk and Asgardian demigod Thor are called into action by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury to assemble a team that can fight off an alien invasion. But this isn't just any alien invasion. It's headed by Thor's mischievous brother, Loki, and their on the hunt for a powerful artifact that contain boundless energy.

What makes a superhero story? Well, it needs superpowers, witty lines, a compelling villain, an tons of action. Avengers has all of those things to spare.

We get plenty of superpowers and action scenes in this film. The action is evenly paced, while the camera's quicker-paced but never clunky. This adds a lot to the thrill, and believe you me, you're hardly going to find a more thrilling movie than The Avengers.

The cast is so into their roles it's not a joke. What we have here are several experienced actors all truly being the superheroes as if they were living some childhood dream. As the characters clash with the enemy, or each other, one can feel it, as if the audience is a part of it all. Even if you haven't seen any MCU movies before this, if you know Marvel, you pretty much know the main characters anyway. And enough is explained for things to make sense (if you pay attention, like in The Godfather), but you should still know SOME stuff about the characters before watching the movie. And the dialogue for the cast is phenomenal. It never feels campy, there's plenty of humor to go around without being a comedy, and it only makes one love the whole cast, hero or villain.

And there are some amazing moments of cinematography and pacing in this film. The pacing of the film is wonderful, making every second worth it by not overcrowding the film to much and always giving you something to watch for, while still taking short breaks to give you room to cope with the excitement. This is usually done with a joke. Some of the things that happen are perfectly placed by the camera for as long as they really need to be, and the epic camera scene featuring all of the Avengers fighting the aliens is one of the most well-filmed sequences I've ever seen in action movies. And I love action movies. A lot. And superhero movies.

Where the internet will choose The Dark Knight or maybe Logan for the greatest superhero movie ever made, I choose The Avengers. It gives every movie goer what they ask for in a superhero movie, especially one that revolves around six main characters. Marvel really outdid themselves, and they set a new standard for superhero movies, making DC bite the dust after having them beaten for decades (from the 70's-2000's) with just two heroes alone: Batman and Superman. Now all DC Comics can do is quiver in fear as they lose their marbles and hire Zack Snyder to head the DC Extended Universe, which fails miserably when compared to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And The Avengers sits right at the top of that glorious throne of the ever-popular superhero genre that's now so big it's integrated into our very existence, far beyond culture an far beyond comic-reading.

Thank you, Stan Lee, for everything you've done for the comic industry and our culture. Rest in peace.

Recommended for everyone.