- Responding to Roger Ebert’s reviews
- T/F Film Fest
- About Vox
By Chris Roll
As the clock ticked closer to midnight at a maddeningly slow pace, the incoming audience members at the Forum 8 provided great opportunities for people watching. Men and women, young and old, all shuffled in to take their seats. Some wore T-shirts that reflected their favorite characters, while others came in costume. One man was dressed as Hawkeye, carrying a toy bow and arrow (which somehow got past the ushers), and another was Captain America . . . with suspenders.
The atmosphere was absolutely electric, as though Thor himself had summoned a lightning storm in the midst of the theater. There wasn’t an empty seat in the house, everyone was chatting excitedly in anticipation and as soon as the opening title whooshed onto the screen, the audience erupted in applause. It was go time!
Going into the film, even casual fans of the Marvel films would have certain expectations to be upheld, as The Avengers is five films and five years in the making. But, since all the previous films received fairly universal acclaim (with the exception, perhaps, of 2008’s lukewarm The Incredible Hulk), most in attendance were optimistic.
“It’s cool seeing all the Marvel identities kind of coming together into one film,” said Ed McKinzie, who attended the film with his son, Dylan.
“As long as it’s not like Fantastic Four, I’m okay,” MU student Jessica Pitlyk said—a valid concern, as that film strayed far from the original source material and took a solid bashing from critics.
“I’m a big Hulk fan, but I’m also a big Edward Norton fan,” MU student Stacey Sheridan said. “I was mad that he isn’t in The Avengers, but Mark Ruffalo is good.”
And boy, was he ever. Although most of the main characters are fleshed out very well throughout the film, Hulk in particular seemed to elicit the most vocal responses from the audience, especially in scenes where he gleefully smashes things . . . and bad guys . . . and good guys . . . and everything else in his path.
The film as a whole was delightful to watch, especially in a full house. There were cheers, gasps and more laughs than the Joker at a Three Stooges film festival. From start to finish, moments of silence were rare, and while that might prove unnerving at any other film screening, for The Avengers, the excited chatter acted as a tether of mutual awe that bound the audience together. Their long wait had paid off.
“It was awesome,” McKinzie said after the film. “We actually might come and see it again.”
“I’m in love,” Sheridan said. “So much better than going to the bars tonight.”
In total, there were 694 people present for the midnight showing of The Avengers. This was less than the whopping 1,100 who attended the premiere of The Hunger Games at the Forum 8, but it was still an impressive turnout. According to Forum staff, they didn’t expect such a big turnout because, as of Monday, preordered tickets hadn’t even filled the second theater. But by the time midnight rolled around, five of the eight theaters had to be set aside for The Avengers, two of which were showing the film in 3-D.
Leaving the theater, no one was talking about The Five-Year Engagement. Most of them were in awe of special effects, debating the logistics of Hawkeye’s uncanny marksmanship, or just recalling their favorite Hulk moments and Tony Stark one-liners. Even after the film, delighted viewers couldn’t help but assemble, and it’s a safe bet they’ll be talking about this one for a long time to come … especially given the mid-credits Easter egg that perfectly sets up a sequel. Without giving away too much, casual fans gasped at the reveal of the next big villain, while die-hard fans nearly fell out of their seats.
Tagged with: The Avengers
Like Vox on Facebook
- No public Twitter messages.
What we’re chatting aboutart books Columbia Community CoMo dessert Documentaries Documentary downtown downtown Columbia Fashion film Films food Harry Potter Missouri Mizzou movie movies MU music news playlist Ragtag Recipe Recipes restaurants review Shopping social media T/F T/F film fest T/F Film Festival television The Blue Note True/False True/False Film Fest True/False Film Festival True False True False Film Fest TV Twitter vox VVV VVVV