The Source for Youth Ministry

Movie Reviews
by Jonathan McKee and Todd Pearage

Avengers, The (9/25/2012)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference.

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson and Tom Hiddleston

Directed by Joss Whedon (Serenity, Firefly series, Buffy series…)

Jonathan's Rating: Worth Buying

Todd's Rating: Worth Buying

Dynamic ImageThe bar has been set extremely high. The Avengers will now be the movie that every other movie will be compared to this summer.

TODD’S WORD: OK, I’m going to say it…BEST MOVIE EVER!!

JONATHAN’S WORD: My kids were saying the same thing as we left the theatre. Ashley repeated it about 5 times. “That definitely is my favorite film of all time!”

And the midnight audiences agreed—the film way exceeded our expectations.

The Avengers probably don’t need any introduction, they are the super hero team-up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

TODD’S WORD: Over the last couple of years you’ve asked me to attend the midnight showings of movies like Twilight and The Hunger Games…finally a midnight showing I wanted to go to!!

JONATHAN’S WORD: Yeah, poor baby. You love your job! Quit whining! So I blogged about my midnight showing experience, what was yours like?

TODD’S WORD: Insanity! There were plenty of “superheroes” that came out for opening night. Most of them didn’t have the Hollywood budget for their costumes, but there were a few who I actually wondered if they had a day job. I saw one girl dressed as Loki who clearly spent way too much time and way too much money…but she looked really authentic.

JONATHAN’S WORD: Our theatre had a few costumes, but the energy in the room is what we will remember. This is one of those films that people will want to see in the theatre—the cheers, the laughter. It added so much to the experience. I’m so glad that we went to the midnight premier. Best one I’ve been to by far.

TODD’S WORD: Of all the heroes of The Avengers, I think one of the greatest is the less-obvious “hero” of the movie…Director, Joss Whedon. He delivered a near perfect film. He managed to keep the movie moving at a break neck speed while telling a story that has depth and intensity. Not to mention balancing the screen time of almost a dozen main characters – four of which have their own movie franchise.

JONATHAN’S WORD: I’m so glad you mentioned Whedon.

Joss Whedon isn’t one of those names like Cameron or Spielberg (yet). He’s got more of a cult following…dare I say a “nerd” following? Sheldon, Leonard and Raj mention him regularly. He’s the man behind the original Buffy series, and his legacy, Firefly, the edgy scifi TV series that everyone unanimously agrees should have made it, but somehow only lasted one season.

But I think Whedon just made his Titanic.

TODD’S WORD: Interesting comparison. And time will only tell what this film will do at the box office. I wonder if it will come close to the two Cameron titles at the top.

JONATHAN’S WORD: It will definitely come close. This film had everything.

I gotta admit, as excited as I already was for this film in the incredible lineup of blockbusters for this summer, I was not even slightly prepared for what I experienced. This film so far surpassed my expectations.

The element that I actually like the most was the humor. This film was unequivocally hilarious. Here’s where the packed theatre only added to the experience. The film delivered so many laugh-out-loud moments, putting the audience in hysterics. Whedon’s humor really came through in the screenwriting. I mean… I don’t even know what section I’d put this film in at your local Blockbuster. It’s funnier than most comedies, but packs the action punch that trumps most action-adventure blockbusters from the last decade. Whedon even weaves in a few sentimental romantic moments. This movie has the whole package.

Add to that the all-star cast? This film was truly amazing. Probably in my top 10 films of all time.

TODD’S WORD: I couldn’t agree more, on all accounts. No one knew what to expect walking into the theatre. Most of this midnight crowd had seen Thor, Ironman I and II, Hulk, and Captain America. How could they possibly give each of these big name cast members enough screen time, AND provide Fury (Jackson) and Black Widow (Johansson) enough time to develop their characters?

What can I say… they did it! The script was brilliant enough to give each character a balance of good screen time, developing their character enough that you fell in love with each of them.

JONATHAN’S WORD: Walking out of the theatre, my daughter Alyssa mentioned, “I don’t even know if I could pick which character I liked best. They were all great!” It’s amazing to have a film with so many likable characters.

That’s what you get when you combine good scriptwriting and directing with such a supreme cast.

TODD’S WORD: I’ll admit I have a man crush on Robert Downey Jr., especially as Tony Stark. Whether he is being “super” smart or “super” sarcastic - He kills EVERY line! Chris Evans plays Captain America perfectly and I don’t believe there is a person on the planet who could deliver Nick Fury better than Samuel L Jackson.

The two surprises for me were Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner. Ruffalo is the third actor to play the Hulk on screen in the last decade (Eric Bana and Edward Norton) and is far and away my favorite. Renner plays a smaller role as Hawkeye, but “kills” it as a super assassin.

JONATHAN’S WORD: And Scarlet Johansson was awesome. Her action scenes were some of those most creative choreographed moves I’ve ever seen; all that from a girl who can actually act.

The cast was amazing.

TODD’S WORD: I worried that the movie would not appeal to the larger audience…I love being wrong! Based on the reaction of the packed theater I was in last night, this movie is making everyone happy. The “comic book nerds” loved it and the people who didn’t have a clue who the villain was (in that first after the credits scene), they loved it too.

JONATHAN’S WORD: I didn’t know who that was. I had to ask my son.

TODD’S WORD: (**AFTER-CREDIT-SPOILER ALERT**) Well I wasn’t 100% sure either. His name is Thanos and you can become more of a nerd by Googling him.

JONATHAN’S WORD: I’m already too much nerd.

Did you go to the 3D showing, or the better showing (yeah, you know I hate 3D)?

TODD’S WORD: Of course I went to the 3D showing and was blown away. I’m serious. This movie has some of the best action sequences ever. Whether it’s Ironman wrestling with Thor, or The Avengers taking on the aliens…believe me you get your money’s worth.

JONATHAN’S WORD: As soon as 3D becomes as good as 2D, sign me up. But I’ve told you many times before. I saw Avatar in the theatre in 3D and it looks far better in a living room on a 1080p plasma.

I’m just glad they offer it in both formats. That way people who have the wool pulled over their eyes like you—and like 3D—can enjoy 3D, and the rest of us can choose quality picture.

The film will be amazing either way.

TODD’S WORD: Honestly there isn’t a single thing I did not like about this movie – I can’t wait to see it again. I already have a spot for The Avengers in my Blu-ray library…It is definitely WORTH BUYING.

JONATHAN’S WORD: With the all star cast, the side-splitting humor and Whedon at the helm, this film can’t lose in any arena. I give it my highest score, WORTH BUYING. But don’t wait until it comes to Blu-ray, catch the theatre experience this weekend!

TODD’S WORD: …and make sure you stay until all the credits are over…just saying!

There is no sex or nudity and the profanity is pretty mild. The action scenes are intense, but they are not graphic or gory. I’d take elementary aged kids to it if they aren’t frightened easy by action violence.

Conversation Starters and Scripture:
  1. Who is your favorite Avenger? Why?

  2. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?

  3. What is one major lesson we can learn from The Avengers? (teamwork)

  4. Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

      The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

      Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

      But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

      In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

      All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.

  5. What are some of the gifts you see that people have, from this passage?

  6. The last part of that passage says, “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.” What do you think is YOUR part?

  7. What is one thing you can do this week to DO YOUR PART?

Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

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Comments on this post

   Sean         5/8/2012 11:11:57 AM

The Captains "one god" line was even a big surprising for me. Especially since Whedon is an Atheist. Still the line fits the character of Captain America perfectly. It shows that he was definitly a man of his time. Everything about the movie has already been said. Hulk steals the show. He actually felt like a real character this time around, instead of just a monster. The problem with Hulk movies is that they are about a guy who doesn't want to turn into the very thing people(the audience) want him to turn into. Which means we gets lots of filler and very little Hulk. Here's hoping they stick wit the formula they started in the Avengers, with Banner using Hulk as a weapon to for good.

   Jonathan McKee         5/7/2012 5:43:23 PM

Captain America's good ol' fashioned values are a breath of fresh air indeed. Although I think I like the lines, "You're going to lose!" "Why?" "You lack conviction!"

   Sara Clauss         5/7/2012 8:28:22 AM

Wow, no mention of Captain America's beautifully faithful line "Ma'am, there's only one God and I don't think he dresses like that." I never would have expected that line in an action movie! As geeked out as I was about the rest of the movie (based on childhood/babysitting years of cartoon watching rather than comic books)that is the part that has stayed with me.

   Jim         5/7/2012 7:30:26 AM

"No hard feelings Point Break" One of the best quotes!

   Mark         5/4/2012 3:13:47 PM

Great film. Nice review


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