The Avengers

Neil Chan
Divisional Award Winner,
Olelo Youth Xchange Video Competition

Where and with whom did you see this movie?

At Ward Theaters with my dad.

Neil Chan

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Neil Chan

Overall, what did you think?

Overall, The Avengers was a great movie – not for its action or effects, but for its ability to integrate and synthesize philosophical themes of freedom and chivalry, while being unbiased to the importance of each character.

Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes?

I actually have two favorite scenes. One was the entire climactic battle sequence – seeing all these superheroes, whose characters have been established over a span of four years in different films, come together, interacting with one another in what appears to be a never-ending battle of destruction and energy. My second favorite scene was when the team knows of Nick Fury’s (and S.H.E.I.L.D.’s) “secret plan” with the tesseract, and they start an argument that builds up to a point where it goes beyond the secret plan of the tesseract and builds up to be an argument of ego, importance and what it means to be a hero.

On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film?

★★★★ and one more.

What did you think of the cinematography?

It is definitely no art house film (e.g., The Social Network or Inception). But, in a way, it is kind of refreshing. It seemed that both the director Joss Whedon and cinematographer Seamus McGarvey wanted to invest in the strong angst from one character to the next, thus building up a strong tension that would seem ever so emancipating and empathetic once all meet a common ground. Action scenes were stable and well-organized, versus that of other destructive films such as Transformers, in which the cameraman can’t seem to stay still for five minutes. And being shot with an Arri Alexa, this proves the camera to be a top contender with the Red Epic, which has shot the upcoming blockbuster, The Amazing Spider-Man.

Was the message/theme clear?

Though a weak goal of being a total ruler, it is the motivation and logic behind Loki’s plan that concocts a clear and ever-so-thought-provoking message/theme. Loki’s idea of freedom; how, though humans wish for freedom, they still bow down to the possibility/tangibility of it. This paradox of being slaves for freedom goes well with the idea of being a hero as argued upon by all the Avengers, especially Mark Ruffalo’s greatly interpreted Bruce Banner/Hulk. I believe the ultimate theme/message for this film is that a hero is not defined by their ability to do good, but by their ability to act upon evil despite their imperfections; the will to act, not for freedom, but with the idea that they (and everyone they protect) had already been free and had been made slaves under evil.

Did it remind you of any other work in film?

This film reminds me of The Dark Knight for its mental and emotional catharsis, and the concept of the climactic battle in Transformers Dark of The Moon.

Did any of the actors stand out?

What made The Avengers so great was that it equally balanced the importance of each character. Not one actor stood out, for you did not see Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Hawk-Eye and Black Widow, but you saw the Avengers as a whole character in itself. However, Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk does do something worth watching and will definitely make the movie one to remember.

Did you identify with any of the characters?

I could actually identify with Loki, the villain of the film – his ideas of freedom and the idea of what it is to be a hero when really, they are still human, powerless and weak.

Would you buy this movie when it comes out on DVD?

Blu-ray, yo … What’s a DVD? Ha ha.

On a different note, what’s new with you?

I’m currently a junior attending James Campbell High School, taking courses in IB film study and production. In the summer, I am planning to shoot a short film and documentary film, which will hopefully be done by the time the Hawaii International Film Festival comes around.