Here's the review part:
- The plot was surprisingly intricate for an action-based summer blockbuster. It was interesting to see the characters from the last few years worth of summer hits end up on the same screen.
- The quality of the visual effects was top notch- as expected.
- The movie had several quotable one liners that solicited a good laugh from the audience (one of my favorites being the Lord of the Rings reference to Hawkeye's character played by Jeremy Renner).
- The 2.5 hour run time (well 3 for us as the theater lost power half way through the movie...) really wasn't that bad.
- I highly recommend going to see it if you're dragging your feet. I went with Angela and she really liked it too. So it's two thumbs up for either date night or guys night- that doesn't happen often...
Now on to the cool stuff.
- SHIELD operates from a massive aircraft carrier with two decks. The carrier can also fly. Four ducted fans emerge from the hull and lift the monstrosity to 30,000 ft. That's way cool. I haven't seen something that outlandish since Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Just when you think that's cool enough the crew fires up reflectivity panels that cover the ship in active camouflage. Active or adaptive camouflage has been in R&D for quite some time (with rumors that it's currently being field tested) for applications on vehicles like tanks that are hard to hide as well as cloaks for soldiers. Read more about that here.
- The mercenaries that board the flying HQ are outfitted with some serious gear. From what I could notice, it looks like they're wearing Crye Combat Pants, Ops-Core helmets, and their Noveske N4 rifles were sporting EO Tech HHS II sights and Magpul PMAGs. I guess if you're not a superhero you need all the help you can get.
- I've been looking at a few options for concealed carry recently- none of the firearms on my shortlist were featured in the movie unless you count the Smith & Wesson M&P9 that Nick Fury dual wielded. The compact version is on the top of my short list currently. Black Widow rocks two Glock 26's. I guess when you're Scarlett Johansson you can make two subcompact 9's work for you.
- You don't see bows and arrows too often as a tactical weapon, but Hawkeye brings some serious 21st century upgrades to the ancient tech. Laser target designators, high explosive tips, target tracking, and arrows in seemingly unlimited supply! Don't expect to see these coming to your neighborhood SWAT team anytime soon.
- Some cool aircraft were used like the
cutting edgeAV-8B Harrier II that seemed to be used more for the Hulk to smash, the cutting edge F-35B Lightning II (which can't hover at that altitude), and a made up troop transport that resembled the Pelican dropship from Halo (which I still think needs to be made into a movie).