Title: Avengers Assemble
Director: Joss Whedon
Genre: 3D, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Stars: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo and Samuel L. Jackson
Review by: Allan
“Aka The Avengers aka THE comic book movie the world has been waiting for.”
When Thor’s adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) gatecrashes a S.H.I.E.L.D science experiment centred around harnessing the limitless power of the Cosmic Cube he takes control of the situation, the cube and several key personnel. Promptly escaping leaving a wave of destruction behind him Nick Fury (Jackson) has no choice but to get the Avenger Initiative into action. The scientist with anger issues Bruce Banner (Ruffalo), the playboy genius with the metal suit Tony Stark (Downey Jr), the recently thawed World War 2 veteran Steve Rogers, spy turned soldier Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) and the previously mentioned demi-god (Hemsworth) are all brought together to track down Loki before his plan to unleash an alien army upon an apparently powerless Earth becomes a reality.
Is it possible for the Hulk’s primal rage to be contained? Is Captain America a hero from a bygone time? Can Iron Man be more than just a wiseass in a supersuit? Will Thor be able to reason with his mischievous sibling? How can Black Widow possibly compete with this much testosterone? Plus, since when did Agent Coulson have a first name?
All these questions and more will be answered in the film literally decades in the making.
Joss Whedon is worshipped across the globe of geekdom for his outstanding work in Buffy, Firefly and most recently The Cabin in the Woods. Most of this praise is well deserved and it was an audible squee when his name was linked to the cinematic union of Marvel Studio’s patchwork of heroes. Yet there was a fear that expectations would be so high for the film that nothing put up on screen could compare with that level of fanboy/girl build up.
But, amazingly he has not only exceeded them, he has set a new standard for what a summer blockbuster should be. Full of character, brimming with humour, overloaded with stunning visuals and all wrapped up in a coherent lean script.
The killer cast predictably nail the roles, the banter, and the group dynamic. Even new guy Ruffalo makes Bruce Banner his own. The first act of getting the band together is a mix of establishing the movies McGuffin while simultaneously introducing would-be world saviours, each one done in new and interesting ways. The second act throws a Hawkeye shaped spanner in the works, super-sized egos continue to clash and just when you think things can’t get more dire and/or epic the third act explodes onto the screen.
142 minutes has never felt so short a running time.
Avengers Assemble is practically perfect in every way, except for one of the worst Whedonisms. Death comes to us all, but in a movie it should not come to a brilliant character that dies so needlessly that it slightly weakens the entire movie universe established since the first Iron Man. However that is such a minor gripe it is almost forgotten once one witnesses The Avengers versus a seemingly unstoppable alien force in all its comedy laced city destroying glory.
As usual the pointless pointy pointy vision is pointless but atleast during the New York finale it is the best post-production faux-D I have witnessed.
In conclusion, laugh out loud edge of the seat fan pleasing entertainment does not come much better than this. The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises have got a lot to live up to and the queue starts here for The Avengers 2.