The Avengers…..can they somehow come together and save the world from a powerful foe? Check out our review of the sixth film in the Marvel on-screen universe, The Avengers after the jump!
Earth is in danger; Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the brother of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has made a deal with an alien race which will allow him back into Asgard (from where he has been banished). He needs to take a very special item which has the power to not only wipe-out the world, but also to open portals between different worlds. Enter the American Peacekeeping unit, S.H.I.E.L.D and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Fury knows that the Avengers are the only chance Earth has of surviving, and that he somehow has to get them all together and convince them to play nice.
That’s as much plot as this review is going to go into, because honestly you don’t need to (and probably) shouldn’t know much more. The important thing is that Fury manages to assemble the Avengers and from here the movie plays out in the most awesome fashion. Fighting Loki and his forces we have:
Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jnr), The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Captain America (Chris Evans).
There is also a great supporting cast of both new and familiar characters which includes Agent Hill (Cobie Smulders), Pepper Potts (Gwneyth Paltrow), and Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg). The performances from all of the cast members are great, and there isn’t really any fault to be found with the acting. Mark Ruffalo is particularly impressive as Hulk, and it’s hard to imagine the character being played by anyone but him. Hulk has never had so much heart, and yet so much raw anger as he has in this film.
Let’s put it straight out there – there isn’t really much to criticise with this film and this reviewer isn’t going to scrabble to find something for the sake of it. We’re trying not to just gush, but we have to say that this film is incredible. It is the geeky dream of millions of fans realised in the most fantastically fun way. If there is a fan of the Marvel world that doesn’t embrace this film, it will be a huge surprise.
The true achievement of the film is how it manages to almost seamlessly bring so many interesting and complex characters together. While the initial 15 minutes of the film is a bit clunky and lacking cohesion, the film manages to set itself up in a way which allows it to be enjoyed by people with little prior knowledge of the characters and their stories. Those who do have prior knowledge will be rewarded by nods to previous events and a greater understanding of what is going on; but this is a film that can easily be enjoyed by anyone.
Each of the characters manages to get their own story-arch within the film. Somehow this works and doesn’t crowd the film with unneeded sub-plots. Their individual stories are all part of the main story-line, and this is what gives the film so much depth and richness.
Watching these characters play off each other is so much fun, and it is the comedy in this film which is the biggest positive. Those who know director/writer Joss Wheldon’s previous work (Firefly, Buffy, Toy Story(screenplay)) probably won’t be surprised by this. He has a way of injecting fantastic pop-culture references and razor-sharp wit into the dialogue, which is just brilliant. There are some great lines in this film which will no doubt become iconic quotes in the years to come.
The action is for the most part simply incredible. This is a busy film, and there are action scenes involving multiple members of the Avengers, plus members of the public, and Loki and his bad guys. The logistics behind putting those shots together and getting them to play out in a way which the audience can follow easily, must have been extremely complicated. There are several scenes which are quite simply jaw-dropping in their intensity and energy. Wow, just wow.
One note on the 3D – it is pretty damn good. There are a few action scenes where it becomes a little hard to keep up, but otherwise they have done a great job. Unlike most 3D films, it never felt too dark. There are some scenes where it really does add to the experience and immerses you completely in the world. Scenes showing Iron Man’s perspective from inside his “suit” worked particularly well in 3D.
Overall this film is solid gold. It succeeds as an action film, a comedy, a superhero film, and as the film that comic geeks and Marvel fans have been waiting for. You won’t be disappointed – it is nothing but wall-to-wall awesome.
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer(s): Joss Whedon (screenplay & story), Zak Penn (story), Stan Lee & Jack Kirby (comic book)
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Renner
Runtime: 142 minutes
Release date(s): Australia & New Zealand: April 25th 2012; USA: May 4th, 2012.