Friday, 27 April 2012

The Avengers

"I have an army..."
"We have a Hulk."

The Avengers or Marvel’s Avengers Assemble here in the UK for ridiculous reasons is the long awaited teaming up of the characters from Marvel’s recent and successful movies. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) returns to Earth and steals The Tesseract, an energy source being worked on by scientists at S.H.I.E.L.D. In response, S.H.I.E.L.D Director Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) activates the Avengers Initiative and assembles a team of superhuman men and women that comprises of Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Loki’s brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth) who join S.H.I.E.L.D Agents Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in attempting to stop Loki from subjugating the world’s population.

There was always the danger that things could go ‘tits up’ for Marvel when producing a film on this scale and with so many well known characters and actors/personalities involved. I’m delighted to say that they have pulled it off and that The Avengers is a terrific film. The plot itself plays second fiddle to the assembling of the team and I don’t think this was a bad thing. Obviously Marvel will be hoping for a sequel or five to come after the film so it was essential that the characters interactions and developments with each other were given high priority. The sharp dialogue is thrown between the characters with more force and precision than a throw of Thor’s hammer.  In the end the story is similar to every other superhero movie; bad guy brings destructive forces to Earth in an attempt to rule and/or destroy humanity while superhero(s) attempt to stop them. In Loki and Tom Hiddleston though, there is a bad guy who carries great menace and feels more dangerous when he is doing nothing than when he is thrashing his weapon around. I think that Hiddleston gives the best performance of the piece.



The time given to each character seemed fair and worked well. There was a risk that this could have turned into Iron Man 3 plus Other Guys and as you’d expect given his character traits, Downey Jr does get more dialogue than the others but not so much that he overpowers the film. Captain America becomes the de-faco leader of The Avengers, Thor has a vested interest in bringing Loki to justice and while I’d like to have seen more of Dr. Banner, the Hulk had the best action scenes and also the biggest laugh of the entire film. Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Sam Jackson also have plenty to do. It is testament to how good the film is that there are no characters who feel forgotten or underused.

I’ve said in the past that I wish action blockbusters would be more fun. They always seem so straight and serious (i.e. Battleship), but The Avengers is the most fun film I’ve seen in a long time. The action was frenetic and thankfully avoided too much shaky-cam so I was able to keep up with it. It is also one of the funniest films I’ve seen for a few weeks. Marvel’s films always have humour intrinsically wound into them but never before has there been so much and that it’s hit the mark so often. I can’t think of a big Hollywood movie that has made me laugh this much so far in 2012.

As well as being action packed and fun, the movie also looks incredible. I saw it in 2D (and wont go on a rant as to why, but basically I’m sick of crummy, dark, 3D) and it still popped off the screen. Highlights included the fantastic and believable technology used aboard S.H.I.E.L.D’s ship and most spectacularly of all, the giant Centipede like bad guys who looked phenomenal. The sight of them ripping through New York City is something that will stay with me. The main character’s design and costume were all excellent. Iron Man looked even cooler when covered in dents and scratches and The Hulk’s design is far improved from his Edward Norton days. For me the best costume though was Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow outfit because of.. um.. well.. the.. the colour’s nice. Yes the colour.

My only complaints are mild and that is that the horde of alien bad guys didn’t really do much. It was only really numbers that they had on their side. Another small problem I had was trying to remember where everyone fitted as I’ve only seen each of the lead-up films once and have never read a comic so couldn’t quite place some people, words and ideas. Those though are extremely pernickety and minor problems.

    
Overall The Avengers is one of the most entertaining films I’ve seen in years and at the end of the day we go to the cinema to be entertained so what more can I add? Only that this film has become greater than the sum of its parts.

9/10

9 comments:

  1. Ahh Yess Scarlett Johannsen allways has chooses great colors to wear. Can't wait to see this movie.

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  2. Like everything else I've read about it so far it sounds like a blast, repeating what Vern said, can't wait to see it.

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  3. Your review is right on the money and I agree on all counts. Picking up on the 3D argument Didsbury have added D-Box to their 3D screen now, yet another way to distract the audience and make them feel sick whilst trying to enjoy the film.

    Great review, I would have read it sooner but didn't want to influence my own

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  4. When you said that I had pretty much echoed everything you said, you weren't kidding! It looks like I've copy/pasted your review! I didn't Guv, honest!

    You're absolutely right though. Most fun film in ages. Funniest film in ages, and none of the characters over-ran the film. That's a very good point that it ran the risk of being Iron Man 3 + others, and it's testament to the script and direction that it did happen.

    Great review, and I seriously can't wait to see it again!

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    1. Yeah alright, you 'didn't copy' MY review.... ;)

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