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Marvel’s The Avengers (12)
Director: Joss Whedon.
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo
Genre: Action | Adventure.
The Avengers, Earths mightiest heroes...Earth’s director’s mightiest task! That’s right it’s finally here, 4 whole years in the making. Every single second from Robert Downey Jr. first buckling into his makeshift Iron Man suit in 2008 right up to Chris Evans getting frozen in carbonite, err I mean Ice, all the way back in the 40’s. Its finally here, Joss Whedon’s magnum opus, his first real chance to show the world what we fan boys have seen him do for decades now. Does it deliver on everything we hoped for? Is Iron Man as brilliant as ever? Can we really put up with a third Hulk actor? The final verdict? Check! Check! Oh and erm...check!
Marvel Studios delivers the ultimate comic-book film, which ties together such characters as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) for a big-screen franchise team-up like no other. Show runner Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly) adapted and helmed the script by Zak Penn, which focuses on a superhero line-up put together by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to combat a hostile force out to destroy the world. Scarlett Johansson once again dons the Black Widow costume, with Jeremy Renner stepping into the role of ace archer Hawkeye. Tom Hiddleston also returns as Thor's ever-deceptive brother, Loki.
Unknown to most of your average cinema goer, this plot has been building for years now – ever since Starks first outing as Iron Man, this is the result of years of planning. Some choices that initially looked scary (replacing Norton with Ruffalo) turn out to be a godsend. The plot is complex enough for geeks to latch onto it and simplistic enough for people who wouldn’t know once Norse God from the other. The films real strength isn’t in the basics, it’s in the details. This is evidence, if we ever needed it, of the true power of the geek. Laden with fan references, staggeringly hysterical banter with rich characterization to boot. When you have a script written by Whedon, that’s to be expected. Every sentence is gleaming with personality. The banter between Stark and Banner, especially, shines. Ruffles between Thor, Cap and Iron Man breathe life into what is essentially a moving comic strip. Everything about this production was crafted with just enough love for the source material and just enough creative license allowing Whedon, to do what he does best...oh and Whedon fans...that does mean somebody’s gotta bite the bullet...or staff of destiny, whatever.
Everybody is given a substantial role, from Romanoff (Black Widow) who is actually shown as a true badass, something that was sorely missed from ‘Iron Man 2’ all the way to, sorta, newcomer Hawkeye. Everybody is given fair screen time. Everybody is given something vital to do...and while I never felt for a second as if somebody was underdeveloped or badly written...Whedon’s true writing prowess went into the films shining stars; Robert Downey Jr. And Mark Ruffalo; or should I say Iron Man and the Hulk? The chemistry between these two is astounding and result in some of the films finest points of humour. There is a serious bromance forming between these two and the bond between everybody can be felt. What started as a dysfunctional team of misfits turned fluidly into the greatest superhero flick of all time. That’s right, you heard me.
It’s such an, honour to watch a filmmaker you care about so much, finally get his shot. I’ve been closely following Whedon’s career since the late 80’s when he wrote; and immediately distanced himself from the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer...right up to his latest flop ‘Dollhouse’ – in all I’ve seen him make staggeringly impressive shows and movies...all of which found refuge in the cult. ‘The Avengers’ is destined to change that, and his life forever. This is the sign of a true craftsman. A man who understands team dynamic; originally shown in his X-men script and now here...fully realised. The pacing is monumental, the depth and humanity of the characters; and of course...I’m forgetting the most critical element of all. The film consists of some of the most spectacular, jaw dropping, pant wetting action sequences this side of actually being a superhero. Hold on tight.
The action is spectacular and every set piece is crafted to make jaws drop. It’s so exciting that some people may shake so hard with excitement during the main sequences that they may spontaneously combust or travel back in time. If you do travel back in time, take a moment to tell a relative about ‘The Avengers’ so they have a reason to procreate so your future self can be born at the right time to see the film. Whedon plays with the camera like a kid playing with action figures in a
Everybody is cast to perfection, but you already knew that. The Avengers features very few new characters, mostly just old favourites. You already realise how perfect Downey Jr. Is to Iron Man, how pretty boy Chris Evans wears the stars and stripes with pride. So, how do the newcomers fair. You’ve already heard me go on about my affection for Mark Ruffalo...and justly so. His version of Banner is astonishing. Initially, I was upset upon hearing Norton wouldn’t return...I mean who wouldn’t be he’s a phenomenal actor. It just wouldn’t have worked. Norton had build his Hulk as intensely serious and brooding. Whedon’s aim was to bring life and joy into these characters. Cobie Smulders is the only supremely new face to show up. She’s genuinely enjoyable as fan favourite Maria Hill. Overall, the chemistry here just works, on all fronts...you won’t find a broken cog anywhere here. Hiddleston especially impresses with his villainous Loki.
The film looks and sounds great with a climax that results in an orgy of effects, monsters, fight choreography and swelling orchestral tunes to accompany it. It’s hard not to come away in awe at just have marvellous (hehe get it?) some of the fight sequences are here. Were subject to beautiful set pieces, fights that rival that of John Woo and a climax so impressive, that I’d stake my life on this being the best superhero film of all time.
Verdict: Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ is an absolute dream come true. The result of four years of building a tight, flavourful and well loved mythology all culminating in a breathlessly exciting powerhouse of a movie. Loki may have an army but Marvel has a Hulk on their hands with this. Its hysterical, edge of your seat and moving all wrapped up in a beautiful package. Some people may deem me hyperbolic if I were to label this as the best superhero film of all time...but screw it! This is the best superhero film of all time. Mr Whedon my hat is off to you...and DC, I’d be worried if I were you!
+ This is the movie fans have been waiting for, and then some.
+ I can’t stress how brilliant the chemistry between every character is.
+ The most spectacular final battle in recent memory.
+ Hulk Smash!
+ Joss Whedon comes of age!
+ This is the first time I've given a film a perfect score.
- How long ‘till the next one?