Plot: The ultimate super-hero film comes alive as the team known as The Avengers assemble in order to defeat Asgardian God of Mischief, Loki, and his army of otherworldly beings, in order to save our planet. However, will they easily band together? Or will their strong personalities and individual expertise be their downfall?
Review: Bringing together six of Marvel’s most iconic characters into a single film was never going to be the easiest of tasks, with the understandable risk of one of the characters taking precedent over the others or one of them seeming left out; which could have resulted in the lack of a solid story altogether. Thankfully, this is a case that cannot be said for Avengers Assemble, it is a film that is perfectly balanced between character interaction, development and even contains some of the most fluent looking action sequences you are likely to see in the summer block-buster films this year.
The Assembling of God of Thunder Thor (played by Cabin in the Woods Star, Chris Hemsworth), playboy genius Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), anger induced Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), super-soldier Captain America (Chris Evans), deadly assassin Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and expert marksmen Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner); are what hold the film together with their accurate renditions of their comic-book counterparts. This group of vast individuals soon realize however that due to great clashes of personality, their fight to save the world from becoming enslaved by fallen Asgardian and brother of Thor, Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston), will prove to be a formidable challenge. With this pack of not only all-star super heroes, but also A-list actors, it is hard to say who gives a stand-out performance. Hiddleston’s Loki justifies once again that he is on the fast-track to cementing himself as a successful film star as he portrays the correct amount of charm and vengeance, which is what makes Loki such a love/hate character. Another obvious fan-favorite would be that of Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, who’s smooth-talking one liners confirm his lovable arrogance that causes friction with Evan’s Captain America, but also a potential bonding with Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner/Hulk; who has to be the best embodiment of Hulk to be seen on the silver screen. Along with duo assassins Black Widow and Hawkeye, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Maria Hill (Colbie Smulders), Phill Coulson (Clark Gregg) and bad-mouth talking, ass-kicking Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), play a strong supporting cast that compliments the latter of the super-hero squad. It is also pleasing to find some familiar faces from the previous Marvel films reprise their roles for this collaboration such as Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Erick Selvig (Stellen Skarsgard) to make the audience feel that they are in familiar territory.
With contribution to both the writing and the directing, Joss Whedon has proven that he is not just living every fan-boy’s dream, as the story gives the sensation that it was plucked straight out of one of the many Avengers comic books with its excellent dialogue and fast-paced action. Whedon has more than shown that he is the right person for such a complex idea, where he weaves such a wide cast of characters together. It is especially the case when compared to his much praised but highly underrated 2005 sci-fi flick Serenity, which showed more than promise that he could pull off a similar idea in Avengers Assemble. There are also moments in the film that stay true to Whedon’s eccentric sense of humor, usually involving that of the Hulk; while also maintaining his pro-feminist beliefs by giving the main female characters the reigns to some of the key aspects of the film. The technical side to the Avengers Assemble also demonstrates Whedon’s admirable vision of Marvel’s super-hero squad as he uses a variety of interesting camera angles that perfectly demonstrates each of the individual’s specific abilities and strengths. Although some moments in the film may feel cliche or expected, Avengers Assemble tackles these areas with such grace and structure, that they often remain unnoticed to the audience. If there is only one thing that feels as though it was not fully explained in Avengers it is that of Loki’s otherworldly army, although they may enter Earth guns blazing, their overall persona and appearance seems to be slightly uninspiring in contrast to other franchise’s invaders from other planets. However, this is understandable as they are not necessarily the main focus, but merely pawns that Loki desires to use to his advantage and a small part to that of a much bigger puzzle.
As one of the films that tests the waters for some of the block-buster films to be arriving this Summer, Avengers Assemble certainly does not disappoint. Whedon has brought to life a sense of community within the Marvel universe, which could easily make a good case for being not only one the best films to come out in 2012, but also for being one of the best super-hero films to be produced in to live-action. With the next Iron Man film set to be released early next year and Thor 2 coming out next winter, it won’t be long until the Avengers Assemble once again for another dose of action-packed adventure. If it is to be someone other than Whedon to be handed the torch for the next installment of Avengers, I can only hope that they can match up to Whedon’s explosive collision of super-hero excellence.
Also, make sure to stick around for the mid-credits scene which hints at a new enemy.
Avengers Assemble is out now.