May 3rd 2012 22:21
Based on the Avengers comic by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Director: Josh Whedon
Screenplay by: Josh Whedon
Story by: Josh Whedon & Zak Penn
Producer: Kevin Feige
Starring: Chris Evans (Captain America), Robert Downey Jnr (Iron Man/Tony Stark), Samuel L Jackson (Nick Fury), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Stellan Skarsgard (Dr Eric Selvig), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Mark Ruffalo (Dr Bruce Banner/The Hulk), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye), Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts). Paul Bettany (JARVIS) & Cobie Smulder (Maria Hill)
Running Time: 150 minutes Rating: M
Possibly the most hyped and anticipated superhero movie of all time ever since the first Marvel heroes graced the silver screen in live action format. One could possibly argue that there have been generations of fanboys and fangirls waiting for this one to finally explode upon the big screen in cinemas across the globe…certainly it’s received an unprecedented level of promotion. If you look at the recent releases; Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor part of these features roles was to also promote the Avengers…to give the audience a taste of what was to come.
So does it live up to the hype? Does it deliver? I have to admit when I purchased my ticket at the cinema and went in to sit down with my drink and popcorn mixed in with the feelings of anticipation was also a slight sense of apprehension. My apprehension was due to the fact that Marvel is for all intents and purposes now an arm of Disney and the fact that as an ensemble film would the cast work well together…after all the bulk of them were cast originally in solo films and bringing them together as a team might not work as well. After all it sounds like a great idea what was done…but Hollywood is littered with the corpses of ‘great ideas’ as are the bargain basement bins of countless supermarkets and video shops the world over.
Fast forward to a secret SHIELD installation deep in a remote area of the continental United States, this semi covert organisation has managed to gain the Tesseract an alien artefact that they are currently engaged in employing to provide the world with limitless clean power, along with as always developing an arsenal of high power weapons. In comes Loki, sliding through a portal suddenly opened by the Tesseract and wielding his new toy he swiftly manages to convert Dr Selvig, chief scientist on the project along with Agent Barton. Despite the best efforts of Nick Fury and his ADC Maria Hill Loki and his new converts manage to grab the Tesseract and abscond with it to a hidden installation.
Loki makes no bones about what he intends to do…he feels that regardless of the efforts of humanity and its potential defenders they just don’t have any real gumption to stop him. And initially it certainly seems like he’s pretty much on the money…the proto Avengers don’t have it…they squabble…they bicker…they are completely disunited which is just what Loki wants. And he focuses his efforts and attention on achieving just that vibe and culture…the worst thing that could happen for his plans is that the Avengers get their proverbial together and start acting as they should…a team. A great plan but like any great plan it all goes to hell when it finally confronts reality…in this case the reality that the various members of the Avengers at the heart realise they all have a common enemy and that enemy is Loki, regardless of what his grander scheme might have been his actions have served to actually do what he feared the most – unite the Avengers.
Earth’s mightiest superheroes combine their various talents, skills and abilities and as a team manage to deliver some serious smack down against the alien Chitauri, the beings whom have been pledged to Loki’s cause. But is it really Loki’s cause? Thor in a confrontation with his ‘wayward’ brother seems to think that there is something more behind all of this, that Loki is but a cats-paw for someone else. Maybe if he watched the end credits who would have found that information out…
When the dust finally settled the Avengers to my humble opinion lived up to the hype. Though as I mentioned earlier there are some flaws to this otherwise finely crafted film. Firstly is the use once again of the end credit teaser scene…its getting to be rather annoying to have the film makers keep on putting these in…first time around it was cool but now its just getting staid. Why can’t they have these scenes at the end before the credits start to roll? Is there some kind of taboo for film makers involved in Marvel films to actually do this? Secondly is the problem that you have the potential for one character to predominate over the other characters, thirdly the potential for a second film (an you can bet there is going to be an Avengers 2) to be a rehash of what happened in the first and finally while plot contrivance can do wonderful things for a story it can also make it seem somewhat flawed. Classic example in this particular flick is the sudden appearance of Thor…he just shows up out of the blue…how? Apparently it’s all Odin’s doing but then you’re left with the feeling that if he could do that why didn’t he do that in the first place and stop things to begin with? Its plot contrivance and you can let it pass, but if it’s used too much it can just spoil things.
The producers and director have managed to get the right mix with this film…and they need to keep that mix bubbling because when the second film is made if that mix is just the slightest bit out they’ll have a flop. Good casting, an impressive tight story, good directing and just the right mix of good versus evil without being schmalzy is what the Avengers is all about. But it could have just gone overboard…it could have ended up being an emo whingefest…thankfully it didn’t. My advice…get to your local cinema and see it…see it in the normal 2D, real men don’t need 3D we live it…
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