Film Review – The Avengers

The Avengers (M)

Directed by: Joss Whedon

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner

Four and a half stars

Review by: Julian Wright

There have been five films in the last four years to get us to this point. Six superheroes have been introduced and established in two Iron Man films, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America and Thor. It has been one of the biggest, most expensive lead ups to one of the most anticipated blockbuster films we have seen. The geeks of the world have never before been so looked after.

The suits at Marvel Studios have probably relished the opportunity of getting comic book clutching fanboys all riled up for this very moment – when the Avengers finally assemble. What a relief to report that the wait and hype has been worth it, which is so rarely the case. This has not been treated as a throw away cash grab to dominate the box office for a couple of weeks simply for a nerdy core audience.

The Dark Knight has, in some circles, been praised and touted as the comic book/superhero adaptation to top. It may now have to watch its back with this fun, explosive, rip-roaring adventure that values its characters as much as it values special effects and large-scale action sequences.

In an unprecedented and remarkable achievement, co-writer and director Joss Whedon, brings together the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Liam Hemsworth),  Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), with equal screen time and attention, to battle Loki (Tom Hiddleston) a power-hungry God who wants to rule the planet.

Under the guidance of S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who has been trying to recruit these heroes in post-credit sequences of each film, the powerful individuals, who up until now worked alone, find it a little tricky to operate as a team. Fury has sensed that something big and powerful would threaten the planet but getting these heroes to work an a single unit to battle Loki has proven to be quite a task.

With so many characters sharing the screen (there are more returning characters and new ones that get a look in here) it seems almost impossible to create a coherent story that gives each one a moment to shine. One or two are usually left out somewhere along the way. But Whedon has taken such delicate care here to make this film feel like they are all the stars. Characters that have been established in their own two-hour film are given room to grow here and others such as Black Widow and Hawkeye, who were supporting players previously, also have their back story fleshed out.

And yet Whedon does not get bogged down in character stuff. In true Whedon fashion, the dialogue is snappy and the cast deliver it with aplomb. This film is that rare creature in which everything clicks. And the stunning action sequences are the icing on this carefully made cake. Certainly not as broody as The Dark Knight, The Avengers is nevertheless a thrilling ride, managing to find pathos in something that is essentially a frothy piece of popcorn fluff. And there is nothing wrong with that.

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2 Responses to “Film Review – The Avengers”

  1. thnx for the review & the tip J…watched it last night & really enjoyed it…Good fun!!!

  2. Great review! I agree with how much fun it was, great movie. Check my review out when you get the time, I would be really grateful!: http://conordcfc.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/film-review-the-avengers-avengers-assemble-2012/

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