The Avengers Review
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There was an idea…to create a movie that brings together four franchises. This movie is the Avengers and it should have failed – lost under the weight of so many threads and so many egos, But instead it soars, becoming the greatest Marvel film ever made and arguably the greatest comic book film – ever.
The plot is wafer thin. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) decides to enact revenge on the Earth by joining up with the Chitauri and enslaving all humanity. In order to prevent the Earth’s destruction, tough as nails Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) must create the Avengers. The plot suits the ambitions of the film however. As there is so much going on, building the team takes up the first hour, and if the storyline was more complex it would be near impossible to keep up.
Joss Whedon (Buffy, Firefly, Serenity) handles the ensemble cast with ease. All get their moment in the spotlight though it is Iron Man (Robert Downey-Jr) and Captain America (Chris Evans) who steal most of the scenes. Mark Ruffalo’s, third incarnation in ten years, plays Bruce Banner as a far more subdued character, keeping to the shadows to hold the monster back. Black Widow (Scarlet Johnason) shines in this far more than she did in Iron Man 2.
Whedon’s influence is also felt in the jokes. This film is funnier than many self-styled comedies. Downey-Jr (naturally) gets the lion share of the quips, though others get their moment. A brief post-battle moment between Hulk and Thor leaves the audience in stitches.
Without a villain who could challenge the might of six superheroes the film would have failed. Asgardian God of Mischief Loki matches the Avengers on wit; he is always one step ahead. His verbal sparring battles between himself and Iron Man are a treat. What he does to Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) was unexpected to say the least. But he can be taken down by several of them.
It is the Chitauri that gives him the upper hand, the enormous alien force that rains down on New York. Individually the Avengers can easily defeat them but in their thousands there are overwhelming. The fight scenes are incredible. Sweeping camera work captures the various heroes within the sheer size of the battles in a way that is really engrossing.
Joss Whedon has somehow managed to craft a film that has changed what we expect from a Marvel film and has set an unreasonably high benchmark for this summer’s blockbusters to live up to. This is Hollywood at its best – hopefully the Avengers 2 will be as brilliant.