Be prepared for a LOT of gushing over Marvel Studio’s ‘The Avengers’. I’m going to give it to you straight; the film is phenomenally awesome. No review for the film really matters anyway because you’d be mental to miss the biggest superhero film event since we were pooped out from the big bang. Therefore, the burning question – is it the greatest superhero movie ever made? Our yardstick for the perfect superhero film is Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’ and Richard Donner’s ‘Superman’. ‘The Avengers’ gets the bronze medal behind these films but serves as one of the best blockbusters ever made and is a fantastic accomplishment of Marvel Studios and writer/director Joss Whedon.
Earth is in danger from a powerful force and the Avengers initiative is put into action to bring together the mightiest heroes to fight back. The team includes Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) as well as S.H.I.E.L.D agents Natasha Romanoff/the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Clint Barton/Hawekeye (Jeremy Renner).
After a clunky opening that lumbers through a couple of action film clichés, ‘The Avengers’ kicks in hard once the heroes start to assemble and Whedon’s snappy screenplay starts firing off one liners, clever dialogue and light glimpses of these extraordinary heroes as flawed beings. Whedon perfectly balances all the characters and it’s a joy seeing them come together as a group.
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 sandpit and it’s amazing seeing the filmmaker’s imagination run wild with the Marvel universe.
The special effects and stunt work is outstanding and for hardcore comic book fans there are so many moments where you’ll squeal like a teenage girl with binoculars at a One Direction concert. There is so much going on that multiple viewings will be required to fully absorb the entire Marvel world in motion.
The cast have the perfect chemistry and with so many big characters in one film, a decent amount of the spotlight is given to each member of the team. Downey Jr. and Ruffalo hog some of the attention but everyone gets a moment to shine. Tom Hiddleson is menacing as the villain Loki and Clark Gregg continues to make S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Phil Coulson just as engaging as his super powered/skilled colleagues.
There is a great sense of relief watching ‘The Avengers’ when you realise that Marvel Studios have pulled off something incredible. Looking back at the road to ‘The Avengers’, Marvel Studios unwavering faith in their characters and the directors, scriptwriters and actors they entrusted to bring them to life is exceptional. Whedon not only honours the hard work done prior but delivers a huge payoff for fans of every film made in the lead up whether you’re team ‘Iron Man’, ‘Thor’, ‘Captain America’ or ‘The Incredible Hulk’. That love easily transfers over to non-comic book/superhero fans which is where the films greatest strength lies as the perfect blockbuster.
As a long time comic book fan ‘The Avengers’ is a dream come true and I can honestly say that I am so happy to have witnessed it. My future children will have to compete with the film for my love and attention.
So with this review I add to the global group hug for ‘The Avengers’ and can’t wait for the next phase of Marvel’s plan that kicks into gear only minutes after the credits roll.
‘The Avengers’ is released:
25 April 2012 Australia
26 April 2012 UK (titled ‘Avengers Assemble)
4 May 2012 USA
The Popcorn Junkie