Director: Joss Whedon
Starring : Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L Jackson, Stellan Skarsgard
Running Time : 142 minutes
Release Date : 25 April 2012
‘Throw Down the Hammer.’
The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble as it is being touted in some countries) is the comic book movie to end all comic book movies. It is the culmination (or is it? Pfffft….no way!) of years of movies and teasers, all pointing to this tantalising piece of cinema that is leaving everyone raving. Absolutely raving!
The story so far…. Nick Fury (Jackson) is the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. His scientists, including Selvig (Skarsgard) have been playing with stuff. The kind of stuff that no good can come from. And sure enough, the evil Loki (Hiddleston) comes forth and threatens all kinds of nasty things and evilness. The Avengers are thusly summoned to protect Earth.
The Avengers are Ironman aka Tony Stark (Downey Jr), Black Widow aka Natasha Romanov (Johansson), Captain America aka Steve Rogers (Evans), The Hulk aka Bruce Banner (Ruffalo), Hawkeye aka Clint Barton (Renner), Thor aka Thor (Hemsworth). That’s the cream of the Marvel Comic crop. It’s also a list of some damn fine actors too…….quite a few Oscar nominees in there.
I just want to add that the appearance of Agent Maria Hill (Robyn from How I Met Your Mother, otherwise known as the actress Cobie Smulders) caused quite a gasp and a great deal of appreciative muttering from a large segment of the audience. She seems to be a major favourite with most of the young men present. I was highly amused.
So for the first hour or so we see the gathering of the troops. There is quite a bit of assumed character knowledge but I will say that you do not have to be a huge fan, or even to have seen all the previous movies to understand what’s happening in this film. I haven’t seen either Ironman movie and I avoided the last Hulk debacle. Yes I am prepared to be drawn and quartered for not seeing Ironman 1 & 2 but I will argue you into a screaming mess if you challenge me on my Hulk choice. Just so we’re clear here LOL
As the Superheros are gathering, we get to see them at their best. They do Superhero stuff, they push and pull amongst themselves and we wonder if they will ever be able to function as a team. They eye each other warily. They assess each other. And there may be juuuust a touch of chest puffing. Just a touch mind you.
There is a lot of humour in this movie. Lots of fantastic, witty one liners delivered with perfect comic timing. There was many times the audience burst out laughing. Big and little kids got the jokes and gags. Many of these gags are uttered by Tony Stark at the expense of his fellow Avengers. His ‘Easy there, Point Break’ dig at Thor is my personal favourite. Or maybe it’s his repeated attempts to taunt The Hulk into emerging after his 2 year hiatus. Oh yes, Banner is keeping his Hulk under control. There is a really funny quip about having to turn around to see computer screens/images but I can’t remember it exactly. It got a big laugh.
Once all 6 of our Avengers come together, they naturally form into a tight fighting machine. It takes a while but when they hit their stride and sort it all out, they hit it hard. I am trying not to spoil too much, so this will all make more sense when you see the movie. The action is fast paced and electric. The various skills and talents of the Avengers come to the forefront as they protect Earth and each other.
The special effects and CGI are jaw dropping. As I mentioned, I have not seen the Ironman movies so Stark’s whole suit thing was amazing to me. Watching The Hulk scale buildings was also an audience favourite…..as was his finally becoming a real part of the team.
This is a great movie for hard-core comic book fans and those just looking to see what all the fuss is about. You can know more than Wikipedia about the Avengers or just be vaguely aware who Thor is and you will still enjoy the movie. Of course, you may take away different things but you will enjoy it all the same.
At over 2 hours in length, it may be a tad too long for our youngest movie goers but there were quite a few kids at the screening I attended and they remained riveted the entire time. As did the bigger kids.
As I left the cinema, I was not quite so enamoured of the movie but I was also very tired, so that is my excuse. Today on the drive to work, as I began to formulate my review, the full impact of what I had experienced emerged. But that’s just what happens sometimes.
This is a movie for everyone. Sure there is violence and buildings’ being blown up but this is real Superhero stuff. I can’t wait for the next instalment now…..
Oh and is it just me or is Stellan Skarsgard in every movie these days?