Avengers Assemble

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Marvel Avengers

Released: 2012
Director: Joss Whedon

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth

A storming superhero movie that will be hard to beat

It’s been a long wait – for me it’s been since August last year, for others it’s been much longer. That wait however is now over, Avengers have indeed now Assembled in our cinemas and we get to find out if all our hopes were met or if our dreams of a fantastic superhero movie would be dashed. I’ll give you a little clue – it is absolutely brilliant.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon may not have been the obvious choice to write and direct this big-budget, high octane blockbuster. He may be a cult favourite but his previous foray into big-screen direction, Serenity, wasn’t a financial success and that’s what Marvel and Paramount need. There was no need to worry, Whedon has worked wonders on both the script and the direction ensuring that Avengers will more than make its $220 million budget back. Whedon has delivered a movie that will make both the fans and the money-men very happy indeed.

The previous Marvel films introduced us to the main characters – Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and Thor, and we’re expected to know them all already. There’s not much time spent here on explaining back-story – we’re straight into the action. Loki the evil brother of demi-god Thor, wants control of the Tesseract a cosmic cube with untold power. He invades S.H.I.E.L.D’s headquarters, steals the cube and plots to rule the earth. Our heroes are gathered together to defeat Loki’s evil plans but can they put aside personal differences to work together as a team?

The script is smart and funny and as we would expect from Whedon contains lots of pop-culture references including Tony Stark calling Thor “Point Break” and super archer Hawkeye “Legolas”. My initial concern that this would become the Tony Stark show with other characters being used as background was proved to be unfounded. Each character has their moment in the sun and Whedon allows them all a little limelight.

Unexpectedly the real star turns out to be Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk; two of the funniest moments in the entire film belong to The Hulk. Scarlett Johansson’s role as Black Widow is much expanded from Iron Man 2 and she gives a fine performance. As, in fairness, does every member of the cast. I would have liked to have seen more of Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, but I think that may be a personal thing… There isn’t one weak link, although Cobie Smulder’s Maria Hill is slightly underused. Tom Hiddlestone as Loki remains the perfect bad guy and I hope that he returns in one of the inevitable sequels to either this or Thor.

The action scenes are very well done although in this post 9/11 world I always feel a little awkward seeing scenes of New York being destroyed. I deliberately chose to see Avengers Assemble in 2D rather than retrofitted 3D and I really don’t think that any of the wow moments (and there are a few) would have been any better in 3D.

In a summer of big-budget superhero films Joss Whedon and his Avengers have set an exceptionally high bar. This is fast-paced and fun and it will take something very, very special to beat this as action movie of the year.

Previous and next posts in this series:<< Iron Man 2
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  1. Completely and utterly agree. To be honest, I was a little concerned when they announced Joss as the writer/director all those years ago. I am a hardcore, old school Buffy/Angel/Firefly/Joss fan. I grew up in that fandom, but I was just concerned that if this went the way of Serenity, Joss would never be able to have the success he deserves.

    So thankful it’s been a huge success critically and in the box office. He deserves it.

    Agree with you about Hawkeye – Jeremy Renner’s a great actor, but Hawkeye just felt like a pawn rather than helping the plot move forward.

    The lines in this film were all gold. From Thor’s “Adopted” line to Iron Man’s, “Clench up Legolas” .. I was in fits of hysterics! They weren’t cheap laughs either.

    Agree with you on Ruffalo – I was and still am a fan of Eric Bana’s Bruce Banner, but I think Mark has won me over. I loved how he played Bruce and would genuinely be excited about a Hulk film with him in it.

    • Louise says:

      I saw rumours of a Hulk film in 2015. Hope that they stick with Mark Ruffalo. The best moment of the film has to be the stealth punch….

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