Marvel have certainly handled their comic book property well, spinning out a number of solid movies over the last couple of years, but those movies were only the introduction. It’s The Avengers that was the intended jewel in the comic book crown. But with so many egos on screen, could Joss Whedon hold it all together and create the epic masterpiece we all crave?
Samuel L. Jackson has typically been relegated to the after credits scenes in his role of Nick Fury in most of the preceding superhero films, but he takes his rightful place upfront as the man behind The Avengers, a top secret idea that shady black ops agency SHIELD came up with.
In a time of immense peril, the diverse characters that would make up The Avengers would be mankind’s last stand.
Of course, SHIELD had other plans up their sleeves, but in making these plans, by utilising an alien energy source, they unwittingly open up a portal to another universe that allows an alien army to invade, forcing Fury to initiate The Avengers.
With son many egos in play, the superhero super team spend the first part of the film fighting each other, but in true superhero style, they come together just in the nick of time for a battle royal.
Whedon manages to bring all the past story-lines into The Avengers, throwing a mishmash of personalities together and then delights in showing us a clash of the titans, from Stark’s huge ego, to Thor’s sense of entitlement and on to Banner’s struggle to stay human.
The Avengers kick off in style, with action and surprises to hook in the audience, but things do slow down in the middle, only helping to make the final part of the film all the more intense. Could Whedon have cut some of the films close to two and a half hour runtime? Sure. Did the film need to be any shorter? Not really.
All the characters get a fair amount of screentime, and they all serve their roles well. The action scenes are impressive, with some original camera angles and POVs, especially in the final battle in New York City. And fair warning to New Yorkers; if you want to be the first people to die when the end of the world finally comes, just stay where you are, because we all know you guys get it first!
Even Mr Patriotic, Captain America, who quite frankly sucked as a film, managed to live up to the hype of The Avengers. But if there was one character out of them all that deserves special character, it was The Hulk. He was the only character with significant changes to his personality from that shown in his own film. And what Whedon has created with The Hulk could be comparable with what Nolan did with The Dark Knight.
As good as The Avengers is – and it is stunningly good – it’s not a game changer in the same way Nolan’s comic book re-imaging was. But then it couldn’t been, otherwise we wouldn’t recognise the assembled cast of flawed characters that we’ve come to love so much.
The Avengers is one of three action blockbusters that I’ve been looking forward to this year, and all I can say is that I hope the other too live up to the expectation in the same way The Avengers did.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read