Avengers Assemble movie review
Starring Robert Downey Jnr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg and Samuel L. Jackson.
Directed by Joss Whedon.
Out 26th of April.
Marvel Studio’s bold, ambitious, 4 year and 4 film experiment has come to fruition. The Avengers have assembled.
Have they pulled it off or has this Marvel team-up fallen apart?
Marvel Studios have always been very clever in their hiring of talent and they kept to that plan in getting fan-deity Joss Whedon to tackle a massive movie with even bigger characters in it. Whedon is a master at the interplays between a large group while keeping things moving forward. This film, like the budget is very economical and makes for a sure-fire crowd pleaser in what looks to be one of the best summer season cinema’s seen in a long-time.
If I was going to be picky I’d have to say that the Avenger’s opening is action packed but oddly uninvolving. This may be that it features the least interesting characters being left to themselves. As soon as the “Mightiest Heroes” start to show up, so too does the magic that brings this film to life. Iron Man gets to be just Iron Man, we do get the highly entertaining Tony Stark but there’s no grandstanding as the film is not just about one person. Black Widow gets a great introduction and a lot of screentime and has a lot to do in the film and her character feels like it should be there. Thor is just as impressive as he was in his standalone film and Loki as the main villain has some superb moments with the individual members of the Avengers. Chris Evans still manages to sell the jingoistic Captain America due to playing him as an honourable, earnest and regular guy (for a supersoldier). For me, the biggest surprise and a welcome one was Mark Ruffalo’s Banner. We really did get a sense of the genius of the gamma afflicted scientist. When we see the Hulk he’s a delight and is possibly be the favourite hero in the movie. Hawkeye is well played by Renner but it was always going to be hard to stand beside nevermind stand-out when you’re with The Hulk, Thor, Captain America and Iron Man.
The army that Loki is using, The Chitauri, are pretty much faceless goons and the only impressive thing about them is the sheer amount of them. Loki isn’t the true leader of this army either and is part of something bigger but ‘bigger’ is usually for sequels, if you get my drift. The post credits easter egg gives you a cool reveal and some foreshadowing for the inevitable follow-up.
It’s only fitting that Alan Silvestri does the scoring duties on this film as his work on Captain America: The First Avenger was impressive and Silvestri can do big action with ease. I’m looking forward to this score based on what I could hear from the movie. It should be loud, fast and exciting.
Avengers Assemble is a film that every comic fan was waiting years for. One that they feared that if it did get made wouldn’t be the film these characters deserved. Thankfully all the planning and building done in the previous films has paid off and the Avengers have not just arrived they’ve done it with a most impressive bang.
Reviewed By: James Mason
First a disclaimer: I am not a comic book fan. If you hand me something I’ll read it, but outside of a very small niche I won’t really actively search out the medium for my entertainment needs and, even when I do, it’s not superhero comics.
Now that that’s out of the way, onto the movie itself.
Even though it’s obvious it does bear repeating: you will get far more out of this having seen the Iron Man, Thor and Captain America movies. I haven’t seen the most recent Hulk movie so I can’t be sure, but I’d guess it’d help with some more background too.
So the movie starts with a brief setup, Loki does his evil thing, ends up in our world and Nick Fury decides to call in The Avengers to sort it all out. There’s a very large portion of the movie dedicated to the usual heroic misunderstanding battles and setup, and the time passes very quickly. In part this is due to it being a Joss Whedon movie so everyone gained the “smartass” superpower since the last time they were on screen and the dialogue ends up making the setup portion of the movie feel much shorter than it actually is. In some ways the setup is better than the climax, simply because of the level of wit and humour in the writing.
The movie itself clearly feels like Iron Man 3. Stark’s first appearance is rather low-key for him, but once there’s something important to do it’s the usual attention hogging drama from him. If Iron Man wasn’t just plain fun to watch this would be a bad thing.
As for the other characters: Captain America provides a few eye-roll moments with his jingoistic lines, but it’s forgivable given that the character is literally a walking anachronism. Also Godwin’s law. Thor is also playing the “fish out of water” character here, and there’s a few amusing moments where neither character gets a reference. Black Widow’s first scene is blatant fan service but demonstrates entirely mundane but highly useful abilities later in the movie and the character no longer feels extraneous. When Bruce Banner first gets angry it is genuinely a terrifying scene. Later on I finally understand why the Hulk is a superhero instead of a supervillian. Hawkeye is handled oddly, and I don’t know the first thing about him so I don’t know if it’s new or just how it’s always been.
The plot is pretty standard comic book movie fare. It’s straightforward, there’s a twist, some fakeouts and a dramatic “ready for the sequel” ending monologue. The action is solid and entertaining, but the movie really stands on the dialogue and the convincing delivery thereof and the pacing is perfect. The dynamic between the characters, especially Captain America and Iron Man as old and new America, was a textbook example of how to handle the “team comes together” storyline. The strong cast and writing avoided this feeling like something we’ve all seen before.
In terms of technical performance, the music is understated through much of the movie but more effective for that. There is some impressive use of 3D early on, but in the climax it started to remind me of the Transformers movies in terms of visual “busyness” and it was a bit hard to keep track of everything at times. Overall though the movie looks very slick and the CG elements were mostly neatly blended in.
In conclusion: it’s a highly entertaining movie and if you liked the films I mentioned above then this will hit all the right spots and leave you wanting more. Well worth the trip to the cinema.
Reviewed By: Teknogrot