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Back in 2008 Tony Stark took to our screens as Iron Man which started Marvels great movie plan. Since then we’ve seen The Hulk, Thor, Captain America and Iron Man again each in their own Marvel movie outings and each peppered with just a little bit of Nick Fury plot to join them all together. (With the probable exception being Iron Man 2 which was clearly one huge set up movie). Marvel’s aim? To assemble these super-heroes into a team, one super team in one super movie.
The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble if you want to be picky) is a movie years in the making and one that many thought could never be done. Looking at the talent, people feared the focus would shift too far in one direction and become the Steve Rogers show. Looking at the box office takings, executives feared that this may be a low turnout if they didn’t make it all about Tony Stark. But with Joss Whedon taking control at the helm, confidence and belief began to grow.
In almost every way, The Avengers delivers. From what was in many ways a serious risk (almost like the casting of Downy Jr. in the first Iron Man), the film pays off – and if box office takings are to be believed, it has paid off in a substantial way! This is the film that the fans wanted, that Marvel envisioned and what Whedon has delivered in really fantastic.
The cast bounce off each other splendidly and you’ll find yourself laughing almost as much as you’re gasping in awe at the spectacular set pieces. In fact, I’d go out to say this film is as much a comedy as it is an action flick. The comedy is in part due to the casting, and that’s saying something due to the fact all these stars were cast for individual pictures.
Standing out from the crowd has to be Mark Ruffalo who takes over from Edward Norton as The Hulk. Previously the big green monster has been tough to get right on the big screen. How do you make a movie where the protagonist is a violent, temper-fuelled leviathan? But here Ruffalo just seems to work. Is it that this Hulk was recorded with Motion-Capture, with Ruffalo actually portraying his green alter-ego rather than it all being computer generated like in previous movies? Probably.
Hemsworth as Thor is always fun to watch and whilst there isn’t much of the humour that comes from discovering Earth’s customs like in the first film, he still manages to be part of two of the movies best scenes.
So what is it all about? Whilst trying to understand and harness the power of the Tesseract, Dr. Erik Selvig opens up a portal through space and from it appears Loki. The God of Mischief has a pact with an alien race, the Chitauri who will help Loki conquer Earth in return for the Tesseract. Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D. actives the Avengers Initiative and gathers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to save the day.
There really isn’t much more to it than that. Simple storyline, although not without its flaws. The Chitauri are basically “rent-a-goon”, with no real explanation as to why they want the Tesseract or indeed what Loki really wants with Earth other than the notion that he wanted to take it from his brother.
Despite starting off slowly – the opening third is really more of a S.H.I.E.L.D movie – once The Avengers get together it really is a rollercoaster of a ride. Sure they have their little differences along the way that they probably could have resolved sooner, but overall a cracking movie and one that will no doubt keep us in Marvel superhero movies for a long, long time.