The Avengers – Review

Back in 2008, Marvel Studios released a film about one genius billionaire playboy philanthropist, Iron Man.  For the first time ever, Marvel had creative control over their characters in cinema, and went on to release four more films, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.  Since their first film, Marvel’s plan was obvious.  These entertaining blockbusters were setting up for their main event, The Avengers.

Four years later and now finally, that time has come.  The Avengers hit cinemas in the UK 26th April, to thousands of anticipating moviegoers.  Regarded as one of the biggest movie events of 2012, The Avengers is set to impress a lot of people.

Directed by Joss Whedon, The Avengers stars an unlikely bunch of superheroes that are forced to team-up to defeat the deadly Asgardian trickster Loki, who is now fully equipped with an unstoppable alien army.

The original cast members from their previous movies have returned, apart from Edward Norton, whose role as Bruce Banner has been replaced by Mark Ruffalo.  Ruffalo is now the replacement for Banner and the Hulk, who stands beside the legendary Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow.

S.H.I.E.L.D leader Nick Fury has a more substantial role than before, and returns alongside the fan-favourite Agent Coulson.  There is a newcomer to S.H.I.E.L.D, Agent Maria Hill, who is portrayed by How I Met Your Mother’s Cobie Smulders.

The story focuses on the return of Loki, who is back to create yet more havoc on Earth.  This time round though, the trickster has come prepared.  After being lost in space after the events of Thor, Loki returns with the Tessaract (Cosmic Cube) and a fierce alien force.

He is up to his devious ways yet again, and attempts to break apart the superheroes, both physically and mentally.  To defeat him, Earth’s bravest heroes’ team up to form the Avengers, a new superhero team to be reckoned with.

Zak Penn and Joss Whedon’s script is the quintessential superhero story, infused with action, comedy and drama.  Whilst it was possible for Tony Stark to completely steal the show, each character gets their own respective amount of screen time, which is just enough to showcase their great talents.

Even Maria Hill engages in an exciting turn of events during the first few minutes of the film, which just goes to show that Whedon leaves no character behind.

He manages to encapsulate the look and feel of an actual comic-book, transferring it straight into a blockbuster movie.  Explosions feel like they’re ripped right out of a double page spread, fight scenes are captured with great imagination, and the Hulk is the perfect portrayal of his comic-book counterpart.

Thanks to this genius script, cinemagoers will be quoting the film for months to come.  The dialogue is typical Whedon, which is very beneficial for a movie of this magnitude.  Even the action comes with some great laughs.

Loki’s treacherous ways still impress, but that might be partly due to Tom Hiddleston’s impeccable acting skills.  Yes, fan-favourite Loki is still the scene-stealer he was from Thor.  He is undoubtedly the best villain to use for The Avengers, as he proves yet again that Loki is the best Marvel villain to date.

Robert Downey Jr. returns as the charming Tony Stark, continuing the role he was born to play.  Of course, his super-ego and cocky attitude is present throughout, which is met with great distaste from Steve Rogers.  This makes for some engaging conversations between the two legends.  Stark brings forth some of the most memorable quotes of the film, but then there’s no surprise there.

Jeremy Renner finally gets to show off his Hawkeye skills in the film, presenting viewers with some great scenes.  He is joined by the Black Widow, who is played by Scarlett Johannson.  Widow fits the bill nicely, which is a surprising turn after her dull introduction during Iron Man 2.  Both the agents’ limits are recognised, but utilised in a manner which is works for the film.

For those who were concerned with Captain America’s new costume and part in the film, there’s no need to fret.  Chris Evans fits his new attire nicely, and he fits well within the storyline.  His transition from the 40s to modern day is addressed, but it doesn’t hinder the flow of the film.  If fans weren’t too enthused by his own film, there’ll be sure to applaud the Captain, especially during the later fight scenes.

Of course, there’s one character in particular that everyone will be talking about.  The Hulk has finally received the proper treatment he deserves.  Mark Ruffalo might be the new guy here, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it.  He brings a lot to the Hulk’s character, which was accomplished with some neat motion capture technology.  The Hulk’s potential is finally recognised, as he delivers some of the best action scenes in comic-book movie history.

ILM’s work on the Hulk is ground-breaking, as he fits in with the other Avengers seamlessly.  The same can be said for the other effects in the film, as the alien forces look lifelike.  A lot of moviegoers questioned the sheer amount of explosions in The Avengers numerous trailers, but there’s no cause for concern.  Unlike Michael Bay’s films or the dreadful Battleship, the action is structured and presented clearly.

The running length of the film may seem long at first, but the film doesn’t drag.  Every segment of the film doesn’t overrun, and scenes don’t feel out of place.  It’s been said that Whedon cut down at least 30 minutes of the film, just to keep everything streamlined.  So if there are any fans who are wanting to see Captain America’s transition in further detail, look no further than the DVD/Blu-Ray extended cut.

So, is the film that fans have been wanting?  Definitely.  The Avengers may be the perfect comic-book film.  Whilst it may seem a little extreme to present the film with that title, it should be known that The Avengers manages to impress on so many levels.  It is extremely hard to fault the film.

Whedon injects his great talent straight into The Avengers and thanks to him; moviegoers get an enjoyable, exciting thrill ride.  It might just be the film of the year, especially for comic-book fans.  Loki is a wonderful villain, Stark has the best quotes and the Hulk gets the most satisfying action scenes.  It really does meet fan’s expectations, whilst meeting the demands of your average cinemagoer.

What’s next for The Avengers? Well, if the mid-credits sequence is any clue, we’re set for a more explosive, dramatic affair than before.  If there’s one problem to be found with The Avengers, it’s that its sequel has a difficult task of improving on this perfect comic-book film.

 

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