Release date: 4 May 2012
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Runner, Tom Hiddleston.
Director: Joss Whedon
Duration: 142 min
Rating: stars: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars
Nick Fury is director of S.H.I.E.L.D, an international peace keeping agency. The agency is a who's who of Marvel Super Heroes, with Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When global security is threatened by Loki and his cohorts, Nick Fury and his team will need all their powers to save the world from disaster.
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
For those who have been emotionally invested in all the films of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, which Robert Downey Jr. once described in an interview were used as a means of “cross-pollinating our superheroes,” then you know that Marvel Studios has been building to this release for quite some time. Rather than try to shoehorn characters into a massive comic-book movie epic, The Avengers has been preceded by five superhero movies meant to establish a universe where characters and plot elements are shared. It began with 2008’s Iron Man and continued with The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger.
With all that build up expectations were to be had. This is the ultimate endgame after all; a superhero dream team joining together to stop a baddie (Thor’s Loki) with long-stemming family issues. Up until now the previous films felt like episodes of a TV series leading up to a thrilling season finale. So it makes sense that the man pulling the strings would be someone who comes from a TV background. Whedon’s own experience as a comic-book writer, having done multiple story arcs for Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men and Runaways, is also an asset. That background helps, especially knowing that Whedon’s key ear for writing witty dialogue with pithy remarks and pop culture references that come into play. The references aren’t used as a way to stick out and be distracting – this isn’t George Clooney saying, “This is why Superman works alone” – each remark or put-down helps underline the characters. Of course, Robert Downey Jr. gets the lion’s share because that’s Tony Stark’s MO. But The Hulk, here played by Mark Ruffalo (replacing Edward Norton), has at least three moments that turn the film from one of the most action-packed to one of the funniest you’re likely to see this summer.
Additionally, Whedon goes as far as to give each character a shining moment so that he or she isn’t forgotten, left to stand around in the background. The best example would be Black Widow, aka Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). As the lone female in a group of male heroes with superhuman abilities, she is just a leather-clad femme with a Ph.D. in ass-kickery. So she’s got the attitude to hang with the boys, but her appearance in Iron Man 2 didn’t reveal much about her character. Before the title screen appears we learn quite a bit, and her history is later explored in a scene featuring her and Loki. No explosions take place or punches thrown, but it has one of those nice “gotcha” moments that make it more than just filler before the grand finale.
In a business that thrives on sequels, remakes and franchises, Marvel Studios has succeeded in building a universe with The Avengers as its brass ring. The films prior have told individual stories of all the major players within the faction while also building up the eventual emergence of the superhero team. So while much of the Iron Man sequel felt like the zero issue of The Avengers with all the Avengers Initiative exposition presented, the payoff is justly rewarded. Overall, this is easily the best film in the Marvel canon, and it leaves you to wonder how things could have been if Marvel Comics hadn’t licensed some of its characters to other studios. Imagine the crossovers that could have been possible had Spider-Man not web-slinged his way to Columbia Pictures or Wolverine raised Adamantium-claw hell over at 20th Century Fox.
At a running-time of 2+ hours, The Avengers is well paced and time flies by. The effects are top-notch, the acting is very good, and the script drives the movie elevating its strengths. For viewers that may not have seen any of the other films (and if so, why not!?!?), we're provided just enough information to bring everyone up to speed without feeling overdone. Whedon provides more than just a standard comic book film, but a story with reason that's backed up with incredible action and humor.
Although the film is filled with larger than life characters, none are short changed; each character is given at least one great scene to work with, and the opportunities don't go to waste. The film's finale provides a deafening crescendo of action that is breathtaking. As usual with Marvel films, be sure to stay around for the post credit sequence, which provides a surprising reveal.
See the official movie web site: http://www.theavengers2012-movie.com/
We also Suggest: 21 Jump street, Mission Impossible: Ghost protocol, The Grey, Wrath the Titans.
Review by:- Lobna Hammam