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Kieran’s Rating: 9/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 8.4/10
(7 reviews total)
Ever since Marvel Studios started turning its properties into movies with the release of Iron Man in 2008, The Avengers was always going to be the endgame in one of the most ambitious blockbusters projects in recent times. Fans have been dying to know — is it worth the wait?
In The Avengers, Thor’s brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has set his sights on the conquest of Earth and makes an alliance with the alien race called the Chitauri to give him the army he needs. To bring the Chitauri to Earth, however, Loki needs the all-powerful Tesseract (AKA the Comic Cube). Breaking into a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, Loki steals the Tesseract, which forces Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to reactivate the Avengers Initiative, uniting Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), the recently defrosted Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the deadly accurate archer Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and deadly thighs super spy Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson). To stop this new threat, they must all use their physical and mental abilities — and work together.
By allowing all the major characters their own movies, we have presumably gotten to know them, so the film doesn’t have to waste time with introductions and can jump straight into the action. In the first 10 minutes, Loki breaks into a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility with plenty of gun fire, magic blasts and car chases. Although an early fight scene involving Black Widow was a bit weak, using too many quick cuts and close-ups, the rest of the action ranges from good to fantastic.
There are three big action highlights: a three way fight between our heroes, a battle on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier and the climactic Battle of the New York. They are all well-shot, perfectly edited sequences. Even though there is a lot going on, like the Helicarrier sequence in which many of the characters are fighting in different areas, it is still easy to follow thanks to the editing skill. The massive Battle of New York has a very similar feel to the Battle of Chicago in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, but unlike Bay, Whedon knows the focus needs to be on the superheroes battling alien invaders.
As you fantasized about, the Avengers are finally together and they all have great chemistry. Downey continues to show off his quick wit, but Tony Stark has finally found a intelligential equal in the form of Bruce Banner; both talk enough techno babble to put Star Trek to shame. Downey keeps a reckless side to Stark as he tries to taunt Banner into becoming the Hulk. Stark is distrustful, cocky and unwilling to work with others, but he learns, and when push comes to shove he becomes a team player who shows what a true hero is.
Evans was an excellent Captain America, bringing out all the nobility, resourcefulness and willingness to step into danger that makes the character famous. He stills has his values, and despite being arguably the weakest of the main four, he’s willing to stand his ground. When the Battle of New York starts, he shows his leadership skills as he helps civilians to safety. Despite the fact he should be adjusting to the modern world, he answers his call to duty.
Ruffalo offers us the best performance yet as Bruce Banner, making him a stoic and reserved character, not the dower being he has been in the past. Banner is a brilliant scientist who is more agreeing of the Hulk. He offers some darkness as he reveals his past, but it does not linger as he tries to be good. As the Hulk, Ruffalo gets to kick alien butt and provide us with some great action set pieces, and he even provides a lot of comedy through this physical actions and expert comic timing.
Thor does not go through any character growth, but that is because most of it happened in Thor. It is simply a continuation of what happened previously, showing Thor has matured. Hemsworth continues with his grand performance as the Norse God and even has an odd joke.
Tom Hiddleston continues to show he is a great and compelling villain. Hiddleston keeps Loki’s oily charisma and the aura of mystery that his plans and actions are never clear until the last moment. He has a bigger thirst for power and he’s more menacing and threatening: he kills a man in front of a group people just for purposes of an eye scan. Hiddleston offers a very theatrical performance and he more than holds his own with Jackson and Downey in his villainous delivery.
Joss Whedon was an inspired choice to write and direct because of his knowledge and love for the source material. He was able to blend together the different elements seamlessly, whether it was sci-fi, technological, fantasy or espionage and makes sure all the previous movies were recognized. The characters were balanced, no one is sidelined and everyone has a moment to shine in some form. The dialogue was witty with some keen observations such as Captain America not understanding a modern reference and other instances of humor in their general interactions when the action was not happening.
The Avengers is a very entertaining movie that continues Marvel’s excellent track record in filmmaking. Despite the long running time, the film is never dull and only people with the biggest aversion to superhero movies would dislike Marvel’s latest adventure. This movie has set the bar very high for this year’s blockbuster season.
As a final note, there is a post credits scene that happens in the middle of the credits, but word is that for the North American release, the “extra scene” rumored to have been filmed at the premiere runs at the very end. So, you’ll want to stay in your seat til the very very end. Rating: 9/10
Julian thought: “Thankfully, this collaboration of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and others isn’t the disaster it could have been. Joss Whedon brings these different heroes together, fleshes them out and throws them into an epic battle against Loki – who’s now surprisingly menacing and with purpose. The Avengers has a stellar cast and some of the most brilliantly choreographed action sequences ever committed to film. However, this isn’t to say that the film isn’t without problems. It spends too long introducing its characters. Normally, a lengthy introduction at the beginning of a franchise wouldn’t be an issue, but most of these characters have been introduced and developed over the span of three years and five different films; such time could have been better spent detailing Hawkeye. Unfortunately, nobody thought too much about him, as a lazily employed plot twist at the beginning of the film makes the idea of characterizing him virtually impossible. Although it missteps in some places, The Avengers does a mostly admirable job with this grouping of superheroes, which is far more than we initially expected.” Rating: 7/10
Simon thought: “The Avengers is a game-changer – the culmination of an audacious superhero setup that redefines how to approach an action spectacle and promises to dwarf any challengers with its sheer spectacle. Even when the lengthy setup drags at times and the ultimately thin story stars to tear, it is the organic humor and snappy dialogue that makes the journey absolutely worth it. Although it is the best-ever Hulk that steals the show when the time comes to level Manhattan, all the Avengers get their spotlight and the superb cast brings the whole thing home. Even when we’re talking about demi-gods and giant, green, gamma-blasted men and even when bringing in elements from sci-fi, fantasy and everything in between, we care about these characters and Whedon assembles them effortlessly. In a sense of utter exuberance, The Avengers has few equals. One superhero will no longer be enough.” Rating: 8.5/10
Steven thought: “From a pure entertainment perspective, The Avengers should be considered king of all superhero movies. What it lacks in thematic and character depth it makes up for with action and humor. Whedon writes so expertly around cliches and identifies ways to make the film naturally funny, and the way the action scenes are edited together, there’s no confusion in regard to what’s going on despite the chaos of the final invasion scene, which has no contemporary equal. The “wow” factor of seeing so many great heroes on screen also helps dissipate issues related to the story. Whedon succeeds at the balancing act, giving each of the characters just enough prep time to make the stakes feel high when clearly Marvel’s not going to kill off any of its heavy hitters. Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk is a surprising highlight, and encapsulates what this movie does so well. When it comes to pure fun, The Avengers will be the film by which all other superhero movies are judged, and that’s a tall order.” Rating: 9/10
John thought: “With five separate films, years of hype, and billions of dollars all leading up to this, how in the world can Joss Whedon satisfy expectations surrounding The Avengers? Easy: up the stakes as high as they’ll go and pack in as many glory moments as humanly (or, in Thor’s case, godly) possible into two and a half hours. Digging deep into what The Avengers has to offer isn’t recommended, but the film as a whole is recommended unreservedly. It’s full of pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo and some characters are rather disappointingly tossed aside, but it’s impossible to at all dismiss a film as fun and full of energy as this.” Rating: 8.5/10
Sam thought: “It’s pretty incredible that The Avengers is an actual movie that came out in theatres, let alone that it’s a really good one. Considering how cross-pollination between film franchises can easily end in complete disaster, Marvel’s multi-stage gambit of building up to this one event across four other superhero movies paid off better than most fans dared to hope. No small amount of that success belongs Whedon, a geek god who proves his trademark with humorous yet character-etching dialogue doesn’t only work on the small screen. Juggling more than a half-dozen lead actors over 140 minutes is a pretty unenviable task, and the early goings don’t always feel like they’ve moved passed the Marvel-verse set-up we’ve been inundated with since Iron Man, but unlike any previous Marvel fare, which tends to sputter in the action-packed climaxes, the final act of The Avengers is everything a superhero fan could dream of, where the characters and spectacle converge on a wildly satisfying finish.” Rating: 8/10
Max’s Rating: 9/10