“And there came a day unlike any other…” This opening line to the Avengers comic books was also spoken by Samuel L. Jackson when the cast of the Avengers was first unveiled at Comic-Con almost two years ago. Marvel’s ambitious superhero team-up has been four years in the making and has spanned five films, but now it’s finally upon us. Make no mistake about it; Avengers Assemble marks an unprecedented event. Just like the team itself, there are so many reasons why it should not work. And yet, director Joss Whedon & co have managed to surpass all the lofty expectations and deliver not only one of the greatest superhero films ever made, but one of the best blockbusters in recent memory.
follow AMON on twitter
If you’ve been smart and stayed to the end of the credits after Marvel films, some of the story elements may seem familiar to you; S.H.I.E.L.D. has been attempting to control the power of the Tesseract – the blue cube used by the Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger – with unsuccessful results. Making matters worse, vengeful Asgardian Loki (Tom Hiddleston) arrives on Earth intent on using the Tesseract to transport a formidable army to our planet so that he may invade it and then rule. To combat this threat, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) resurrects the Avengers initiative, assembling a powerful but disparate group of heroes including Iron Man aka Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Bruce Banner aka the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). But getting them to work together proves to be a difficult task.
Surprisingly, Avengers Assemble does not get off to the best of starts. The narrative doesn’t always execute perfectly; in the opening 20 minutes or so the dialogue – particularly from Nick Fury – is poor at times, and there are some scenes which could benefit from more exposition. Other than these minor nitpicks however, the script is near flawless. The perfect blend of comedy and seriousness is often difficult to strike, but Whedon makes it look easy here. The director’s penchant for a perfectly placed one-liner is once again on full display, and there are many humorous interchanges from all of the characters throughout as the new relationships are forged.
With all the trailers, TV spots and clips that have been unveiled prior to release, there are some who may think that we’ve ‘seen all of the best parts’. As the old adage goes, ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet’. Making time for all these heroes to showcase their skill sets over a 2 hour 20 minute run time is a gargantuan task, but everyone involved gets more than a few chances to shine. There is an impressive amount of downright epic action in this film, and with it comes a plethora of spectacular moments – particularly in the final 30 minutes – that will live long in the memory. To list them all here would ultimately do you a disservice, but suffice to say that you’ll find yourself clapping and cheering on numerous occasions as the Avengers go about their business of saving (avenging?) the Earth.
Many of those crowd-pleasing moments can be attributed to the Hulk, brought to life with some impressive motion capture in addition to flawless special effects. Put simply, he’s never been done any better than this, and once the credits roll, you’ll doubtless be clamouring for a solo Hulk film.
That is partly due to the brilliant performance of ‘the other guy’ Mark Ruffalo, the third actor in as many films featuring the jade giant to play the role of Bruce Banner. His scenes with fellow science-geek Tony Stark – played with the usual charisma by the incomparable Robert Downey Jr. – are some of the best in the film. Chris Hemsworth’s Thor has what may be the film’s best one-liner, and the consequences of both his and Captain America’s solo outings are handled well. Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) prove to be two of the highlights of the film, the latter in particular making a much bigger impression than he was allowed to in Thor. Of course, every great hero – or team of heroes – needs an equally great villain, and Hiddleston is suitably menacing as the diabolical Loki.
“Any Last Words?” Believe the hype; Avengers Assemble is everything we hoped it would be and more. Assemble at your local cinema as soon as possible; you won’t want to miss this!
Avengers Assemble was screened at the Vue West End courtesy of Walt Disney Studios in partnership with WaytoBlue PR.
Avengers Assemble hits UK Cinemas on April 26, and is released worldwide on May 4. Check out the trailer below.
Starring | Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson.
Director | Joss Whedon Certificate | 12A Run Time | 2 hours 22 minutes