Where can I start? Where can I possibly start? Starting at the beginning would require delving back to 2008, when Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk were released. These two films were the beginning of a Marvel-lous work of cinema. Following the aforementioned films came Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011, also). This was the beginning of the Avengers… It was here the Avengers were to, indeed, assemble.
Directed by Joss Whedon (who helped write the Toy Story 1 script; produced hit TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse and Firefly) meant that great things were expected. And boasting a cast of incredibly talented actors – Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man); Chris Evans (Captain America); Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk); Chris Hemsworth (Thor); Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow)… etc, put a lot of pressure onto what was already expected from this film: wonders. It definitely delivered. Another point worth making: so many superheroes. In a one-superhero film it seems perfectly… perfect, seeing them take the limelight. In The Avengers, so many heroes – who was to dominate? Chris Hemsworth (Thor) was interviewed by Empire Magazine and quoted saying “It’s not an easy mix. They [the characters] all have some friction”. However, Whedon pulled it off…
I must say, I expected action-action-action-serious-save-the-world. Instead, there were genuine moments in which the whole cinema-audience were laughing: the children, the teenagers, the grandparents… It was brilliant. Of course, even Whedon has the One-Liner illness, but it was very much appreciated in this case. Of course, being the witty, handsome, rich, ex-weapon-maker, Tony Stark (Downey Junior) was given most of these. The occasional “guys, I’m bringing the party to you” and “I don’t play well with others” was much appreciated. The Hulk, terrifying at times, also proved to be a character that could inspire hilarity to the point of hysteria – unfortunately, Loki found out the wrong way that the Hulk could indeed “bully” a God.
The camera work was stunning; the acting was stunning; the music was stunning. There is so much to praise.
The Avengers follows another of Earth’s plights – honestly, will we ever not be the target of an alternate race?! – this time the product of Loki’s unwanted administrations. Loki steals the Tesseract (an object creating a portal from Asgard to Earth) and uses it to unleash an army unto Earth, hoping – in typical villain style – to conquer Earth with his army and allies. However, one thing Loki couldn’t possibly have foreseen: The Avengers. All of the superheroes gathered to make a team, a rescue-mission for Earth. Or, as The Hulk (Ruffalo) put it: “not a team, we’re a time bomb”. Sure, the crew have rough patches – which friendship groups don’t? Friendship groups. Yes. That’s what they are like: there’s the one who acts like a prat, and in doing so, becomes wittily charming – that would be Tony Stark (Downey Jr.). Then there’s the one who doesn’t get on with him – Captain America (Evans). Then you have the geek, who they use for science as well as credit – Hulk. The two assassins, which friendship group doesn’t have assassins? – those being Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Johansson). Then there is Thor.
Confession time: I love Thor. There we go. Deep breaths. I am limiting myself to that little smidgen of adoration. Be thankful.
And of course, the leader of this rag-tag gang? It could only be Nick Fury, played incredibly well by Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson has this character down to a ‘T’. He masters the brooding, commanding Fury, rocking the eye-patch all the while. It is hard not to appreciate acting like his, where he has obviously thought long and hard about his character, and it shows.
I’m going to stop ranting and raving now, because it could get out of hand, especially if I start on Thor again… He is wonderful, though. Acting skills, heroic-abilities and all. Sorry. I digress.
Ten out of ten. Nothing less. If there was an eleven, it would be that. Highly amusing, but not too much, filled with action, likeable characters – and legitimately unlikeable characters – brilliant acting and directing. High standard.
I wouldn’t expect anything less.