Movie Review: Avengers Assemble
That’s right folks, it’s that time of year again when Marvel have decided to roll out yet another superhero film - This time following the formation of The Avengers, the most explosive super-group since the X-Men and the Fantastic Four.
Avengers Assemble has been years in the making… or rather, years in the planning. Written and directed by Joss Whedon (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame), this latest instalment in the Marvel universe ties together a number of Marvel’s recent films, bringing their main characters together for an explosive romp through two hours of complete and unabashed comic-book geekiness.
Marvel fans everywhere will be crying tears of joy as they watch their favourite heroes romp through an action-packed comic-book extravaganza, and will no doubt geek out at the subtle references to by-gone storylines and signature cameo of the heroes creator, Stan Lee.
But what about the rest of us? Is this a film just for the die-hard fans?
To be honest, if you’re not a seasoned comic-book reader (or at least fan of the previous tie-in films) you’ll probably have some trouble getting to grips with the plot – not that it’s particularly difficult to understand, but you may just find yourself bored to tears by the ridiculously convoluted names and faux-scientific references.
Saving the World… Again
The infamous demigod, Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston) has joined forces with an alien race known as the Chitauri to steal a powerful object called the Tesseract – an unlimited energy source that could easily bring about the destruction of Earth. In response to this heinous act, Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson) is forced to recruit a number of superheroes to take on this menacing foe. And judging by Nick Fury’s globe-trotting appearances throughout the previous few films, he’s bound to have amassed plenty of air miles by now.
To Geek or Not to Geek?
The superheroes in question are no doubt household names – Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk and Captain America (as well as two lesser-known characters, Hawkeye and the Black Widow).
This is in no small way due to their recent individual films (which serve as a collection of tie-in prequels to Avengers Assemble). For those who have watched these films (most notably Iron Man 2 and Captain America), you will notice a number of crossovers in terms of the main plot. The Tesseract for example, first appeared in Captain America and our main villain, Loki, is the brother of the Norse hero, Thor.
Now, for comic-book geeks everywhere, this film is absolute gold-dust – The Avengers has always been an extremely popular comic-book series and the idea of providing each character with an individual film, then tying them into a central narrative to bring the group together, is reminiscent of its comic-book history.
But if you’re not a fan, you might just struggle to stay put until the end. As a comic-book movie, Avengers Assemble seemingly revolves around the ‘Wham! Bam! Pow!’ that readers are familiar with. While this is entertaining at first, the various combinations of Iron Man vs. Captain America vs. the Incredible Hulk get rather dull rather quickly. And once our eponymous heroes have sorted out their differences… there’s not much else to see.
Having said that, the characterization in Avengers Assemble is absolutely top-notch. Robert Downey Jr. continues to play Iron Man with the wisecracking wit that has become synonymous with the character. Chris Evans’ version of Captain America represents the bravest and best of America’s all-stars. But it’s newcomer Mark Ruffalo who simply astounds. His portrayal of Bruce Banner (the Incredible Hulk) is utterly haunting – a man who is desperate and on the edge, a man whose only fear is of himself.
Unfortunately, Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson) seems to only be there so she can leap around while wearing extremely tight clothing and ridiculously infeasible footwear. But let’s be honest… most of the young men who will be heading in droves to see this film won’t be staring at her shoes.
So Avengers Assemble is an all-round average film… it has some good action, entertaining fight scenes and might just keep your attention until the end. But it’s an undoubtedly better film if you know the series. The in-jeek out.
Guest review by Imogen Reed. Check out her review of Contraband too.
Movie Reviews and Newsokes will make sense to you, the plot-lines will excite you… and there’s plenty of opportunity to g