Film / Film Reviews

Avengers Assemble Review



We all know the back story now as Marvel delicately decided to throw us little titbits of information that lurked around their films for a few years. Those extra scenes involving Agent Coulson, Nick “I’m here to talk about the Avengers Initiative” Fury and a whole lot more meant Marvel had us but we didn’t know why… yet. Sure, we had X-MEN (2000), SPIDER-MAN (2002) and a duo of HULK but THE AVENGERS seemed a far and distant daydream after initial development rumours in 2005. The film that transformed things was IRON MAN and its stellar success in 2008. But when Joss Whedon was revealed in April 2010, it had begun to get very curious indeed. Now, this may feel like a slightly theatrical build-up but AVENGERS ASSEMBLE deserves it and, trust me, from the very beginning, there is little let-up.

We begin in a laboratory of Professor Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) who’s been working on something rather secret for S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Tesseract. This cube was previously featured in CAPTAIN AMERICA and it holds unlimited power. During these tests, it has begun to fluctuate and show rather strange readings but isn’t being controlled by anyone in the lab and…so the games begin. Yes, Loki (Tom Hiddlestone) is the ensuing enemy that they will combine to fight but he’s not alone. Loki has gathered an army with the Chitauri in another dimension and is planning to bring them across to colonise humanity into a slave race. “Freedom,” says Hiddlestone’s fantastic Loki, “is the greatest lie that humanity lives.”

Obviously it’s not as simple as just bringing everyone together, there are twists and turns to be had but eventually Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) all team-up to fight for the survival of our world. Of course, don’t forget Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Agent Coulson (played delectably once again by Clark Gregg) who are vitally important to proceedings and development. Some may say that this narrative progression may tread a predictable path but none of that really applies or even matters for this occasion.

Mark Ruffalo is the best Hulk we’ve had so far in his third cinema outing and he fits Bruce Banner behaviours excellently. Scarlett Johansson is not only incredibly seductive as Black Widow but also equally as lethal and you won’t forget a truly bad-ass Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, his contribution in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE also plays favourably towards his upcoming Jason Cross/THE BOURNE LEGACY association. Plus, it’s great to see Coulson and Fury getting a much bigger percentage of screen time.

Once THE AVENGERS are fighting the alien menace, there was this concern that we may have too many big names up there vying for screen time but, thankfully, they unquestionably all get their moment to shine. To make this even better, there’s a lot of very witty dialogue, self-referential snapshots that really fit the Marvel domain and you wait for the Captain America instruction to Hulk. It’s a beauty.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE has been 7 years in the making, there’s a lot of love here, so much fun and by far this is one of the most gratifying superhero films we’ve seen in years. Joss Whedon and Zak Penn have got this spot on and fully capture the essence of Marvel. It’s utterly stimulating, satisfyingly scripted and damn right faultless big screen entertainment. Now, we’re off to see it again…

5 star5 1024x204 Avengers Assemble Review AVENGERS ASSEMBLE opens on 26th April.


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