I revist the fantastic Avengers Assemble, and of course – there are spoilers. Because who hasn’t seen this film already by now?
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE (2012)
So, where to start? I mean, chances are, about 99% of you will have seen this film already, and I’m guessing a large portion will have already re-watched it multiple times. So there isn’t really much point in writing a review, especially when chances are, if you were on twitter last night and following me during my re-watch live-tweet, then you’ll already know that I found it awesome.
The plot is a fairly straight forward alien invasion film, but what makes it stand out from the other crop, is the Avengers (and Joss Whedon) – a dysfunctional team of superheroes that Marvel still has the rights to, put together to stop an alien threat. We have billionaire Tony Stark, Iron Man – played by Robert Downey Jr, Captain America – Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans – you get the point. You already know these actors. They’re all on top form here, although recently having following Hawekye by Matt Fraction, one of Marvel’s best series on the market at the moment – I think that Jeremy Renner might be the only weak casting as Hawkeye, that doesn’t stop them from being a joy to watch and they all have some strong chemistry in the scenes that they’re playing together as a team.
Being Joss Whedon, a dysfunctional team is nonetheless expected from his previous works. Whilst I’ve only seen Firefly, Serenity and read the first volume of Astonishing X-Men, he’s used familiar story narratives, such as killing off a character important to the plot (only the death of Coulson isn’t permanent, unlike it seems – the death of a certain character from Serenity). We get some great one liners, and although they don’t make you laugh the second time around (or in my case, the third time around) as much as you did the first time in the cinema.
The action is superb, as each member of the Avengers, including the ones who perhaps don’t have a massive green monster or billions of dollars up their sleeve – the regular humans of SHIELD, Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff, who at first seem out of their depth, but it’s very interesting to notice the conflict between the two and how it becomes apparent when Barton finds himself under Loki’s spell, and Whedon manages to prove that you should care about them as much as you do Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man, who delivers a stunning performance and is probably the best acted there. Mark Ruffallo also impresses as Bruce Banner, proving a much bigger improvement Edward Norton in the first film.
There are of course, a few flaws. Firstly, the film is too predictable. Whilst in The Dark Knight, there was actually some form of suspense – this film doesn’t have that. We know that our main characters are going to live through, despite Coulson’s death. Heck, it would be nice if they showed at least one death scene in the battle of New York, but the attention is fixed mostly on the battle with the Avengers themselves. Sure, it’s meant to be light hearted fun, but I wish Avengers Assemble could have been more darker, and hopefully – that’s the route that Avengers 2 displays.
Whilst this film breaks no new ground when it comes to plot, Whedon doesn’t stop it from being very entertaining. The action, the villain, the dialogue and the final battle (as well as the one-liners) are superb to watch, and the performances are mostly superb. It’s also a strong point of Marvel’s that they decided to introduce the characters through their individual films first, as for whilst they might not have been the most successful, they still provided all the backstory that we needed so Avengers Assemble could get right into the action without spending at least the first hour on introducing the characters to the audience for the first time.
In short though, despite any of its flaws, Avengers Assemble is a blockbuster film done right. It raised the bar for every Marvel film to come, and so far – they’v succeeded, at least in my view, with the awesomeness that is Iron Man 3.