Joss Whedon has left more than a Hulk Smash dent with The Avengers
Picking up where they left off, The Avengers Assemble moves forward, bringing together the spoilt, pretty boy billionaire, a war veteran who's spent 70 years of his life asleep yet still manages to look dashingly handsome, a scientist who has extreme anger issues which can lead to dramatic physical changes, a Demi-God who'll kick up a stink if his huge hammer isn't by his side and two assassins, (one who could shoot a pimple off your face without any damage and the other, the only female of the group who is able to keep her emotions a side and use her crazy acrobatics to kick ass) to work with S.H.E.I.L.D and save the world from Loki and his army's destruction, with the help of that blasted Cosmic Cube. Have you run out of breath yet?
With the likes of Iron man (Robert Downey Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), it obviously doesn't become the party where pass the parcel and musical chairs are the highlight of the evening. Egos do clash, big time. It's bound to happen, especially with Tony Stark (son of Howard Stark) and Steve Rogers being from two completely different times, even though they have so much in common. But it's safe to say, that after the banter, disagreements and hand to hand combat, the group does end up getting along with each other like a house on fire to display an epic showdown saving the planet.
This isn't just any old super hero film. Director Joss Whedon took The Avengers to new heights. Each character had enough screen time and each had a very important role to play. They were the forefront of the film. No one was left behind to have a small role. The biggest surprises were the characters of the Hulk and Loki, but let's look at Loki first. Loki, hands down was one of the best villains portrayed on screen from a comic book. What Tom Hiddleston did with Loki is similar to what Heath Ledger did with the Joker. He brought him to life by giving him this Shakespearean etiquette, yet humorous and evil personality, controlled by his devious, power hungry soul. As a stand alone super villain in a film where there are six main super heroes, Loki held his ground, and became one of the most memorable villains of all time.
The Hulk on the other hand was always going to be a tricky one. From the moment Mark Ruffalo was cast as Bruce Banner, he was already being judged without filming a single frame. If you're a super fan of The Hulk, you will not be disappointed. What was done with The Hulk was what we had all been waiting for. From his physical construction, including the CG work to really make The Hulk look like Ruffalo and the use of motion capture for personalisation and movement, to the emotional, sympathetic personality of Bruce Banner/The Hulk. You can really see how much went into getting The Hulk right this time, especially with the pressure of having so much success with other characters.
Although it was said in The Incredible Hulk, the "you wouldn't like me when I'm angry" line had totally disappeared from his vocabulary. However the line "That's my secret, I'm always angry" seemed to have taken over as the new quote. The Hulk never disappointed with his Hulk smashing for sure.
Hawkeye and Black Widow were the only ones who didn't have a stand alone film before The Avengers, so we didn't get to know that much about their beginnings, but during The Avengers, we do get an interesting glimpse into their past without going into too much detail to stray away from the film. Agent Phil Coulson (Clarke Gregg) finally receives more of a leading role in this one compared to his smaller roles in four of the previous films and has a bunch of jokes up his sleeve. New girl and Nick Fury's (Samuel L. Jackson) second in command, Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) was also a great addition to the group and sat in her place very well.
With so much going on, the balance between the emotions of the film was genius. A bit of everything wasn't just thrown in randomly, but was really thought through and put in exactly the right places for the perfect reaction. Mostly being surrounded by humour, it was super hilarious, from the one liners, to the innocent stupidity, to the crazy yet painful punches each character received, it was definitely a laugh out loud, and comedic experience Whedon brought to the screen.
As it was in 3D, it's one of those films that you'll enjoy in any format. The 3D was actually quite good, compared to their recent attempts. It wasn't too much to get your eyes dazzling all over the room for over 2 hours. It was very clear and gave mostly the feel of distance between the characters. There was actually one scene in the epic showdown where everyone was doing their own thing and the way the scene was shot, moving from the ground to up in the air, at different angles, was the best 3D moment. It really drew you into that scene, like you were actually there.
Setting the bar (a very high one) for not only the summer releases, but for Marvel Studios in general, The Avengers Assemble is the mash-up we had all been waiting for. Living up to it's hype over the past decade and containing a special concoction, it truly has something for everyone, whether you're a comic book fan or not.¬ Sit back and enjoy 142 minutes or pure genius as this is the one that must not be missed. And please, it should be clear by now after so many films, stay behind for the post credit scene. A new character for the sequel is revealed.
As Iron Man rightly said, "Guys, I'm bringing the party to you", The Avengers have finally assembled! [Enter 'Live to Rise' by Sound Garden]