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The All-Star line-up of Marvel superheroes finally ‘assembles’ to the sound of “KAPOW!” and “KERCHING!”
Hulk smashes! Thor Hammers! Iron Man Soars! all in unison to provide some of the greatest comic book-movie action seen yet, ably abetted by the full roster of heroes all playing their vital part to defend earth from E.T. Invader Loki and his other world army of expected reptilian like aliens.
A precise first half of character refreshers doesn’t dwell too long on creating back story (already done in Marvel’s previous movies) allowing hero assembly via a number of chatty clear the air, ego bruising sessions that gel the team by celebrating their differences and their similarities. Dazzling hero v hero battles and egotistical one up-manship via hilarious verbal volleying, where Tony Stark trumps all others provide the biggest highlights and inevitable fan drooling. Thor v Iron Man, Thor v Captain America, Thor v Hulk! It’s pure ear and eye candy for geeks and it’s brilliant.
With some self-assembly and differences settled, the earth defending team is finally united to do battle with their true enemy, Thor’s Asgardian brother Loki, in tenure of the ‘Tesseract’, a cube of pure limitless energy, ripping portals through space that will unleash Armageddon on the mortals of earth.
The frantic second half builds to a climatic New York City battle, where the gang all finally do battle together is the big payoff, long years in the making, culminating in mega action, soaring through the big apple’s sky and streets. No one fan of any hero will go away short changed as director Joss Whedon masterfully gathers his team to give everyone their fair share of game time. All are brilliantly used.
Pacing throughout is swift, sacrificing any emotional interludes which are fleeting and not dwelt on long enough to really pull an emotional thread, but was The Avengers ever meant to be? Mix them up, sort out their differences and ship them out to give us what we have been waiting for.
The apocalyptic anticipation never quite reaches any level of epic peril, anaesthetised by continuous cracks at humour (which are brilliant) diluting any grandiose inertia created by perilous foreboding encounters. Whedon provides a buzz a minute, with laughs along the way on a truly funny comic hero action thrill ride that barely stops to let you breath. The Avengers is not The Dark Knight, instead striving for exhilarating fun.
Tony Stark’s and Bruce Banner’s mutual genial respect, with Stark pronouncing Banner’s “other guy” as a gift not a curse, provides a great dynamic. Captain America’s adjustment into the world, seventy years beyond his own after “now seeing it all” allows ‘cap’ to lead as he should. ‘Thor’ is immense! And ‘Hulk’ is unleashed to create the best realising of the green beast seen yet. Wisecracking is monopolised brilliantly by Stark who is given more quality one liners and quips than anyone; Downey Jr’s delivery is as timely as ever rivalling anything seen in previous ‘Iron Man’ entries.
‘The Avengers’ may just be the beginning to Marvel’s second phase of hero movies with confirmed sequels to Thor, Captain America and a third Iron Man. If this is just another precursor to even bigger mayhem and laughs then “put the hammer down” some more – please. Expect more to come once the box office dosh is counted – rightly so because ‘The Avengers’ is brilliant.
As mega blockbusters go, The Avengers is the highpoint, never quite reaching the epic levels seen before in a hero movie and not quite equalling the altogether different Dark Knight entries, it is unashamedly brash, hilarious and frantic.
THE biggest movie of the year so far, and over $1 Billion worldwide proves it – Will The Dark Knight Rises be even bigger?