Ok, first things first, don’t worry.
I’m not going to give away any plot spoilers. Unlike director Joss Whedon’s recent movie, Cabin in the Woods, Avengers Assemble is pretty much straight down the line story wise, and there are no strange plot twists, or unexpected surprises.
This time, what you see is what you get. The good news is, what you get is quite a lot.
There IS a plot of some kind. The world is in trouble, aliens have opened up a portal to the other side of the universe, and with the aid of Thor’s brother Loki are planning to take over.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), director of international peacekeeping agency S.H.I.E.L.D. sets about ‘assembling’ a team capable of saving the day. Cue Avengers Assemble. The ‘team’ are not without their ‘quirks’, and understandably there is some in-house fighting especially when you have so many strong personalities confined in one place (look what happens on Big Brother). Seeing all the superheroes together is a bit like watching the cast of Coronation Street turning up on Emmerdale Farm (except a lot cooler).
In the hands of someone with less experience than director Whedon, Avengers Assemble could have been a disaster of epic proportions. Ensemble pieces are notoriously unwieldy beasts and Avengers succeeds by giving each character a fair crack of the whip, it also balances the elements required to make a really good comic book movie. IE Action, Characters and Fun.
Especially fun, there are laugh out loud moments and sections of pure comedy. Iron Man, Robert Downey Jnr has all the best lines, but each character has their own moment in the comedy spotlight, even the normally sulky Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) gets a few laughs.
Incidentally I feel it is my duty to warn you, both Scarlett Johansson and Gwenyth Paltrow are the victims of two gratuitous rear end camera shots, (46mins and 1hr 25mins) if you want to avoid them.
Aside from the main core characters, it’s great to see peripheral roles such as Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), and Stellan Skarsgård as Professor Erik Selvig, reprieve their parts from Iron Man and Thor respectively. Also good is new Hulk, Mark Ruffalo, instantly making the part his own.
As you might expect the action is thick and fast, and the effects, while totally over the top and ridiculous, don’t take over the movie, the same way they do in something like Transformers. They’re used when necessary (which is often), but not as a filler for something else lacking.
It’s not compulsory, but if you are waiting to watch this movie, watch Thor, Iron Man 2 and Captain American at home, to fill in any possible blanks for the main event. Like all epic action movies it does go for on a bit too long at the end, and the story has more holes than Blackburn, Lancashire (Beatles reference), but Avengers Assemble is popcorn entertainment of the highest order, and captures the tone of the Marvel comic books perfectly. I’m sure Stan Lee, who pops up at the end for a brief cameo must be very proud.
Strangely, it also carries the best anti-war message on the screen since War Games did in 1983, not so much there is only one outcome to war, but mainly because the Avengers are all so blooming invincible.
This film will be HUGE, and is quite possibly the best comic book adaptation ever made, but with Batman on the way, who knows for how long?
Chris Hemsworth – Thor
Scarlett Johansson – Black Widow
Jeremy Renner – Hawkeye
Robert Downey Jr. – Iron Man
Chris Evans – Captain America
Samuel L. Jackson – Nick Fury
Tom Hiddleston – Loki
Mark Ruffalo – The Hulk
Gwyneth Paltrow – Pepper Potts
Clark Gregg – Agent Phil Coulson
Avengers Assemble is released in the UK on April 26th