Posted by: greercn | April 26, 2012

Marvel’s Avengers Assemble (2012)

Wow. This blockbuster actually rewards the Marvel enthusiast, the casual film fan and all those who feared it could not possibly live up to the hype.

It’s a really terrific movie.

I am in awe of just how well every single separate “Avengers” plot line is brought together. At 143 minutes, it’s very long. But it’s utterly engaging and delightful, from the first frames until the last teaser,  just into the credits rather than at the very end.

You get homage to science fiction, comics and war films. Joss Whedon directs in crisp style. The script he co-wrote, with Zak Penn and others is incredibly funny and warm. Huge waves of laughter occasionally drowned out a line or two.

Thor’s evil brother Loki plans the destruction of earth. So Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D decide to bring together all of the Avengers.

Samuel L Jackson is magnificent as Fury. Heck, even his clothes ooze authority.

Everyone’s individual “Avengers” story gets super moments. Robert Downey Jr brings a new sense of gravitas to his usually camp play with Iron Man. He’s still fun, but saving the earth is a serious business, after all.

Scarlett Johanssen is a joy with her Black Widow character and is not only a feminist heroine, with her own action fights, but I bet she will fuel a few male fantasies, dressed like that. All the costumes deserve Oscars.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki probably won’t make many female fantasies happen, but he keeps the bad guys well led, which is no small achievement when you think about the whole gang he is up against.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor is very appealing. And Chris Evans as Captain America manages to transcend the essential corny jingoism of his character.

For me, it’s Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk who steals the whole film. He puts such soul into his turn on the screen. Jeremy Renner is excellent and Stellan Skarsgard is terrific too.

3D is used to great effect here and I urge you to see it in a 3D rather than a 2D release. So much stuff swooshes up into the sky, down to earth and around and into the buildings. It’s rare that CGI and 3D work as well together as they do here.

There are uncomfortable moments. When battle starts up for Manhattan, there are inevitable parallels with 9/11. Yet all this is done respectfully and with excellent cinematography. The strange feelings about the visuals pass.

I cannot imagine what else might be released that could threaten the enormous number of technical Oscars this film is bound to win.

I saw the first screening in 3D at Stratford Picturehouse. Most of the sudience members were very young men. They all loved it. Not a single phone rang nor did the glow of apps disturb the light from the screen.

Even if you know nothing about the characters, you’ll enjoy this. It’s just very entertaining and gorgeous to watch.

And please, do see it on the biggest screen you can. It’s worth it. Usually the hype leading up to big blockbusters irritates me. This time, I was enthralled and yet, I expected to be disappointed by the reality of watching the movie. Now, I want to see it again and again.



  1. Haven’t seen this yet, but note approvingly that BRUCE Banner is Hulk…makers of the TV show should have realised that HAD his name really been “David”, his second name would have been “Danner” (see Raj, tBBT, for more details of Marvel’s compulsive alliteration…).

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