Monday, 4 June 2012

The Avengers (2012)

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Country of origin:USA
Director:Joss Whedon
Genre:Epic superhero actioner
Starring:Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson
IMDB link:
Tagline:No tagline
Favourite line:"I have a plan: attack!"

The culmination of a seven year plan, Marvel’s gaggle of superheroes join forces at last.

The plot:
The Other, leader of the Chitauri, instructs Loki, disgraced Asgardian, that an army can be mobilised for his command.
The mission?
Locate and obtain the Tesseract, a source of limitless power, controlled by S.H.I.E.L.D.
Loki’s reward: The total subjugation of Earth, which he can rule like the God that he is.
Head of S.H.I.E.L.D, Nick Fury, responding to an initial attack, sets in motion The Avengers Initiative, calling together the ultimate force of fighting heroes to defend the Earth from the horrors that, following the events of Thor, he now knows are out there.
Iron Man, Captain America, Thor himself, Black Widow, Hawkeye and, of course, The Hulk form an alliance, their combined strength the only hope for mankind…….

Jesus, this is good.
Often times, when a movie is hyped as relentlessly as this had been – it was seven years in the making, the first of the related movies, Iron Man, released in 2008, and was first trailed, at ComicCon in San Diego, some twenty months ago – the end result is a bore-fest of the highest order.
The exact opposite is true here.
With a run time clocking in at an arse twitching two and a half hours, fears abounded that the edit had run out of control, that director Joss Whedon had struggled to grapple with the mammoth scale of the project.
Upon viewing, all fears are groundless.
With an ensemble of characters to firstly introduce, then gather, the script wisely steers away from too much back-story, the assumption being that anyone watching The Avengers has mostly likely seen the movies leading up to it – Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger - or at least has a working knowledge of the concept.
Things kick off right away with a decent action sequence, then the narrative switches between the main players, bringing each into the fight.
Newcomers Black Widow and Hawkeye are introduced seamlessly, at no point leaving you wondering what their role is – though Black Widow’s actual superpower is a different matter – and, before you know it, the Avengers have been well and truly Assembled (snark snark).
With a decent villain, a remarkably strong cast and a well constructed script from God of the Geeks Whedon, this rips along at a blistering pace, the main point of interest Mark Ruffalo’s interpretation of Bruce Banner / The Hulk. A study in intensity and contained rage, it’s probably the best realisation of Hulk yet, and is a real high point.
With a flawless introduction to proceedings, an interesting build up followed by a truly epic third act, this is confident, skillful big budget, mega-effects movie-making, that uses the money and all the whiz-bangs technology can give you to great effect.
Truly, like The Lord of the Rings before it, this is a movie that could not have been made twenty years ago, as the computing power required was simply unavailable.
Some are claiming this to be the best comic book movie yet – it’s not. That accolade is still held by The Dark Knight, for the next two months, at least – but it is unquestionably in the top three.
Fantastic entertainment.

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