aka: Marvel’s The Avengers
Director: Joss Whedon
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson
Loki is on the loose and is after a powerful entity called the Tesseract. He wants to use the power of the Tesseract together with the help of the norse netherworld to become the ruler of earth. Nick Fury and his S.H.I.E.L.D. calls upon the help of The Avengers, which consists of Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye.
They are able to capture Loke without any problems, but before they realize it they find out that being captured was part of his plan all along. Loki tries to disband the group of superheros before he gets away and opens a portal in the middle of New York City to let the floodgates of evil aliens forces come loose and cause chaos. The Avengers have to heal their wounds quickly and work together to stop the city from being destroyed.
Putting together a movie with several big superheroes can’t be an easy task. Marvel Studios however has had a long plan to put this movie together, starting all the way back in 2005. The backstory of the characters here have been developed in their own movies that include Iron Man 1 and 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America. It probably does help a lot to see these films before going in on The Avengers, mostly for the superhero backstories. I should mention that the only film I’ve seen of the bunch is the first Iron Man film and I had a lot of fun doing it.
The film doesn’t start out to promising though. The first half of the film has a lot of ego measuring between the superheroes, they do provide some fun but scenes where Iron Man and Captain America have a little brawl with Thor seems to be there to provide some fun for fans of the characters instead of moving the movie story forwards. Some of the one liners here are also cheesy, which doesn’t help the film. It’s first when Loki breaks out of the Avengers spaceship and the action starts that it becomes very enjoyable. The effects are of course expensive, but they also are very well executed.
The Avengers work because none of the characters are too big for this film. The biggest star is the charismatic Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man. His character works the best when he gets to be in the center of the attention and he gets that here. A character like The Hulk however works very well in a role like he has here where he doesn’t have to carry the film and Mark Ruffalo portrayed perhaps the best Hulk I have seen in movies so far.
I don’t have a relationship with the other Avengers and didn’t find all of them to be very interesting either. Captain America is a little too old school superhero that I just find boring for the most parts and comes off as a second rate Superman to me. However, I should note that I do think Chris Evans did a great job with the character and made him come to life. I don’t know anything about the Black Widow or Hawkeye but they seem more like spies then superheroes. Scarlett Johansson does bring a feminine touch to the film as the Black Widow and is excellent eye candy, but the Hawkeye character just seemed uninteresting and could have been cut out from the bunch.
And then we have Thor and the Loke characters. They are obviously influenced by the norse mythology and that’s fine, but as a norwegian it just looks weird to see how cartoony they are portrayed from our way of looking at them. It put me off of the characters, but even when I look past my own feelings towards them I still found him to be silly here. Loki however did turn out to be a good villain. Tom Hiddleston turns in a good performance as him, bringing some intensity and make you feel that there is always more to the character then what we see. Even though he is the only villain, he does come off as a powerful one and does make it work even though it does seem silly that you would need an entire group of superheroes to fight one bad guy, I’m sure it doesn’t do wonders for Thor’s ego.
One thing that does take away excitement in movies like these are the predictability. We know the good guys will win and the bad guys will lose. It sucks that they couldn’t take more chances here and kill or destroy one or two of the good guys. Yeah, it would probably piss some fans off, but it would be more entertaining for me and make it more unpredictable and exciting.
Marvel’s The Avenger was a success both cinematically and financially. It is not an easy task to pull this off, but writer and director Joss Whedon was able to create something that will satisfy the fans and also entertain the average viewer. It is not perfect, but movies like this are practically impossible to make perfect.