Friday, May 4, 2012
Starring: Robert Downey Jnr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johannson
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from an intergalactic army.
As a film, The Avengers had the potential to become a huge mess if not approached in the right way. You have a big cast all vying for the same amount of screen time, characters who are from different stories needing to come together to create one believable world, and a scope that's so big that it seems almost impossible to write a story with enough character development to make it more than just a pointless action film.
The best man to go to for this sort of job is, Joss Whedon. The majority of his past work has focused on vast stories and ensemble casts, Buffy, Firefly, Toy Story, Cabin in the Woods ect. so it's no surprise that he was able to take something as varied as Avengers and make it work, it's perfectly suited to his style of directing and writing.
It's almost amazing how easily everything flows throughout Avengers, from the introduction to the cast, to the ease of the unfolding story. Joss gets a huge thumbs up for making such a daunting project look so easy.
The Avengers strongest point is it's script, which has been injected with Joss's signature sense of humor, giving the story some hilarious laugh out loud moments, while still keeping the action coming in my the bucket loads. Joss's ability to toggle drama, comedy and action has always been his strongest asset, and it gives The Avengers some much needed personality.
Speaking of action, there's A LOT of it to get through, and all of it is fantastic from start to finish. Nothing will prepare you for the eye melting scope of the last 30 minute battle of the film. It's almost as if the creators thought they may never have a chance for a sequel, so they wanted to go out with the biggest bang they could possibly bang out. Everything is thrown at us during that section of the film, i almost felt tired by the time it was over, it was an impressive spectacle.
Casting wise, everyone is on point and no one gets left behind. They all get gags, all get big action set pieces and all get enough screen time. All of the actors did a great job, with the highlights being Downey Jnr as Iron Man, Hiddleston as Loki and Ruffalo as Hulk.
You don't need to have seen the films these characters come from to have a full understanding of what's going on within the story, however, it does help you understand a few small references here and there if you have seen them. An instant appreciation for some of the characters due to back story knowledge from other films does make it all feel a bit more well rounded, although as i said, it's not essential.
The Avengers is an unapologetic comic film from top to bottom, which makes it stand out amongst other darker and more realistic films coming out this year like The Dark Knight Rises and Spider Man. It's colourful, entertaining and very hard to not like. It took a lot of balls to take it down the route Joss did, this style of more "cartoony" comic book films has produced some very average results over the past few years, but Joss was able to nail with smarts and lots of heart.