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 Loki and his army.
Yeeeesssss, I finally get to watch this movie! I wanted to watch it when it first came out in theatres but no one would go with me and I didn’t want to get caught in the rush. In the end I waited and in the meantime watched all of the individual movies leading up to the Avengers: Iron Man 1 and 2, Captain America, Thor and The Incredible Hulk. Contains some spoilers ahead!
Having seen all of the individual movies, it’s finally great to see the payoff with them assembling. It’s tricky because you have all of these individuals with their own particular set of skills and issues having to work together and the way it unfolds onscreen was fantastic. Joss Whedon is a pro when it comes to handling ensemble groups and although the audience (well, most of them) is already coming in to The Avengers knowing these characters from their respective movies, there’s still just enough time to squeeze in a bit of characterisation. This was especially useful in the cases of Natasha Romanoff (a.k.a. the Black Widow) and Clint Barton (a.k.a. Hawkeye) who are coming in as secondary characters from two other movies and you get to know them here. I personally have a soft spot for these two because as skilled as they are, they’re the only two who are human-human with no superpower additions or any sort. A pity that Hawkeye spent most of the movie under the control of Loki but I enjoyed the screentime they had and I loved the scenes they had together–now can we please have a standalone movie with the two of them starring? =P
Naturally the six do not mesh well together from the get-go and the scene in the research lab (minus Hawkeye but plus Nick Fury) portrays this well. The suspicions, the barbed comments…oh, and the scene in the forest when Thor first showed up was also exemplary in showing this. Speaking of which, I hope we backtrack a little in Thor 2 to show how Odin used his powers to bring Thor to Earth…I do appreciate them explaining it though. Anyways, it’s a nice arc seeing how all six members were suspicious of each other in the first half of the movie and then working together at the end while fighting the Chitauri army. They play off well with each other–interaction and action-wise–and I enjoyed watching the team dynamic on-screen. As an aside, I love how many of the characters have heard of the other (Tony’s dad talking about Steve, Tony reading about Bruce’s work, Coulson telling Thor how Dr. Selvig spoke about him, etc.)
The other agents of S.H.I.E.L.D were great and it’s good to see that they were not completely relegated into the background. I’m sure we’ll be seeing Maria Hill in the next few films, although we didn’t see too much of her it was great to see such a tough character in the mix along with Natasha. Nick Fury continues to amaze me and intrigue me with his ways, including taking matters into his own hands and firing a bazooka at a rogue plane taking off. And Phil Coulson…I accidentally found out what happened to him months earlier on Tumblr (such a dangerous website to be on for fandoms of all sorts) but it sucks that he’s the one who got killed amidst the assault on board the vessel. He’s such a great character, and such a fanboy for Captain America (which was pretty amusing/could-have-been-creepy-but-hey-it’s-Coulson) and the audience’s access in a way to the Avengers. I do like that he serves as the gel that brings the Avengers together to work as a team.
As an aside, I mentioned this in my review of The Incredible Hulk but I was initially dismayed that Edward Norton did not reprise his role as Bruce Banner. In general I hate it when actors switch within a franchise for the same role, it doesn’t look consistent and actors have different approaches to the same characters. But Mark Ruffalo did a wonderful job as Bruce so the whole actor-switch is forgiven =P
The story itself was interesting, binding the fragments that we’ve seen in the individual installments of the franchise particularly the Tesseract. Again it pays off, this movie is quite a big action movie and there’s not a single dull moment. Loki could have easily been a straight-up bad guy but the moment he had with Thor provided some depth to some of his actions and what he’s feeling inside.
Overall The Avengers is just an awesome and entertaining action flick. Joss Whedon deftly handles putting together the superheroes so to speak, complete with their own distinct personalities, and manages to weave an action-packed movie without losing those distinct personalities in the process. Seeing the actors reprise their characters and expand on them was great and there were of course hilarious one-liners and moments to balance out with the more serious moments. Cannot wait for the next installment to both this movie and to the individual superheroes.