And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth’s mightiest heroes found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, The Avengers were born, to fight the foes no single superhero could withstand.
So it’s been five years in the making, five years since we saw the first Iron Man movie and were teased with the idea of an honest to God superhero crossover, and subsequently have watched, to varying degrees of interest, as Marvel Studios rolled out The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America, themselves incorporating other such well known Marvel characters as Nick Fury, The Black Widow and Hawkeye.
The right steps were seen to be being made when they brought onboard the fanboy god, Joss Whedon, to write and direct the grand undertaking, then eventually released footage of epic looking set pieces, so all that was left was pure, unadulterated anticipation on levels rarely seen.
So, was it worth the wait?
Well, stop holding your breath because the answer is an unequivocal yes, yes, YES!
It’s all in the watching, so as little as I can give away here the better, but here’s what I can tell you, we all expect humour from Whedon but with The Avengers we are supplied with outright belly laughs, indeed, this reviewer will be attending a screening again very soon simply because I laughed so hard that I actually missed bits.
Characters, though not explored in great depth, are very well rounded, play off each other in ways you both would and wouldn’t expect and individually are interesting enough to have the relatively long film skip by at a great pace with absolutely no lulls to give a character their turn. It all feels fantastically natural.
Conventions of the comicbook medium are both poked fun at and cherished. Of course the heroes disagree up front and have a punch up, of course everyone has a skill set that makes them perfect for a given task to take down the bad guys, of course there’s destruction on a grand scale, but it’s pulled off with such audacity that it feels like you’re witnessing such occurrences for the very first time, which for the mainstream audience may well be the case, but to have jaded comic fans feeling that way too? It’s a big achievement.
To put some worries to bed, everyone gets a go in the action sequences, Iron Man’s world and ways gel well with the magics and such of Thor’s, Captain America’s old fashioned attitude has a respected and well explained place, and best of all this is bar none the best version of The Hulk ever put to screen.
I can’t recommend it enough, The Avengers is great performances, respectful content, kick-ass and satisfying action, great humour and wonderful design work all funnelled through a brilliant writer/director who is quite clearly at the very top of his game.
A grade – for storytelling
A- grade – for acting
A grade – for action
A- grade – for FX
Overall grade – A