The Avengers review

Joss Whedon
Robert Downey Jr.
Chris Evans
Mark Ruffalo
Chris Hemsworth
Scarlett Johansson
Jeremy Renner
Tom Hiddleston
Samuel L. Jackson
Rated: PG-13

They actually pulled it off.

“The Avengers” is Marvel’s grand film featuring all of the super heroes shown in its previous adaptations, including Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Downey Jr.), Steve Rodgers aka Captain America (Evans), Dr. Bruce Banner who transforms into the Hulk (Ruffalo) and the God of Thunder from another world, Thor (Hemsworth).

The film opens very quickly with Thor’s evil brother Loki arriving on Earth and taking a powerful object called the Tesseract from the world protection agency called SHIELD. Loki’s plan with the Tesseract is to open a portal to outer space and bring a powerful army to invade and conquer Earth. Because of this threat, Nick Fury (Jackson), the director of SHIELD calls upon Iron Man, Captain America, Bruce Banner, Thor and two super SHIELD spy agents Hawkeye (Renner) and Black Widow (Johansson) to battle against Loki (Hiddleston).

The plot of “Avengers” doesn’t have a ton of depth. The cause and effect structure is very basic, with it mainly just being ‘get the tesseract and stop Loki.’ However, the two and a half hours never feel dull, and that’s because the depth comes from a different place. It comes from the characters becoming a team. What really strengthens “The Avengers” is the interactions that happen between the heroes, watching them bicker, banter, get to know each other and eventually work together as a solid fighting force.

The acting is superb and every character feels as they should be. For example Chris Evans does a fantastic job with the Captain America role playing him exactly as he should be, a man with 1940s manners and ideals. The same can be said about Robert Downey Jr. who continues to make Tony Stark a charming, funny character with more beneath the surface.

The whole deal over the Hulk was settled firmly here too. While I liked Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, Mark Ruffalo taking over worked out just fine. One new comer who we hadn’t seen except for a short sequence in “Thor,” Hawkeye, doesn’t have as much to do here compared to his counterparts. However, he does fit in nicely with the group and Renner does solid work, especially towards the end when the character starts taking names with his bow and arrows.

The best part of all these heroes though is watching them interact. The dialogue is very well written and each character feels really natural and believable, something difficult to do when you have a world with one super hero being frozen in ice for decades and another being from another planet. It was also great how well this ensemble cast worked together, it was almost as if this wasn’t their first time all working together with how evenly all of their performances flowed together.

The alien villains weren’t that well established, with the army simply being like mindless attack drones. The film does benefit from the cunning Loki though as the big bad.

Overall, though, this movie is about the super heroes and the antagonists, regardless if it’s the quality Loki or less memorable alien army, are mainly made as a roadblock to have them learn to cooperate. In it’s own way, “The Avengers” itself is like a giant origins story, which will allow it’s sequel to have a bigger villain.

The special effects are also fantastic. One scene that is particularly breathtaking is where the aircraft carrier that our heroes are on turns out to be the flying fortress, The SHIELD Helicarrier, and gloriously lifts out of the ocean. The battle scenes are also a staple of the film and we get to see all the fights that we would want to see. Thor gets to test his strength against the Hulk, as well as how his hammer matches up against Captain America’s shield.

Eventually we get to see the final climactic battle, watch all the characters fight together, and have great back-to-back moments where they basically work in perfect harmony to defeat the baddies. Iron man and Captain America have a really smart way to kill off a few. Every hero get’s their moment to shine and show off their skills too, no one is really over shadowed which in this type of movie is a major plus.

“The Avengers” is truly a great accomplishment. Doing what Marvel did here is outstanding and not only were they able to make this project happen, it turned out just about as perfect as it could be. The writing was smart, the acting was great, the performers had chemistry and the action scenes are what comic book fans have been waiting for decades to happen. It’s a 5 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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