The Avengers

"Excellent"

The Avengers Review


Like four action movies mashed into one, it's often difficult to know where to look while watching this busy blockbuster. It takes a while to get going, but once writer-director Whedon hits his stride, the film rockets through a series of frantically entertaining set pieces.

When mischievous Loki (Hiddleston) steals the tesseract from top-secret agency Shield, director Nick Fury (Jackson) and his sidekicks (Gregg and Smulders) call in their superheroes: Tony (Downey), Steve (Evans), Natasha (Johansson), Bruce (Ruffalo) and Clint (Renner), better known as Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, the Hulk and Hawkeye. And Loki's brother Thor (Hemsworth) also turns up. But calling them a team is misleading, as they find it tricky to put rivalries and mistrust aside to save the world from Loki's apocalyptic plan.

Cleverly, each colourful character approaches the crisis in a distinct way as they are slowly becoming a united fighting force. And while there's never any doubt how this will end up, and not much real originality along the way, Whedon continually finds suspense in unexpected places, inventively shifting the film's tone as it goes along. The opening scenes are ludicrously po-faced, with characters spouting stiff dialog until Downey appears (in a hilariously snappy scene with Paltrow) to introduce sarcasm, which then infects everyone else.

Each actor is terrific in a role that's pared down from the solo movies. And this actually makes us look forward to Black Widow and Hawkeye movies, as both Johansson and Renner add terrific texture to their characters. But Ruffalo steals the film, bringing complexity to Bruce and sassy intelligence to the Hulk. By comparison, Evans and Hemsworth feel vintage, with their archaic declamatory dialog. So when they team up for the final battle, they make an intriguing muscle-boy duo. Through it all, Hiddleston is simply fantastic.

Whedon keeps things moving briskly, racing through lengthy chunks of exposition that only matter to geeks. As so many characters compete for the spotlight, it's somewhat bewildering, with vague close-ups (who's gadget is that?) and characters sometimes sidelined (most notably Renner). But the cataclysmic final act is thrilling, both for the scale of the effects and, by now, the power of the relationships. It'll be great to see each of these characters in their own adventures, but we also want Marvel to throw them together again.



The Avengers

Facts and Figures

Run time: 143 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th May 2012

Box Office USA: $623.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $1.5B

Budget: $220M

Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, Marvel Studios

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Fresh: 283 Rotten: 26

IMDB: 8.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Kevin Feige

Starring: Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man, as Steve Rogers / Captain America, as Bruce Banner / The Hulk, as Thor, as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, as Clint Barton / Hawkeye, as Loki, as Agent Phil Coulson, as Agent Maria Hill, as Selvig, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, as Pepper Potts, as Jarvis (voice), as World Security Council, as Shield Pilot, as World Security Council, as Old Man in TV Report, Arthur Darbinyan as World Security Council, as World Security Council, as Waitress, as Security Guard, as Carrier Bridge Techs, Damion Poitier as Man #1, Dieter Riesle as Gala Scientist, as Celebration Montage Interviewee, as Tall Thug, as Georgi Luchkov, Maximiliano Hernández as Agent Jasper Sitwell, Jillian Morgese as Woman in Restaurant (uncredited), as The Other, James Eckhouse as Senator Boynton, Enver Gjokaj as Young Cop

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