MFR Rating: ★ ★ ★
It’s the event movie that not only its core fanbase of nerds and comic-con queuers have fantasized over for years, but the hype has expanded universally across all popcorn chewers. Finally after several gargantuan movies of buildup (Hulk, a couple Iron Mans, Thor, Captain America), the Avengers really do ASSEMBLE. Actually, thinking about it, the word ‘assemble’ feels a little bit gentle doesn’t it? Maybe they’re coming together for a cup of tea, a biscuit and a chat? Rest assured comic book nerds (and popcorn munchers), your thirsts will be clenched.
Without wanting to ruin anything for the diehard fanatics, Avengers Assemble predictably brings together our familiar heroes into one elite team of super people. S. H. I. E. L. D. boss Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) decides to assemble the almighty task-force of Captain America (Chris Evans), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) to try and combat the threat of the Asgardian god, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who launches an attack on Earth with your typical MacGuffin plot device at the centre of the shenanigans.
As someone who particularly enjoyed the humour of the recent Thor and Captain America (although I don’t believe either were great movies, particularly the former), I have to admit I didn’t laugh at all during Avengers, which was a great disappointment. Maybe it was because many of the best lines were ruined in the trailer? Maybe it was because the Iron Man and Hulk films have passed me by, but mainly I think the script suffers from being clunky and exposition heavy and the light relief is somewhat repetitive (Hulk gets big and angry in a variety of mildly amusing ways!). But once the movie gets down to what it’s good at – the action sequences – it’s very good at them indeed. With Joss Whedon directing, the film is in safe hands and looks spectacular despite the 3D effects (which to be fair, are quite good) and by the climax it all starts to feel quite thrilling.
I’d say you can go into this film with little Avengers knowledge and even then it will be difficult not to find at least the action enjoyable, but I also have no doubt that those who have seen all the previous movies and the Marvel obsessives will take extra pleasure from all the familiarity. It’s a film that offers very, very little in terms of characterization or anything even mildly under the surface (one of the reasons why any early comparisons that I’ve heard of this being ‘as good as The Dark Knight‘ are absolute tosh), but hey, it at least makes for a decent bit of fun once things start to kick off. Whedon has already admitted the next (inevitable) film is going to be “…smaller. More personal. More painful. By being the next thing that should happen to these characters, and not just a rehash of what seemed to work the first time. By having a theme that is completely fresh and organic to itself.” And that sounds good to me.
Avengers Assemble is out on 26th April in the UK and 4th May in the US. Running time 142 mins. Certificate 12a (UK).
Comments and feedback are always welcome or just give the film a rating by using the stars at the top.
Review by David Rank