Dreams do indeed come true, over the last few years we’ve seen the threads of the Marvel universe come together and finally we see the culmination of all of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Most thought this ambitious task to be impossible, how could you make a movie with all these massive characters and their varied worlds and succeed? One man, Joss Whedon was assigned to orchestrate this very task and by Odin succeed he did! Every star has their moment to shine, all while making the best superhero action flick yet.
Loki returns and plans to rain destruction down on earth by using the Tesseract to allow an unknown alien force called the Chitauri to invade our planet. This obviously gains the attention of Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D - Fury decides that it is about time to bring together our heroes and find the troublesome demigod along with the Tesseract.
While on the awesome looking S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier the egos of our big heroes begin to clash as Loki gets under their skin. It takes one good man to bring them together as a team - all they needed was that little push. Once united they stand tall ready to defend Earth, the following battle with the Chitauri is immense. Each Avenger shows why they’re part of the team and how the down to earth characters like Black Widow, Hawkeye and Captain America can stand next to the more monumental Hulk, Thor and Iron Man and be their equals.
Joss manages to pulls strong performances out of all the cast members - he makes the characters and their motives believable. You will see that while they may be super-solders, intellectual giants, gods and raging green monsters, they’re all still like us at heart - not perfect.
Robert Downey Jr presents his usual swagger as Iron Man, Chris Evans is ever the honest leader as Captain America and Chris Hemsworth as Thor brings the Yin to Loki’s Yang. It's a shame his relationship with Jane Foster only briefly gets touched on. Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is a lot less of a brat this time around, he is much more full of evil and disdain, driven on by the ordeal of his exile from Asgard.
Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk is great - as Banner he’s bigger than what we’ve been used to but at the same time very quiet and vulnerable. Using motion capture on his face adds a lot more of an emotional element, making his initial transformation into the Hulk quite intense and rather scary.
Last but not least, the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) both kick ass - a lot. Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) seems to show more of his deceptive side but it’s all still for the greater good. As always, Agent Phil Coulson played by Clark Gregg is wonderful and has some great moments, he will forever be a favourite of mine. Finally, newcomer Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) doesn't have a lot to do after the opening sequence, but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of her in the future.
I struggled to find negative points to write about. I did see it in 3D and it didn’t add a lot but it didn’t feel intrusive ether. The few things that were niggling at me were the Chitauri being an army of faceless drones, ready to be beaten with little insight into their further motivations. Their massive battleships reminded me a little to much of the Transformers movies too. A couple of things were also left unexplained, like Thor’s hesitation to pick up his hammer - is this a worry about whether he is worthy? And was Loki’s staff affecting the emotions of our heroes, we’re just left to assume that this is the case. These are only really very small complaints and they don’t spoil the experience one bit.
During the earlier promotional interviews for the film, it was said that this would not be like Whedon’s usual work. This worried me due to the fact I loved most of his previous creations. Fear not! His trademark clever writing and wit is present in bucket loads, I laughed out loud and squealed with geek joy many times. He also directs the big blockbuster action sequences brilliantly, the movie feels big! It runs at two and half hours in length but never feels overly long, the editing keeps the pace up and gives the story chance to unfold nicely.
All that is left to say is assemble and enjoy the ride!
Stefan Harkins may go to see this movie again and again!