If you want action, action is what you will get in Marvel’s The Avengers. This is an unabashed comic book extravaganza with the big money well and truly put on the screen. The premise, a group of heroes assembled from the Marvel Comics universe to fight for Earth’s survival, exceeds expectations and holds your interest from beginning to end.
The team, consisting of Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jnr), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) must find a way to work together and defeat Loki, the God of Mischief, played with devilish menace by Tom Hiddleston, when he and his marauding alien forces arrive via an intergalactic portal.
Upon being summoned by Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), the director of S.H.I.E.L.D, a secret military law enforcement agency, all of the characters get their chance to shine in an even spread of scenes.
With great power comes great egos, and inevitable clashes occur. This is most evident between Rogers and Stark, whom Rogers believes is not a team player and essentially redundant without his Iron Man suit. This is a continuing issue throughout the film, and is finally resolved in a moment of sacrifice during the frenetic last act. Thor, the quick-tempered god of Thunder, feels a sense of responsibility as his brother Loki begins his mayhem. Bruce Banner is in a constant state of controlling his anger. Which he manages to do, but for how long?
Hawkeye and spy Black Widow may be the only non-superpowered members of the team, but they continually prove their worth with explosive arrows, technical combat moves or a gun drawn at lightning speed- even when strapped to a chair. They are also provided with backstories that help us to better understand the characters.
You don’t have to be a comic book aficionado to enjoy the film. Be it Downey Jnr’s flippant wit, witnessing The Hulk being let off the chain in visually pleasing large-scale destruction, or pondering what it means to be a hero, The Avengers has something for everyone and is a great ambassador to the genre.
If you see it in 3D, you will be impressed. It is well worth your time. You are immersed into the film with a sense of depth and intimacy that suits a film such as this.
A word of advice, when you think the movie is over be sure to remain seated. There is a bonus scene awaiting you that sets up a potential sequel.
Action packed, funny and with a beating human heart at the centre, The Avengers is an A+ for escapist entertainment.
By Timothy Williams
The Avengers opens nationally Wednesday, April 25th 2012.