Marvel Avengers Assemble (2012, Joss Whedon, Marvel Studios). Review by George Richardson.

Film Review of The Avengers Assemble targeted at the Guardian Online.

If you managed to miss all or any of the five blockbusters that lead up to this, perhaps the most ambitious comic book movie of all time, this film and this review are not for you.

The most important thing to understand about Marvel Avengers Assemble (or The Avengers, as it is known across the rest of the world) is that it is a film for the fan boys, by the fan boys. With Marvel Studios now at the helm of most major comic book films, we have been spoiled with silver screen super heroes that are not only true to their interpretation on the pages but also enriched by consistently quality casting and directing, and Joss Whedon is truly the geekʼs geek and leaves his signature firmly on this most highly anticipated of features.

Much of the films humour is derived from the witty and occasionally hostile interaction between the reluctant teammates. Downey Jrʼs now iconic Tony Stark and his casual undermining of authority makes for some excellent Whedonesque banter with the order- following a well-regimented Captain America played by a stern Chris Evans. As Chris Hemsworthʼs Thor and Mark Ruffaloʼs Hulk meet their match in each other, Scarlett Johanssonʼs femme fatale Black Widow holds her own alongside fellow non-super hero Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Samuel L Jacksonʼs Nick Fury and together they bring their skills to the table to challenge Tom Hiddlestonʼs brilliant yet manic Loki as he threatens the safety of the planet.

After watching the lead-up films it is fair to expect a heaping portion of awe-inspiring super- heroics from Marvel Studios, and there is no lack of high-octane action sequences over the 140 minute run time. It would be irresponsible to put a single moment up on a pedestal, too much pressure and responsibility for this writer, what with such an array of high calibre moments to consider; Thorʼs less than sparkling first impression on Iron Man and the Cap, Bruce Banner with the revelation that he is, in fact, “always angry”.

But surely the Avengerʼs greatest moment is when they pull together for the first time to rescue the plummeting Helicarrier. How can anyone watch without wide-eyes and triumphantly clenched fists as Thor subdues the wild and reckless Hulk as he threatened to become as much a threat as that cheeky God Of Mischief, or Iron Man as he used his rocket powered suit to manually spin the sabotaged propeller, or Captain America as he relentlessly disposes of Lokiʼs possessed minions?

With Marvel Avengers Assemble, Whedon has taken the elements of those previous films, starting with 2008ʻs Iron Man, that paved the way for this hyped up juggernaut of super hero cinema, and put them together in a way that satisfies the hardcore fans. He ultimately entertains the newcomers and brings the Marvel Cinematic Universe into an exciting new chapter. Bring on Avengers 2!

Marvel Avengers Assemble is released in cinemas on April 12 in the United Kingdom.


Word Count: 500


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