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Posted on 4/27/12 01:36 PM
Since the end-credits clip at the end of Iron Man, fanboys have anxiously been waiting for Earth's Mightiest Heroes to hit the big screen. Before this cinematic event, we have been treated with five good to some great films. But now, with months of strong marketing by Disney and Marvel, The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble in the UK) is finally here. With over four years of hype, does the movie live up to this certain fanboy's expectations? The film does not just live up to the hype, it blows them out the water.
Director Joss Whedon has created the ultimate ensemble movie. With a clever, witty and exciting script, Whedon has been able to join these six larger than life heroes and make the whole thing seem believable. Each character gets their shining moment, some even get a couple, Hulk being one of them. They all really get to show why they are heroes and why they are on this epic team.
Let's talk about the performances in the film. If you doubted if Black Widow and Hawkeye could be able to handle themselves on the team when they have a super soldier, an Iron Man and a God from a distant planet on the team with them, you would be completely wrong. Black Widow get's a particularly fantastic and terrifying scene with Tom Hiddleston's Loki. The scene really shows that Scarlet Johansonn is good in the role as Natasha Romanoff, she just wasn't used right in Iron Man 2. She also kicks major ass from the beginning of the film to the final battle in New York. But, it really isn't surprising that Joss Whedon has crafted another fantastic female character into his films, is it? Jeremy Renner does strong work as Hawkeye, there really isn't that much to say about his character since it would reveal a major plot point. But, in the final battle, Hawkeye is just as fun to watch as the other heroes on the team. Chris Evans delivers the goods once again playing Captain America. His way of speaking, his mannerisms are still in tack since his first film. Some of the scenes where Steve is trying to adjust to the new world can be both hilarious and sad at the same time. Chris Hemsworth is great once again as Thor. This time he brings far more emotion to the role of the Asgardian. His scenes with Loki in particular are some of the best in the film. Speaking of Loki, Tom Hiddleston is brilliant as the God of Mischief. He's both fun to watch and down right scary and very threatening in some scenes. Every scene he is in, you feel like he is in control of every situation and is pulling everybody's strings which is exactly what you would expect from Loki. Robert Downey Jr. delivers a third consecutive great performance as the playboy and billionaire Tony Stark aka Iron Man. This time you see Tony become more mature as the film progresses. Tony's relationship with Captain America is one of the highlights of the film. One moment you are getting ready to see them throw down and then moments later, you see them working together to save everybody on the Helicarrier. There is a particularly awesome scene in the final battle where they work together to defeat the alien threat. Mark Ruffalo delivers what I think to be a performance just as good as Edward Norton's one in 2008 as Bruce Banner / The Hulk. Ruffalo brings a delightfully dry humour to Banner which actually suits the character quite well, him and Tony Stark have some great scenes together. Ruffalo is also great as portraying the Hulk as motion capture. I will go more in depth about Hulk himself when I get into the film's visuals. The Hulk also brings some of the biggest laughs in the film, most of them involve with him being not too fond of Asgardian folk. And finally, rounding out the main cast is Nick Fury, played by Samuel. L. Jackson. Jackson has a great presence on-screen and is really commanding in the role as the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Though I kinda do wish that Whedon would have let him drop one F-bomb at the very least. Though we do get a hilarious line where he speaks with World Security Council. The rest of the cast do great work including Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill and soon to be everybody's knight in shining armor, Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson.
Let's move on to the visual effects, created by Industrial Light and Magic. Every single effect in this film is absolutely incredible and breathtaking, some of the best I've seen in the last couple of years. The Hulk stands out among all the other effects in the film. Every little touch, every little detail, every little frame of animation is absolutely perfect. The alien threat (known as the Chitauri) looks fantastic as well. Every part of them looks incredibly real and convincing. Their cool looking ships move just like how you would want them to. Other effects like the Helicarrier look equally amazing as well. ILM deserve Oscar recognition for the outstanding work they have accomplished here.
The action scenes in the film are some of the best I've ever seen. They are not overly prone to shaky-cam (I'm looking at you Hunger Games), and are not just "splosion" fests like you would see in a Michael Bay film. Every punch, smash and laser beam feels real because you can concentrate on what is going on. Something like that is sometimes hard to find in many of the most recent summer blockbusters. The action scenes also emphasise how wonderful ILM's effects really are.But, the overall best thing about the action, is that it serves a purpose, it services to develop and strengthen the character and is not just there because it is needed to be. This is one of the main reason why The Avengers works so well.
Alan Silvestri's score is probably the film's weakest point, it's not bad by any means, there are definitely are some good tunes in there. Though it just sounds far too generic in some spots. I think a new composer would have been the best choice for a film like this. This score just sounds a little too like his work for Captain America: The First Avenger. Again, let me reiterate, there really are no poor tunes, they're all good in their own right, but I honestly was hoping for something a little bit better
I got to see the film in post converted, Real-D 3D. And to my genuine surprise, the 3D was actually pretty damn good! Especially in the film's final battle (which lasts around thirty minutes or so). Creatures like the Leviathan (which there are three of) and the alien ships pop out at the screen with great depth in some scenes. And though there is pretty much zero 3D or depth in some scenes, the scenes that are good in the dimension, look very good. Let's hope this 3D goodness continues into Marvel Studios' next outing, Iron Man 3.
There are many other fantastic things to mention like the great scenes of humour and wit in the film and a mid-credits scene that will have all nerds blowing their load and will have them chomping at the bit to see the next adventure for Earth's Mightiest Heroes which hasn't even been scheduled for a release date yet. I'm pretty sure this is the most excited and pleased I have ever come out of a cinema. Marvel's The Avengers is the best ensemble, superhero and Comic Book Movie ever made. I still have no idea how any CBM this year could come even close to topping this absolute masterpiece from now Nerd Demi-God Joss Whedon. The ball is in your court now Christopher Nolan.