MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS (PG13)
Release Date: 27 April 2012
Running Time: 143 minutes
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures
Director: Joss Whedon
Screenplay: Joss Whedon, Zak Penn
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson
Plot: Marvel Studios presents Marvel's The Avengers-the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.
REVIEW AFTER THE JUMP
Review: Marvel Studios piled up all the hypes since the first Iron Man movie was released in 2008. Since then, ‘The Incredible Hulk’, ‘Iron Man 2’, ‘Thor’ and ‘Captain America’ were all released and Nick Fury has never failed to appear at the end of each one to tease a possible team-up in the future. With all the great setups from all the five pre-Avengers movies, this will definitely be the inevitable phenomena written all over it with Joss Whedon, the household name for franchise-starter is helming this one. Despite all, can The Avengers truly live up to its own thread of hypes or could it lands itself on the awkward side instead? Read on to find out.
“Marvel’s The Avengers” opens at the S.H.I.E.L.D. facility where the Tesseract, an energy source of unknown potential has been activated. It opens a portal through space from which the exiled Norse god Loki (Tom Hiddleston) steps through. Loki takes the Tesseract and escapes along with his evil plan of invading the Earth. With the loss of Tesseract from S.H.I.E.L.D., its director Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) is forced to re-activate the Avengers Initiative consisting of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). While they are able to apprehend Loki during one of his visit to Germany, the Avengers are still deeply divided. To save the world, the Avengers must set aside their differences and begins to work together as a team. Unfortunately, at the same time, Loki has already assembled his own army ready to aid him in the subjugation.
Joss Whedon shall take most of the credits from here. Been a huge follower of his visceral products for years, we know how scarce he comes out with new products but when he does, the outcomes are generally raving. With Whedon direction and writing, it is safe to say that ‘The Avengers” is in the safe hands. Whedon does what he always excels in the departments of characterization and story-telling thus making “The Avengers” to emerge as the champion of the genre. By some miles north, it lives up to its vivid reputation and expectation, while also catapulting the superhero movie into a whole new popcorn experience. Whedon has clearly pours all he has into this giant screenplay and making it into a well-deserved superhero movie for the fans and non-fans.
Whedon writes a sharp story that delivers and allowing it to be possessed with strong yet condensed plot that could easily branches into richness in plot direction and story arcs. Although it is still a basic clear-cut and standard plot that borrows heavily from any other superhero movies, it has much absolute styles and multilayer attitude in varying magnitudes. ‘The Avengers’ is well-balanced with its contradicting elements about saving the world and also having some fun at the same time. True to what I have seen from all Whedon's work are amazing story-telling that does not deviates away from the essential plot; while at the same time gives every character an equal chance to shine. The major problem for some high ensemble movie is the inequality in screen time but not in this one. The other best thing about Whedon’s script is that it presents the audience with cheeky bantering and a high amount of accessible sarcasm. Hence, you got yourself a balance act of action and comedy.
Nothing is perfect nevertheless. No doubt, some will argues that it could have been much better, for that I agree. However, considering the amount of pressure coming from the fans and critics, this is effectively by far the best ever we got since ‘The Dark Knight’. Then there are also those who argue how slow the first half of the movie is, for that I agree too. We have been into that familiar territory before where assembling a team would take most of the screen times. Why do we have Nick Fury appearing on each end credits after all? There goes my half an hour just for recruiting and assembling?
With the first half been more or less about recruiting everyone into the team and explaining the framework of the re-activated Avengers Initiative, there are also equal highlights been made on many of the common issues revolving around teamwork. The question of whether it is necessary for them to fight one another is effectively answered. It has never been easy to glue peoples with different set of skills together because superheroes have super egos. For this issue, Whedon makes it as if it is just some fillers been randomly put through but the real deal is about making what is best about characterization. I like how Whedon makes use of the opportunity to display how fragile the alliance in the beginning and how things turn for good eventually. In the end, it is not about how simple this story could have been turned into but I am amazed on how Whedon structured these elements into use.
With impressive story line, comes the amazing casting. This movie possesses some of the greatest two-person conflicts we have ever seen. When Iron Man versus Thor, you know it is because of weapon show-off. When Iron Man versus Captain America, you know it is because of different ideology. When Hawkeye battles out Black Widow, you know there is some love in between. When Iron Man and Hulk been together, you know it is bromance after all. Like been pointed put before, Whedon emphasizes a lot on characterization and interactions in between. What songs of praise you can sing about these characters from their individual movies seem to be at the same tune in this one. It is indeed amazing how they can have this kind of chemistry together!
Lastly, ‘The Avengers’ musters a collection of impressive visual effects that heighten the awesome popcorn entertainment ride throughout the 143 minutes of watching experience. Whedon controls his movie better in action propulsion compares to let’s say, Michael Bay. If Bay blows things out of proportion, Whedon blows them into the proportion. 3D is not the strongest virtue here but if you are able to watch it on 2D version, you are very lucky after all! Look at the final 40 minutes where the titanic battle happens in the midtown Manhattan. Oh boy, that is as much action as the Transformers battling out in Chicago in an hour.
In the end, ‘The Avengers’ comes out as a true winner – no doubt it is already been hailed as one of the best movies of the year. What is more impressive is that it comes with a perfect combination of marvellous styles and substances in an amazing plot, doses of sarcastic humour that are very pleasing, characterizations that maintain the interactions through the super ego first and top notch actions in a giant canvas of Manhattan. I am looking forward for the sequel now!
"MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS" opens this week in cinemas nationwide. For ticketing at GSC, please go to this link. This review reflects the personal opinion of the author only.