Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past couple of years, avoiding some of the biggest blockbuster superhero films and their frequent post-credit stingers, you will no doubt have some knowledge of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble (or The Avengers, if you’re across the pond). Kicking off the summer blockbuster season with a serious bang, some of my favourite Marvel characters join forces to save the Earth. Having Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jnr. and Chris Hemsworth occupy the same screen space could only possibly produce fantastic results. Directed by Joss Whedon, who gave us the amazing The Cabin in the Woods just weeks ago; he certainly has made a noticeable impression on my top five films of 2012 so far.
Marvel’s Avengers Assemble sees some of the most iconic comic book heroes, assembled by the incredibly badass Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) director of the peacekeeping agency SHEILD, team up against a common enemy. Staring Iron Man (Downey Jnr), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Hemsworth), and Captain America (Evans); together with relatively new editions Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Avengers are Earth’s greatest weapon against Thor’s brother; reoccurring enemy from the Nordic God’s own film, Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
Even though I’m sometimes prone to outbursts of hyperbole, no amount of positive adjectives can describe how wonderful Avengers Assemble is. Despite not been a fan of the previous incarnations of The Incredible Hulk, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner is nothing short of brilliant. He may even top Iron Man’s, my all time favourite superhero, appearance. Faithful to traditional portrayals, thankfully “Hulk, smash!” comes into play although not delivered from who you may expect. Banner’s transformation into the ‘monster’ he is referred to throughout is superb. It’s difficult to criticise any of the special effects or CGI used as it is fairly faultless (if I’m really nitpicking, there are a couple of moments it looks a little off; but I’ll allow them that).
Not only does Avengers Assemble look awesome (partly because of the large amount of attractive people on the screen); it’s also funny, fast-paced and action packed. Clever one-liners are delivered with impeccable timing, sometimes accompanied by a genius bit of slapstick comedy, resulting in infectious laughter erupting through the audience. Running to almost two and a half hours, the film certainly doesn’t feel too long. There’s not a single moment it slows down; constantly entertaining, shiny and allocating a fair, reasonable amount of time to each character, it ticks all the boxes. Even Hiddleston as Loki continues to be an incredibly likeable bad-guy (it may be his great teeth).
On leaving the cinema after seeing Avengers Assemble I was dizzy with excitement. Not only does the film live up to every expectation I reserved for it, it succeeded in surpassing them at times. Seeing Marvel’s favourite characters clash before becoming allies is any fanboys’ biggest dream come true. My only concern is the film won’t be as accessible to people unfamiliar with the already well established characters (although there is a quick recap of the Captain America storyline), alienating some cinema goers. Still, the superheroes are so charismatic I’m sure they’d quickly win over even the most hardened of cynics.
Not only did I see Avengers Assemble in 2D, but last night I just so happened to see it in 3D. Even though I usually write off 3D as a gimmick, I really enjoyed the extra dimension. Not only did it create a lovely depth of field, it also made excellent scenes look just that little bit better. It also sharpened the image, making the shiny suits shinier. By no means essential, I’d only suggest watching Avengers Assemble in 3D if you loved it in 2D. I’ve also changed my score below, not necessarily because of the additional dimension; mainly because I just enjoyed it a little more on the re-watch.