The Avengers is one of the most highly anticipated films of the summer. The hype Marvel flooded consumers with was well worth the wait for the film’s release. Joss Whedon (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Dollhouse) wrote and directed this superhero team up movie. The plot involves something called the Tesseract, a cosmic cube that has unknown potential energy. Thor’s brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) decides to steal the cube and use it to open a portal to another world to start an invasion and war that very well may destroy Earth.
The Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury, decides that it is time to initiate the Avengers’ initiative after being bested by Loki when the Tesseract was stolen. This initiative involves bringing together Earth’s mightiest heroes to do battle with Loki and his army to save Earth. This means that Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansen), all need to check their egos and play nice to preserve the greater good.
The main appeal of this film is that if you enjoyed any one of the previous Marvel films from the last four years, then you’re set. Each hero gets his or her own moment in the spotlight. It almost goes without saying that I love seeing all of these heroes on screen together fighting to save the Earth, but the thing I was most impressed by was the event that really forced them to put their egos aside and work together. The moment comes rather unexpectedly in the film and it is a moment that has a level of emotional resonance for anyone who has watched any of the previous four films.
My favorite aspect of The Avengers is its visual style. The film very much resembles the look of those first Avengers’ posters with battles going on throughout parts of Midtown in New York.
Another thing that struck me about the film is how funny it is. Yes, Robert Downey Jr. does have some great lines, but everyone gets a chance to crack a moderately funny one liner— even the Hulk.
The only problem I found with The Avengers is that the first act is very slow and does not build the anticipation for the team up. I found Loki’s entrance into the story boring until he tricked Nick Fury and his S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
The biggest surprise of the film has to be Mark Ruffalo’s performance as both Bruce Banner and The Hulk. The Avengers is the first film that has ever been able to successfully capture the constant emotional turmoil that Banner suffers due to not being able to live a normal life. Ruffalo captures his fragile state caused by years of running, that has both exhausted him and left him emotionally raw. This may also explain why he clings to his love of science so much. Banner’s scenes with Tony Stark are a highlight of the film and it warms my heart to know that he was able to meet a kindred spirit in Tony Stark.
With a solid story and engaging characters, The Avengers is a well-assembled movie and well worth your money and time in the theater. Make sure to stay through all the credits for a hint at what may happen to the Avengers next.
The Avengers is now playing at Savoy 16 and Carmike Beverly Cinema.