L.S. Media Rating:*****
If their was one genre of film that could symbolise the Hollywood blockbusters of the early 21st century, it would most certainly be comic book movies. Their presence has practically dominated the summer blockbuster season continuously for the past decade and despite a few duds (Catwoman and Green Lantern to namedrop a couple ) they have consistently managed to deliver at the very least a decent scoop of popcorn entertainment. Very few however have become truly great films. The Dark Knight would perhaps slip off most peoples tongues within a second, but others like Spiderman 2, Kick-Ass, Scott Pilgrim and even Iron Man should also stand proud as some of the genres finest achievements. That’s not to say though that more cannot be squeezed onto this prestigious pedestal. As we are about to see ladies and gentlemen, the Avengers have assembled and they are coming to teach blockbusters a Hulk smashing lesson.
If you’ve kept up to date with the films involving the characters of Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk or even if you’ve simply glimpsed at the advertising, then you’ll most likely have some indication as to the premise of the Avengers. For the slow of our species, it is about a team of super heroes that have been assembled by a military protection agency entitled S.H.I.E.L.D, a group who serve to ensure the continued safety of Earth against potentially dangerous exploits and individuals. The trouble in this instance is Thor’s adopted brother Loki, a demi-god that has caused a bit of hoo-ha by threatening to invade our planet with an almighty force that could topple life as we know it. The little god-like rascal!
The plot however whilst functional, is not the reason why this film succeeds. Fans everywhere have long-awaited the chance to see their favourite super heroes team up and wreak havoc on screen, and this is where the film delivers in absolute droves. Director Joss Whedon should be forever applauded and praised for somehow managing to find the perfect balance between all these larger than life heroes without any feeling of compromise. The film effortlessly breezes from one hero to another without ever becoming confusing or bloated, and is drizzled with every possible super hero mash up you could dream of. Want to see Iron Man and Thor square off against each other? Sorted. The Hulk trying to smash Black Widow? Yes please. Captain America and Iron Man attempting to work together? Why not. Want to see what happens if Thor tries to stop the Hulk? Oh now your just getting silly. Scarlett Johansson cracking necks with her thighs? I cannot handle this anymore, us mere mortals do not deserve this.
Best of all, this isn’t even the bulk of the action sequences. The best moments are when these moments are blended seamlessly together in the insanely spectacular final act. Imagine the closing battle of Transformers cranked up several notches, injected with visual style, humour and some actually cool characters and you won’t be far off the result. Everyone manages to have their special moment and the effects are simply dazzling to behold. The Hulk in particular, after countless lacklustre films now finally feels like the terrifyingly chaotic beast that he is meant to be. Tearing through buildings and launching through the air like a blazing cannonball, its hard to call whether him or Robert Downey Jr’s. always fantastic Iron Man steals the show.
The Avengers isn’t all about the action however, you’ll find just as much fun in the surprisingly funny script and the bickering banter between these colossal heroes. Coming off humorous yet heart-warmingly cheesy, it feels like a classic super hero comic has finally been realised on screen with all its brilliant absurdity and awesome one-liners. Behind every great comic-book movie is also a spectacular villain and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki raises the already high bar set in the original Thor and catapults it to new wonderfully sinister heights. The film isn’t perfect however with some sags in the pace during the second quarter but this is a minor quibble when taking into account the amount it achieves with its incredible ambitions.
I could ramble on about this film until my fingers turn to stumps, but simply put the Avengers is what Hollywood blockbuster entertainment is all about. It’s loud, explosive, funny, uncompromising and will make you feel like an excited 10 year old all over again. There will be some who will feed the inevitable backlash of opinion by the time the Dark Knight Rises reigns over the box office in July, but I am pretty certain that it will never be as much fun as The Avengers. Nerds assemble and rejoice, your day has come!
By Adam Starkey