Saturday, 5 May 2012

Film Review: Avengers Assemble

Or, as it should be written, "Avengers! Assemble!", in a big booming voice. In America it's just been titled "The Avengers", but someone, somewhere, thought us Brits would get confused between this and the truly dire 1998 film of the same name. Regardless of the name change, the film itself was great fun, and packed to the gills with action, humour and explosions. In other words; prime blockbuster stuff.

The story is relatively simple; Loki has returned from where ever he went at the end of "Thor" and is hell-bent on stealing the Tesseract (a glowing cube of energy) and using it to bring an army to earth, installing himself as our ruler. So far, so evil. To stop him are an eclectic group of super-powered individuals, many of whom have had their own films in the last few years. Only by working together (despite the fact that they really, really don't get on) can they ever hope to defeat Loki and his army.

As you can see the plot is simplistic, but this works in the film's favour, especially given how many characters we have to follow, relate to, and root for. It would have been all too easy for one of them to hog screen time, or to be lost in the background, but Joss Whedon has managed to give them all equal treatment. This means it really does feel like a team effort in the final climactic moments, rather than a one man/woman show.

Humour is abundant in "Avenger's Assemble" and I suspect it's this, rather than the action, that is going to draw audiences back to it again and again. There are quips aplenty (as should be expected with a Whedon production) and some wonderful moments of slapstick, that had every person in the cinema I saw it in roaring with laughter. The beauty of this is, even though personal information is a little slim for most of the characters, you still empathise with them. This is especially true of the Hulk; he has a super power that at first doesn't seem all that super. By the end of Avengers it's clear how amazing his abilities are and that the man/beast has great comedy timing.

If for some reason you haven't seen this film yet (you've been under a rock, imprisoned by a cult, etc), you should definitely find a showing near you. But avoid the 3D version; it adds absolutely nothing to it, and is completely pointless, with only a few shots here and there being in 3D. The film is enough entertainment on its own.

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