Thursday, 26 April 2012

Movies: Avengers Assembles the Ultimate Superhero Blockbuster

Went and saw The Avengers last night and despite my ridiculously high expectations, I was not disappointed!

From the opening pre-title sequence through to the massive, over-the-top final battle, the movie zips along at a fairly break-neck pace barely leaving time to catch breath between major action set pieces.

The movie is full of unexpected humour (who knew The Hulk could be a comedian), and the banter between the major characters feels completely natural: The Cap as the earnest boy scout, Stark's "better than  everyone in the room" attitude, Banner's quiet reserve (until not-so-quiet kicking the crap out of everything that moves) and Thor's haughtiness. It's obvious that all the actors involved loved playing their respective characters and had a lot of fun doing it.

As you'd expect, Whedon handles the multiple, larger-than-life characters expertly. For those who came in late, there's a quick introduction for each of the major players (Black Widow's is especially good) which is somewhat reminiscent of the Serenity character introduction sequence. In truth, Hawkeye feels a bit redundant to the whole endeavour, and Scarlett Johansson really doesn't get much more to do than provide some eye candy, but the rest of the ensemble are given pretty much equal screen time.

Potential Spoilers:

Loki makes for an excellent nemesis to the team, and actually comes across as genuinely menacing in some of his scenes. It's just unfortunate the when the invasion of Earth begins; it all seems a little small on scale. I have expected hundreds of thousands of aliens to all come pouring through the portal to attack the Earth rather than just the several thousand that initially appear; but I suppose they had to keep the final battle somewhat within the realms of possibility as potentially winnable by six people, and this is really only a very minor quibble.

Spoilers End.

All-in-all, The Avengers does exactly what it says on the box. It's a fun, check-your-brain-at-the-door superhero blockbuster, and will likely be the movie to beat when the year's end box office tallies are totalled up.

PS: Definitely worth seeing on the biggest screen available, and 3D is recommended.