movies: the avengers

avengers assemble
First off... Joss Muthafuckin Whedon!

At the nexus point in the Venn diagram of "character", "comedy" and "action" is the name Joss Whedon! And he brings all three out in equal measure in The Avengers.

He also manages to take characters from three different movies and make them all fit into the same one seamlessly. Yes, a chunk of that is down to the actors, but the writing certainly helps.

And what a group of actors... I really don't think there's a wrong foot anywhere...

Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth all bring back their larger than life characters. Technically Evans' Captain America is the least fleshed out of the three... Downey's Iron Man has two movies worth of character under his belt and gets 95% of all the really great lines... Hemsworth's Thor has all the backstory with the villain (although I did spend a good portion of the movie wanting to wash and brush his blonde locks since they just looked all stringy and not especially godlike)... but Evans' character feels less important somehow... he still has some good moments, but he just feels the least developed.

Mark Ruffalo's Hulk is really the best interpretation I've seen of the character... not only is the Hulk CGI the best yet... actually keeping/using Ruffalo's face/performance... but Ruffalo's performance as Banner is actually something interesting as opposed to just filling in time until the green dude turns up.

And the more normal members of the Avengers, Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye and Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow both get their particular moments in the sun.

If fact, all the characters have their own moments... particularly during both the major action piece about halfway through the movie, but also in the latter part of the movie which is essentially one giant action piece. And there's some nice moments of different characters being matched up with characters they really haven't had much time with previously, which works well... makes them feel much more team like.

Plus, Samuel L. Jackson being all Samuel L. Jacksoney.

The only possible weak link amongst the smaller roles was Cobie Smulders... not because she was bad, far from it... I just had trouble getting away from her "How I Met Your Mother" character... and I don't even watch the show.

I'm also not 100% sold on Tom Hiddleston's Loki as the major villain... again, not that he was bad... he still brings the magnetism he brought to his role in Thor, and I know that Loki is instrumental in bringing together the Avengers in the comic books... but he just didn't quite seem like he was enough of a physical villain to actually require the team to unite... he feels like more of a sneaky cerebral villain.

I'm not completely sure that the 3D is a required thing though... it wasn't bad 3D by any stretch of the imagination, in fact the whole movie looks fantastic, but I'm just not sure how much it really added apart from maybe one or two sequences in the final battle.

It's a long movie at 142 minutes, but once it ramps up it never feels that long... although I did feel like it took the movie a little while to find it's feet... it really wasn't until all the characters are together in one place and things start to go crazy that I really started to enjoy myself, and I think I was sitting there with a grin on my face for the remainder of the movie.

And as I mentioned at the beginning, there are a few moments of seriously laugh out loud comedy... and most of them, oddly enough, come from The Hulk once he appears. Although there are other great lines from most of the other characters at one point or another.

It's definitely the best of all of the recent Marvel universe movies, and amongst the best movies in the superhero genre.

yani's rating: 4 armoured space fish out of 5

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