It’s a good thing that the film itself is much better than the film’s title because Marvel’s Avengers Assemble is a bad name, but there is a reason for this name change. The fear which British distributors held is that they believed some people would think that a film called The Avengers will be a remake of the 1970s TV show also called The Avengers and then turn up to find that the film they actually are going to see has very little in common with the film they thought they were going to see. Anyway Marvel Avengers Assemble could be called anything and still make several £100,000,000.
The planet is in danger of being enslaved by a God from another planet; his name is Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who is Thor’s (adopted) brother. Loki is allowed to reach planet Earth via a Tesseract and upon arriving on Earth goes about causing all sorts of mayhem. The world is in a desperate situation and thus Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) recruits the main Avengers in a mission to protect the Earth. These Avengers are Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and finally Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).
It is perhaps advisable (advisable not vital) that, before you go and see The Avengers, you see the likes of Thor, Captain America and Iron Man because none of their origin stories are explained in the film (because they are explained in previous films) as writer and director Joss Whedon leaps straight into the action. Almost instantly the world is under threat as Whedon wastes no time bringing in the explosions as Loki finds his way into S.H.E.I.L.D’s secret base and causes mayhem. Avengers is on a quite impressive scale as Manhattan gets destroyed yet again, however if the film was 145 minutes of explosions, no matter the sheer size of the film, it would become rather monotonous like a Transformers movie. Thankfully, unlike Michael Bay, Joss Whedon can write more than mindless action. It pays off that Whedon is a clear fan of the genre as in another director’s hands The Avengers may not be quite as entertaining as it was.
The central plot of the film isn’t the most exciting thing Joss Whedon probably could come up with, the central plot is an alien race wishes to enslave mankind, not the most original and interesting of ideas, however Joss Whedon’s script is impressive enough and the performances are engaging enough for the film to play out in an exciting way despite, on paper, the central plot appearing slightly dull. The Avengers works best when the central characters are bickering and squabbling together, that’s not to say that the action isn’t exciting, but the film so much more engaging, amusing and enjoyable when the Avengers are interacting with one another. It is the humour that is peppered throughout the film’s running time which stops the film becoming dull and repetitive in the action sequences, which are rather similar to that of Transformers 3 (the final fight for Earth for example). That said, while there is moments of humour, some of the jokes rather miss the target.
What also stops the film becoming slightly tedious is the collection of superb performances from almost the entire cast involved; however I still feel that Chris Evans is slightly bland as Captain America. Yet that said the likes of Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are all superb, but it’s Robert Downey Jr who steals every scene he is in with glee thanks to a fantastic performance as the fast talking and arrogant Iron Man, and Tom Hiddleston, in a close second, is delightfully menacing as Loki. Due to the fact of the numerous Avengers movies that have come out in recent years there is very little need to explain the backstories of the likes of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor etc. However the characters of Black Widow and Hawkeye have not had movies based on their experiences in recent years so those who do not read comic books are unaware of their back-stories. Whedon spends some time on these smaller Avengers but very little is explained about Hawkeye’s back-story (just a mention that he disobeyed orders that commanded him to kill Black Widow), however more time is spent on Black Widow who is a better written character than that of Hawkeye.
There are some issues, at 145 minutes long The Avengers is slightly too long, perhaps it could do with a 15-20 minute trim, it is because of this the film feels rather flabby in the middle, but Joss Whedon does such a terrific job interacting most of the characters with other characters that The Avengers is mostly entertaining throughout its running time. Working simultaneously with Joss Whedon’s impressive script is a collection of superb performances that makes The Avengers higher in quality than most other summer blockbusters that will be released this year. Yet despite having six Avengers, Marvel Avengers Assemble is not the biggest superhero movie of the year. Also, like with so many Avengers movies is best not to leave when the credits roll.