Written by J.T. Johnson
In 2008, there was an idea that began in a simple post-credit scene following “Iron Man”. Both in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and behind-the-scenes in the real world, the Avengers Initiative officially began. Throughout every subsequent Marvel movie including “The Incredible Hulk”, “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger”, audiences were teased about the impending arrival of “The Avengers”.
Now, the film is finally here and it’s time to figure out whether or not the epic superhero film can rise to the hype surrounding it. With the origins of the characters firmly established in their own films, director Joss Whedon’s film is about whether or not these individual characters can come together for a bigger threat. One thing is for sure, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is going to have a pretty big challenge on his hands.
Captain America (Chris Evans) would be the perfect leader, but he’s still dealing with the fact that he has just been thawed out from the Antarctic. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) doesn’t play well with others. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is just trying to catch his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and challenges anyone who will get in his way. Finally, the good Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) is just trying to deal with his… issues.
Unfortunately, Thor’s evil brother has also joined forces with the Chitauri, an alien race who is hell-bent on invading Earth. While Loki also wants to rule Earth, he has also chosen the planet because of Thor’s affection for the world. Now, all of the diverse superheroes must put away their own reservations about S.H.I.E.L.D. and take down Loki’s army.
Whedon has successfully crafted a new origin story for the formation of the Avengers. The “Firefly” creator has always been able to work well with an ensemble cast and he is perfectly suited for the epic ambition behind this movie. The scenes in between the action pieces are just as significant as the superheroes discuss their very human problems with clever dialogue and even more character development that the Marvel movies have been known for in the past.
It also helps that Whedon has a premade cast that is also up to the task of working together with characters that they have come to know very well. Downey Jr., Evans and Hemsworth not only know their characters but also the world they inhabit. Downey Jr. is just as funny and narcissistic as ever and Evans proves once again that his character is capable to lead this ragtag team of extraordinary people.
The one new actor to the cast is Ruffalo as Dr. Banner. It was sad when it was announced that Edward Norton was not returning, but Ruffalo fills the shoes perfectly. He understands Bruce’s tragic predicament and one of the more memorable scenes comes when Tony and Bruce talk about their unwanted ailments and how they deal with them in order to help others. After watching Ruffalo’s performance, it would now be great to see the character star in his own film once again.
Finally, there is the action, which is simply fantastic. Whedon pulls no punches with every bit of the insanity that ensues. From the Avengers’ first explosive encounters to the climactic battles that follow, the audiences will definitely be entertained by what they see.
The entire film starts off on the highest note and never lets up. Fortunately, it also does not forget that these are genuine characters and despite the size of the cast, Whedon never shortchanges any of them. There is no doubt that there will be a sequel sometime in the future. If the people at Marvel are smart, they will do whatever it takes to put Whedon back behind the script and the camera.