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The Avengers (3D)

2012-04-30 12:29
 
What it's about:

When the safety of Earth is threatened by the re-emergence of Thor’s villainous brother Loki and a new weapon he develops that harnesses the power of the Tesseract, SHIELD director Nick Fury is forced to call in the big guns. He brings together Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America and two of SHIELD’s deadliest agents to take down Loki and finally kick off the proposed Avengers Initiative.

What we thought:


A project long in the works, and feverishly anticipated by comic book geeks, action freaks and Robert Downey Jr/Tony Stark devotees, it’s almost impossible to fault The Avengers, now that it’s finally, actually here.

The Avengers is truly a movie event on a spectacular scale and this adds an almost impossible level of expectation on Marvel, writer-director Joss Whedon and the cast to make all those fanboy fantasies come true.

Be assured, The Avengers is all that and a whole heap of fun to boot. We’ve come to be familiar with the individual characters over the course of a few years, with two Iron Man movies, Thor and Captain America having been introduced in their own film franchises. All are present to reprise their roles, except Edward Norton who played Dr Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk and opted out of The Avengers to make way for Mark Ruffalo as the hot-headed green giant.

As the film opens, the Avengers are scattered: Tony Stark is developing a new power source while living in something like domestic bliss with Pepper Potts. Bruce Banner has exiled himself to India where he’s figured a way to keep "the other guy" at bay. Captain Steve Rogers is a supersoldier without a war to fight.

Scarlet Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow gets a particularly great intro, while her fellow SHIELD agent Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner, who was glimpsed briefly in Thor) is compromised early on when Loki makes his entrance. When the gang finally comes together on SHIELD’s impressive aircraft carrier-cum-stealth flyer, it’s an incredibly thrilling moment, even though there is some serious doubt amongst them that it’s probably not the best idea, since one of them could explode into a destructive rage monster at any moment.

Much in-fighting ensues, especially once Loki is captured and Thor crashlands from Asgard to claim Loki as his prisoner to be dealt Asgardian justice. It’s pretty exciting just seeing all these larger than life characters all in a room together, sizing each other up and bickering like old friends.

That it all feels so natural and lived in is, of course, thanks to the wizardry of Joss Whedon himself, a true and devoted believer in the power of fantasy and science fiction as a means to explore real human relationships.

The truly magical thing about The Avengers is how well-compartmentalised it all is, allowing each and every one of our heroes an almost equal amount of screentime to flesh out their character arcs and deal with a wealth of backstory and essentially build relationships as the franchise thunders along for who knows how many more years and spin-off films. This could so easily have been a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth, and in fact turns out to be the complete opposite. The Avengers works because each character’s voice and presence matters.

The cast is as close perfection as you could imagine. I challenge anyone to suggest another actor who could infect Tony Stark with as much lovable cockiness as Robert Downey Jr, or convey the inner turmoil of Captain America – a man out of time – with the kind of affecting strength Chris Evans has brought to the character. They may wear impressive (and skintight) costumes, but the actors’ performances give weight to the characters rather than shift the focus to their heroic alter egos.

Though it’s bad boy Loki (played by a dangerously magnetic Tom Hiddleston) who steals most of the scenes, torturing the Avengers with his withering wit and steely gaze as his plot to overtake Earth and make subjects of the human race is slowly revealed. That he is Thor’s brother complicates matters even further and together with Chris Hemsworth (as the Norse god of thunder) Hiddleston’s Loki is always on the cusp of redemption (even though he’s crazier than an old lady with a bag of cats, according to Iron Man) and ever more lethal because of his sensitivity where Thor is concerned.

As expected, the chaos of the thrilling CGI action scenes as Midtown Manhattan is being obliterated by Loki’s army is a head-spinning prospect as one superhero more powerful than the next gets a turn to shine. That The Avengers is lacking an ordinary human character to ground the highly fantastical elements of the story scarcely counts against it. This is one occasion where all pretences of ordinariness should be left at the door.

Joss Whedon’s distinctive voice can be heard throughout all of the characters’ attempts at one-upmanship. It’s there in Agent Phil Coulson’s barely concealed and very sweet Captain America fandom, in the unspoken competitiveness between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, and the roguish fun that is promised around every corner.

The Avengers is exactly what it needed to be: Over the top but awe-inspiring, faithful to the characters and the comics, whip-smart and funny and, above all, an insanely good time.
 

Believe the hype. The Avengers is a perfect brew of action, villainy and all-out entertainment that brings together some of Marvel's most powerful superheroes for the first time.

NEXT ON CHANNEL24X

Snowpiercer

2014-10-10 10:59

Add Your Review

(Comments may be edited or deleted at the Channel24 editors’ discretion)
Lauren 4/26/2012 8:52 AM
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I love you Joss Whedon. I kiss your gingerific feet.
Preeti 4/26/2012 10:53 AM
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Loved the movie
Preeti 4/26/2012 10:53 AM
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Loved the movie
Renee 4/26/2012 3:56 PM
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I don't think I've ever in my life been this excited for a movie. My tickets are booked for tonight - BRING IT ON!
Erne 4/27/2012 9:23 AM
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What a master blaster. Watched it yesterday in Rustenburg, watching it today in Pretoria. Best superhero movie ever made thus far
Alyson 4/27/2012 2:23 PM
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Thoroughly enjoyed it. Loved the humour.
Jaco 4/27/2012 5:29 PM
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This is one super super hero hero movie!
Mojojo 4/27/2012 5:33 PM
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Best super hero flick ever. The first movie in a very long time that I have really enjoyed. Came out the cinema saying that I could so easily walk back in there and watch it again. Very well done to Joss Whedon, actors and crew. The humour was also top draw.
sara iwola 4/27/2012 6:47 PM
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Heather 4/27/2012 8:43 PM
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Watched it yesterday. Brilliant movie with amazing special effects. Worth watching in 3D
Lardus 4/28/2012 9:26 AM
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Saw this movie on launch day. Watching it again with friends on Monday! They way Hulk and "goldilocks" behave, especially that one bit close to the end, is so true to the cartoons I have seen! Pre-ordering the DVD as well!
wysiwyg 4/28/2012 12:13 PM
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american crap american propaganda stereotypes
Tertia 4/29/2012 12:06 AM
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Very entertaining
Leona 4/29/2012 3:01 PM
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Wow- the movie was awesome. A must for every super hero fan
Nico 4/29/2012 3:03 PM
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I'm so getting the blu-ray! Already saw it on big screen, will watch it again next week. Please let them assemble in a sequel!
Avenger 4/29/2012 6:08 PM
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Awesome movie. DO IT AND WATCH IT
HULK 4/29/2012 8:48 PM
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Plot is paper thin. Alot of the movie doesn't make sense, over the top but it's a fun, action, blow up stuff, fantasy kinda movie. Go in with the right mindset and you'll love it. try to see it in 2D. 3D is pretty useless. Watch it in 2D if possible. I often took off my glasses to try to see the action during alot of the darker scenes.
PJ 4/30/2012 8:39 AM
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Watched the movie it was fantastic but it would of been nice if they had Super Heroes from across the world assist them in their hour of need. Why is it always the Americans saving the World.
Dean 4/30/2012 8:50 AM
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The movie was brilliant - watched it 2 times - 3D is great. It was a movie for the FANS and for maybe not for prudes like HULK whose comments maybe are better suited to movies like The Piano and The Iron Lady ,etc. Best Super Hero Movie Ever.
Belinda 4/30/2012 10:07 AM
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WELL DONE, 3D is the best, IRON MAN RULES loved the humor and will watch it again. Can't wait for a sequel PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
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