I’m sure if you speak to any Doctor Who fan, they’ll tell you that they love the 20th Anniversary story The Five Doctors. What’s not to love? All the Doctors, loads of companions and plenty of old enemies all thrown into one story.
But it wasn’t perfect.
The problem with it was that by having all these characters appearing in a the one story, it meant that there wasn’t really any room for character development. It was more a case of well-known characters making cameo appearances.
And so that brings me to Marvel’s Avengers Assemble; a film that brings together Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Incredible Hulk – all characters who have had their own film or films under the Marvel banner (pardon the pun…if you can get what the pun is) – along with other well-known Marvel characters like Nick Fury, Black Widow and Hawkeye.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know I love Superhero movies, and that I’ve been looking forward to this film ever since it was first hinted at in 2008’s Iron Man film.
So, as always, the question is ‘Did it Live Up To The Hype’?
Well, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’.
The Avengers is not a short film at over two hours long, but by being as long as it is it allows for plenty of time for each of the characters to have a good amount of development, not only on an individual basis, but also with each other.
Some of the characters didn’t really work too much on their own – the Thor film was a bit of a disappointment and the Hulk films are both crap – but they all do in this.
Take the aforementioned Thor for example. On his own Thor can be quite a difficult character to connect with. All the Asgard stuff is quite…erm…Shakespearian, with flowery English and a setting that isn’t perhaps all that identifiable. But in this film, they make fun of that. When Thor and his brother – and villain of the piece – Loki talk to each other, Iron Man (a character more viewers can identify with) takes the piss out of them. And it was funny – the audience laughed and therefore connected better with what was going on, on screen.
And there’s plenty more humour throughout the film, the best example being the scene with Loki and the Hulk. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, I’m not going to spoil the surprise. Needless to say though, everyone in attendance was in fits of laughter.
But there’s more to it than just that; the story is pretty strong throughout as the tension builds between the characters, and everything flows from A to B to C.
If I was to criticise it, it would be that the last half hour or so is all about the big budget special effects. And don’t get me wrong, because they are terrific, even in the 2D that I saw this film in, but it did go on a bit. Some people love that though, so that’s forgiveable.
Other issues I have include the fact that so many people must have died in the assault on Manhattan – far more than the amount of people who died on 9/11 for example – and yet the headlines read ‘New York Crisis Averted’.
Also, as far as character development goes, I was a bit confused by the Hulk. The first three-quarters of the film are spent with the Avengers all desperately worried that Bruce Banner will turn into the Hulk, because if he does then he’ll be an unstoppable monster without reason. And that’s exactly what he is as he fights with everyone on board the S.H.I.E.L.D. air-base, and yet for the final showdown, Banner has the Hulk as a friendly and under control alter ego that he can switch on or off as he pleases. That was too much of a leap for my liking.
And if I was going to be pernickity, I’d moan about Hawkeye not having a costume that even began to resemble that of the comic books.
Oh, and where the hell was Ant-Man? And Sub-Mariner? And Kang? Maybe next time…
Should You Go And See Marvel’s Avengers Assemble?
Any criticisms I have of this film are small. I really enjoyed it.
It looked fantastic, had a very strong cast of actors playing an equally strong set of characters (I can’t, though, have been the only one disappointed that Nick Fury didn’t say ‘Motherfucker’ at some point seeing as he was played by Samuel L. Jackson) and had a good story.
And best of all, it’s set itself up nicely for sequels and further spin-offs.
So you should absolutely give this movie a go, but I would recommend that you try to see the likes of Iron Man, Thor and especially Captain America: The First Avenger before you do. You’ll appreciate it more that way.
As An Aside…
Not strictly related to the film itself, but why do people with bad colds go to the cinema? Some woman near where I was sitting spent the entire film blowing her nose, sneezing and coughing. I mean…come on! Apart from the potential to infect those around her, she was causing a distraction, made worse by the fact she started noisily eating crisps half way through.