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This was the end of Marvel's phase one; the film that took the bubbling phenomenon and cemented it as modern pop culture. And it's fantastic.
So, a difficult premise for the filmmakers to paste together - a plot to combine the forces of Captain America, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the Black Widow, and Hawkeye. With Agent Coulson and Nick Fury thrown in for good luck. I have to say, the challenge was well and truly risen to - a cohesive plot that didn't feel forced but allowed the well-loved characters from the Marvel arsenal to retain their independent personalities. True, some scenes feel just a little rushed, but when you have a job this big some of the edges are going to be a bit rough.
All in all, this is job done. A credible threat, and the heart and soul of Marvel, while retaining the humour associated with the brand.
And the big bad - which it isn't a spoiler to say is Tom Hiddleston as Loki - is simply amazing. As compelling as he was is whenever he brings out the role, somehow Hiddleston makes your heart stay with Loki where your head is telling you Thor needs to win to stop the big bad results.
Younger Marvel/superhero fans will love this (though use your discretion - it may be a bit violent/distressing for some kiddies to deal with) but it's the teenage and older market that will truly appreciate the feat of producing such a compelling blockbuster with finesse.
Action-filled with a well-rounded plot and characters, this will appeal to a wide audience. Some argue that you need to have seen the previous Marvel films to really understand this - but I personally don't believe that this is true, so long as you're willing to accept that they do make the odd (relatively spoiler-free considering) reference to the previous Marvel movies for continuity's sake.
So finally all the pieces come together – all the little hints and cameos from the earlier Marvel films pay off, and we get the big superhero mash-up we've been promised. Thor's archenemy Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is back, and he's using the macguffin from the Captain America film to summon an alien army to conquer the earth for him. Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) activates his team of superheroes. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and new boy Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner, who had a cameo in Thor) have to stop the aliens and learn to work together.
This is the best of the bunch, and makes you wonder how anyone could think of going back to individual superhero movies afterwards. The comics always had superheroes fight one another on their first meeting, and that happens here, with Thor and Iron Man going at it hammer and tongs in impressive fashion. Hawkeye is even mind-controlled by Loki for most of the movie. A lot of fun is had with the characters' interactions (although Captain America is a bit dull).
And it pays off with a terrific final battle sequence, as the aliens attempt to lay waste to Manhattan (all those skyscrapers getting smashed up might have been a bit of a sore point a few years ago...). Everyone gets to show off their powers, although the Hulk gets the two best moments. It's a special effects extravaganza, but gives us enough human moments that it's never alienating.
Everyone reprises their parts from earlier films (including a few support actors like Gwyneth Paltrow). They're all fun, although inevitably Downey and Hiddleston are the best. Mark Ruffalo replaces Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, and thankfully is a great deal more endearing. Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye is the other new addition, and he's perfectly decent in the least promising part. Small parts are played by great actors like Powers Boothe and Harry Dean Stanton, and even Jenny Agutter gets in on the act.
And of course it has plenty of little hints for future films, including an appearance by uber-cosmic villain Thanos at the end, to tie into the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. If future Avengers films are this good, they'll be a pleasure. I just hope they don't keep piling new characters in to please comic book fans and end up like X-Men 3, when no one had a chance to breathe.
The only major problem with the film is that it makes a lot more sense if you've seen the films that lead up to it. But then if you're interested in it, you probably have…
This is readily available on DVD and blu-ray for less than £10. Worth every penny.
As I a MARVEL fan I obviously found this film very entertaining. Leading on from all the films that make up phase one of the MARVEL cinematic universe, the avengers get together to defeat Thor's brother Loki. Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Captain America and Hawkeye all team up in this epic adventure to save the Earth. I think that the story line is extremely well done as it has brought together all of the other films in the cinematic universe to make one amazing film. I would recommend it to any MARVEL fan out there even if you haven't seen any of the other films as it is a brilliant way to get yourself into them. The one thing that I didn't necessarily like is that the story line was a bit too predictable and there were no plot twists or anything to make that little bit more interesting.
Avengers Assemble is the long-anticipated Marvel mash-up that unites several superheroes from other films together at last to face a common enemy; namely Thor's evil half-brother Loki who wants to unleash all manner of holy hell upon the Earth!
Thankfully Nick Fury from S.H.I.E.L.D has been anticipating such an event and has scrambled together The Avengers Initiative to combat just such a menace. If only they will just work together....
Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye and Black Widow make up the team this time around and the combination of all their egos makes for an uneasy alliance at first. In time though, the team quickly learn that the only way to beat Loki is for them all to work together...
This has been a film a long time in coming. Teasers have been planted after the credits in all of the biggest Marvel Superhero films in recent years. Anticipation for this then was high and thankfully, I can say hand on heart that it has been well worth it! Mark Ruffalo impresses as the latest Hulk, Chris Evans as Captain America makes a very welcome return and Downey Jnr is sublime as always. Johannsen is sexy and feisty as always and it is only Thor and Hawkeye who ever so slightly let the film down. Thor because his was the least impressive of all the individual characters' films so far and Hawkeye because we get very little back-story and only the briefest of introductions to him. Also, he just feels like the weakest character here!
I must admit, after Thor, I had doubts towards Loki being the main villain but you know what? It actually works. It will come to no surprise to learn that Loki is not working alone however and an after-credits sequence again reveals a lead-in to next years Guardians Of The Galaxy film and the forthcoming Avengers 2 which you just KNOW is going to be happening!
This film was a big draw at the Box Office and Marvel must be rubbing their hands together in glee. But while the story here is not the most original of Superhero plots, still this film manages to stand out as one of the biggest hits in Marvel's stable so far!
If you are a big Marvel Comics fan, prepare to be thrilled!
If you hate Superheroes then don't worry, I'm sure another chick-flick/ romantic comedy will be out soon....
My only complaint. It takes a while to really get started and it is a tad long. Still, once things do kick off, it never relents its pace.
Basically, ignore all the other hype and make your own mind up but, in my opinion, Avengers Assemble is definitely one to watch!
As you may be able to tell from reading my previous reviews, I'm more of a horror or comedy fan. As an older lady, this move genre isn't my cup of tea at all and I haven't seen any of the previous cartoons or read the comics surrounding these famous characters either so it's not a film I fancied from the adverts or when it first came out. I ended up watching this because my Grandson who's almost 7 is into super hero's and this sort of film so when I saw it was on Sky, I recorded it for him to watch when he came round and I ended up watching it too.
Though I'm not a super hero fan myself, I'm aware that Marvel and DC characters have been around for years entertaining kids as far back as 1939 with their comic books that were later made into cartoons and films. They've made a lot of money from the various characters that they've created including Captain America, The Hulk and Thor.
The film itself is about Thors step-brother Loki wanting to invade the Earth with the Chitauri army. He uses the tesseract power to come from Asgard to earth to unleash the army and rule the world. When it's realised by Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D that global security is being compromised, he brings together Iron man, Captain America, The hulk, Hawkeye and The Black widow as the Avengers team to use their powers together to beat Loki and the Chitauri army. It sounds rather simple, five super hero's versus one evil step-brother and an army he's trying to raise but it's much more complicated and bumpy than it sounds.
The film itself is incredibly well made. It's easy to see that it wasn't a low budget film and I've researched and found that it cost around $220 million to make. I'm not too suprised as the special effects are outstanding and really impressive as are the fight scenes between the characters. There's no poor effects or obvious mistakes in the film. The characters costumes and make up is brilliantly done, my favourite has to be Iron man as it's just such a crazy but strangely realistic idea that they've put in the film. Iron man is also the only Avenger character film that I've seen both of and enjoyed so that's probably made me a little biased.
Although I'm not familiar with the characters in the film, you do get a chance to get to know them as the film progresses. I learnt a little about the origin of Captain America and the psychological effects of the Hulk on Bruce Banner. With the use of witty one-liners and banter between the characters, you're able to feel a connection with all of them which makes the film a lot more interesting to watch as you actually care about what happens to the characters a lot more. I always think that's the sign of a good book or film when you connect with the characters.
The casting in this film, in my opinion, was done really well. I'm quite a fan of Robert Downey Junior anyway from the previous Iron man films. I find him quite easy on the eye and generally really fun wit his stuck up, sarcastic attitude to everything. I think he plays a really dislikable character with some sort of hidden charm which makes you like him despite him being someone you'd probably hate in real life. I really liked Tom Hiddleston too. I'm not familiar with any of his other work but he plays Loki, the evil step-brother of Thor. He's just fantastically evil in this film to the point where it's almost comical. Considering he's the baddie of the film, I actually really liked his character too as he has some great one-liners in the movie. Chris Hemsworth was chosen to play Thor which I think was wise as he's a great young actor, I think we'll see a lot more of him in future movies as he did this role really well and is quite charismatic. He brings good energy to the roll. I really like Scarlet Johansson who played The Black Widow but I must admit I didn't really see the point in her character as she didn't really contribute a whole lot to the film. She's a great actress and I wouldn't knock her for her performance but I didn't see the need for the female super hero who can't do a great deal of super things. The only character I wasn't mad on was Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. I don't know what it is about him. I saw him in 13 going on 30 and Shutter Island and I just took a bit of a disliking to him. He is a good actor but I didn't really think he was 'cool' enough for the role. Not when he was starring next to actors like Robert Downey Jr and Chris Hemsworth, he's just quite bland and not my favourite although the Hulk looks amazing in the film.
This film had the potential to be quite boring which is what I expected. I expected a big mess with a lot of shooting and brawling with an obvious outcome at the end. There are long fight scenes and there is a lot of brawling but I have to admit, to my own suprise, that I actually loved the film. There were parts where I was sat at the edge of my seat not knowing what was coming next, parts where I was laughing and fast paced fight scenes that I had to rewind because I missed a bit. For me, the film was made a lot better with the comical side and use of quirky dialogue between characters throughout. They just made me laugh and connect with them and made the film so much more interesting. My Grandson did watch the film, happily sitting still for the first hour then gradually moving closer to his toy box till he was playing with his toys whilst watching out the corner of his eye but still enough to moan when I rewound it. He enjoyed it but I think the running time of 143 minutes was far too much for his concentration span, bless him.
Overall, this is a really good film. That's perhaps an understatement, I think this is a great film, well made, beautiful special effects, good cast, quirky, fun and a rather gripping storyline. I'd definitely recommend this though I would recommend recording it or getting the DVD because it's a long time to sit still and you don't want to miss a minute of this as it's so action packed!
As X-Men essentially popularised the superhero genre back in 2000, moviegoers have been bombarded with adaptations of both Marvel and DC comic heroes throughout the past decade. Some, like the aforementioned X-Men film, were great while stinkers like Daredevil left viewers sour. The past four years, however, have seen Marvel working towards their most ambitious project yet: Avengers Assemble. As both superheroes and actors unite together for a blood-pumping action film, Avengers raises the bar for Marvel superhero movies considerably, delivering a close rival to The Dark Knight.
It's worth noting that those who haven't watched the films allocated to "Phase One" of The Marvel Cinematic Universe may find themselves somewhat confused, as references and characters from the five films in this phase are frequent. The overarching plot is simple though: Loki, brother of Thor, is enraged from discovering his adopted origins, and wishes to unleash an army called the Chitauri. Nick Fury places all his chips in the Avengers project - the assembling of the world's greatest superheroes as one team - in order to stop this madman unleashing world destruction. But it's not all he bargained for, with members of the team conflicting and a hell of an argument at the mid-point. All told, it's not exactly food for thought.
So, you're probably thinking how an earth does this raise the bar for superhero movies if it's got such a basic plot? For starters, this is the culmination of teasing which has occurred for years. At the end of The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 1/2, Thor and Captain America, little teasers hinting at an Avengers film popped up, slowly but surely increasing our anticipation. The five films in Phase One which preceded Avengers are all solid in quality, particularly Iron Man, and it allows viewers to connect with these actors and characters before they unite in this film. Make no mistake: everything comes full circle in The Avengers and its immensely satisfying to watch.
But Avengers Assemble itself has so many positive traits that the film itself is entirely watchable, if a bit confusing, if you jump straight in without any experience with the previous films.
This is no doubt due to director Joss Whedon. His directing and screenplay are simply fantastic: every action scene has punch, every witty one-liner hits the mark - with some which are just laugh-out-loud funny - and it all just feels great to watch. Though it has some moments with darker tones, much of Avengers Assemble is upbeat and exciting, contrasting The Dark Knight's constant brooding. Highlights include the exciting encounter between Thor and Iron Man a little way in, as well as the staggering 30 minute action scene right at the end, which is so satisfying you could watch that sequence multiple times and never get bored. And it smartly avoids the negative traits of modern Hollywood Blockbusters, for example not having that irritating shaky-camera which nauseates me to no end!
That being said, Whedon doesn't skimp on the Hollywood Budget. Many scenes throughout are visually impressive to watch, whether it's the revealing of the invisible Heli-carrier, the explosive fight sequences or the simply bombastic final fight sequence in New York, depicting a beautifully destroyed city. Most of the costume design is great too, though Captain America's suit looks somewhat cheap as if it could be brought from Toys 'R' Us. The Hulk is brought to life using a motion capture suit, and needless to say it's probably the best looking Hulk in terms of live-action Marvel films. We've sure come a long way from the 2003 outing. It manages to constantly surprise you too, especially watching new Iron Man equipment being utilised in the final fight.
Avengers Assemble is perhaps the most humanistic film from Marvel to date, making it easy to connect with what happens. Despite the large cast, every character is given equal time to explore their human side. We see how Captain America feels after being comatose in ice for decades, waking up in a completely different America. Bruce Banner describes how he copes with his "big guy", and the psychological effects it has on him. The two agents, Black Widow and Hawkeye, frequently reminisce upon old operations and how they felt after it, as well as making literal comparisons to their past. Every character gets plenty of screen time, and the human script brings these comic book heroes to life as well as makes them easy to connect to.
The great acting helps this. Robert Downey Jr. is always a treat to watch, as his snarky and narcissistic personality is both hilarious and intense when he conflicts with other heroes. Chris Evans is a believable leader - something which wasn't explored enough in his solo film outing - especially in that last action sequence where he issues commands with ease. Scarlett Johansson feels more developed, especially during an emotional conversation with Loki, while Jeremy Renner is appropriately badass as Hawkeye. But the real star of the show is Mark Ruffalo, replacing Edward Norton as The Hulk. Norton was great, but Ruffalo is an excellent replacement, giving perhaps the best Hulk performance to date. You feel his emotional torture when he is human, giving so much weight to this character like never before. Other actors include Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury, Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson and Tom Hiddleston returning as Loki, and they all do an admirable job and deliver their lines with justice to Whedon's typically challenging scripts.
There is a level of patience required with this film. For one thing, its 2 hours and 17 minutes long, making it one of the longer superhero movies to come out (though it's eclipsed by Dark Knight Rises' bloated run time). It definitely isn't a bore most times, with a solid balance of action, comedy and drama to keep things fresh and interesting. That being said, it can feel like the first half of the film is taking a while to get into gear, though once you hit that intense argument aboard the Heli-Carrier the pacing is kicked up considerably. And if you break it down, Whedon really hasn't created a product which is different from other Marvel works. It is, however, a product that is of significantly higher quality: anything before this actually seems boring compared to the scale and excitement present here, and any moviegoer surely can't ask for more than that.
So yes, this isn't great in the Citizen Kane sense. The simplistic story has been done before - and more than likely in other Marvel films - while it's long running time may seem bloated to some. But Whedon's craft here is simply excellent, featuring some of the best fight scenes to ever grace a comic book film. Nothing is more badass than watching Iron Man and Thor duke it out for the first time. The technical aspects are top notch, the acting is great, and it's everything followers of Marvel's Phase 1 have been waiting for after those devilish teases. It may be a popcorn flick, but this one is covered in caramel and whipped cream, resulting in a scrumptious film. Now comes the long, torturous wait for Phase Two and what will transpire.
Marvel Avengers Assemble (DVD) only
I have to admit I'm not an avid comic book reader - so I am rating this movie purely on what I have seen, and how much I enjoyed it. It may not be true to what should happen in the world of Marvel - but on this I cannot comment.
I have seen some of the other Marvel movies (Iron Man, Hulk), but the others that probably should have been watched have passed me by. I had tried to wait to watch this movie but after seeing Iron Man (Last week) I couldn't wait...
Also as a warning - SPOILER ALERT!!
So the movie begins when Loki - Brother of Thor arrives in this universe to steal the Tesseract, an artefact that will allow him to open a portal from his own universe to ours thus giving him the opportunity to bring across an army with which to gain unprecedented power. (So the usual super hero stuff really).
Enter S.H.I.E.L.D an agency pulled together by Samuel L. Jackson. A previously shelved concept, as it was felt that there would be too many personality clashes, and they were just a little hesitant to let the Hulk loose if they could avoid it.
I have to admit to still living in the dark ages, and as such I watched the DVD on a non HD t.V - but the special effects still looked spectacular. There were also some really good performances - namely Iron Man, and of course the HUlk. I'm a fan of the one liners that inter space the 'end of the world doom' that the movie is plugging, and both Iron Man and Hulk will make you chuckle throughout.
My favourite aspect of the movie is that Hulk (or the 'Other Guy') is getting to come out of his shell. He seems to be developing a character, and as Bruce Banner learns to control his dark side the dark side seems to be gaining a sense of humour... I mean he may still need anger management classes, but seriously 'Puny God!!!!!' LOL.
There are great performances from basically all the cast, and I even enjoyed Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow. (The Hawkeye / Natasha Romanoff link is one that has passed me by, so I feel a bit of a movie night coming on to fill in that knowledge)...
The movie moved at a fast pace - as expected by an 'action' super hero type movie. I personally felt that it was pretty epic. It gets five stars from me, and it'd get more but the system won't allow it.
It's a great (kind of light hearted) film, that the whole family (Over 12's anyway) can enjoy.
Cast overview (From IMDB)
Robert Downey Jr. ... Tony Stark / Iron Man
Chris Evans ... Steve Rogers / Captain America
Mark Ruffalo ... Bruce Banner / The Hulk
Chris Hemsworth ... Thor
Scarlett Johansson ... Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
Jeremy Renner ... Clint Barton / Hawkeye
Tom Hiddleston ... Loki
Clark Gregg ... Agent Phil Coulson
Cobie Smulders ... Agent Maria Hill
Stellan Skarsgård ... Selvig
Samuel L. Jackson ... Nick Fury
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Pepper Potts
Approx 137 minutes
Currently priced from around £7.99 on-line.
Directed by Joss Whedon (Firefly fans will be pleased)
NB: This is a review of The Avengers combined with a comparison of this film to The Dark Knight Rises. You can check out my review of The Dark Knight Rises here.
So I'm way behind the times and I've only just managed to watch The Avengers but I have to say I wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be. Sure, it's a pretty spectacular movie with the right script, the right cast, the right director, yada yada yada, but I still can't shake the feeling that it was hyped up to be a lot more than it actually was. It probably doesn't help that I saw The Dark Knight Rises before seeing The Avengers as I was so completely mind blown by that I don't think that another film will live up to the high bar that TDKR has set up in my brain.
Now before I write this review, I have something to admit. I haven't seen The Incredible Hulk or Iron Man or Thor or read any Marvel Comics about any of the characters mentioned in this film. The only film that I had seen was Captain America, because let's face it, Chris Evans is super hot. I was worried that I perhaps wouldn't quite understand all of the characters or what was going on in this film but you don't really any need superhero movie knowledge prior to watching this film. I was also worried that perhaps the combination of so many brilliant characters would be an onscreen disaster rather than masterpiece, but thankfully it was the later.
This film starts off with Loki (Thor's brother) stealing the Tesseract, an alien source of energy, and threatening to enslave the entire human race with the help of an extra-terrestrial army. In order to combat this, Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson), the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D, a covert government unit, assembles together a group of superheros, collectively known as 'The Avengers'. The Avengers is made up of Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye. Things don't go as smoothly as Nick Fury hoped as it's hard to get all the members of the team to cooperate and get along with each other which they need to do in order to defeat Loki.
I had been putting off watching The Avengers for a number of reasons, primarily because I hate Robert Downey Jr. and anything to do with Iron Man, which, incidentally, I haven't even seen. I'm not really sure why, but I just really don't like him as an actor and the Iron Man movies never really appealed to me. However, after having seen The Avengers movie, I am now a pretty big fan of Robert Downey Jr and he is definitely my favourite Avenger. Another reason why I prefer TDKR to The Avengers is probably because I hated Robert Downey Jr/Iron Man, just as much, if not more, than I hated Christian Bale/Batman, but I didn't feel the same sort of epic transformation after watching The Avengers as I did after watching TDKR.
The other actors in the Avengers were also brilliant. The brilliant thing about all the actors in this film is that they were all so versatile. They could all play their characters in a funny way and in a serious way and they also managed to preserve their characters' unique personalities even when The Avengers had all come together. I've never heard of the Black Widow in my life so I'm still not really sure what sort of character she was supposed to be, but Scarlett Johanson did a kick-ass job. I can't really single out any actor for being particularly impressive, apart from Robert Downey Jr. as I mentioned above. If I had to pick one of the character's as the leader of The Avengers, it would definitely be Tony Stark, as you can see above he is even in the forefront of the movie's poster. As far as I'm aware he wasn't officially a leader, but it sure felt like he had the biggest role to play and had more of a grip on the situation than the other characters. All the characters had mini sub-plots going on but the one that was the most prominent, and the only one that I can really remember, was that of Tony Stark (yay romance!).
The CGI effects in this film were pretty impressive, though I didn't see this film in the cinema, so some of the impact of them was lost on me. This film involved quite a lot of extra-terrestrial interaction which is quite hard to pull off well because in most films everything just looks completely fake, but it was all authentic-looking in The Avengers. There is a particularly large battle scene towards the end of the film when an entire city is pretty much wrecked as the Avengers battled Loki's army and it looked like a real battle could have just taken place. There are also quite a lot of robotics and high-tech-looking things in this film which also looked like they could have been real which made the whole film so much more believable. Again, I think TDKR beat The Avengers on this front because the CGI effects in that made my jaw drop and I didn't get the same reaction whilst watching The Avengers, but they were stunning nonetheless.
I was surprised to see that Rotten Tomatoes gave The Avengers a rating of 92% and The Dark Knight Rises a rating of 87% when I believe that TDKR was as good as, if not better, than The Avengers. I think the reason for this is probably because The Dark Knight was seen to be the best in the trilogy by many that it was nigh on impossible for The Dark Knight Rises to compete with it, whereas The Avengers some average to amazing superhero characters making this film better than anything Marvel had come up with before. As you can see both movies have incredibly high and impressive ratings and it is pretty difficult to compare these two movies as they have completely different tones. The Avengers is quite light-hearted and funny as well as action packed whilst TDKR is serious, deep and mindblowing (as well as action-packed). These are both brilliant films and I wouldn't say that either one could outright beat the other; however, I personally preferred TDKR by far and in my opinion it ticks more of a film critic's boxes.
I could ramble for days about why I prefer TDKR to The Avengers, but I don't want to bore you. All in all, both are absolutely phenomenal films that are an absolute must watch. They both incredible casts, directors, CGI effects, plot lines, they've got it all. The main difference between the two would be the overall tone of the films. The Avengers is the sort of film I'd watch when I'm in the mood to be entertained but TDKR is one I'd watch when I'm ready to be completely mind-blown.
Star - The Avengers!
Genre - Comic Book/Action
County - USA
Certificate - 12a
Run Time - 143 minutes
Blockbusters - £3.50 per night
Amazon - £10.99 DVD (£16.19p Blue Ray)
Captain America: 'Stark, are you seeing any of this?
Tony Stark: 'Seeing, still working on believing'.
So, after a six picture deal with Paramount Studios the Marvel franchise has passed to Disney, who picked it up at The Avengers and then Iron Man 3 stage, The Avengers immediately breaking the record by being the first film in the Marvel genre to pass the one billion dollar mark in takings, recently surpassing the DC Comics Dark Knight record of $1.1 billion dollars for a superhero film, only the 12th film in Hollywood history to make the one billion bucks, and this from just a $220 million budget. It currently stands at $1.5 billion take, fan boys and girls the driver of modern day cinema takings now. I think it's fair to say it was a good investment by Disney.
The dollar signs must have been there from the off for Disney when they realized they could put all of the original Avengers in the same film. I suspect George Lucas had similar salivations over the Star Wars toy and comic sales when he finally rebooted the franchise. Not only do we get all five characters together in a schwashbuckling movie but that will help Disney to fire up those characters in individual projects through all aspects of their business and so more Marvel character films and toys to come. We all love what Rob Downey Junior has done with Iron Man and what hunky hotties Chris Hemsworth and Steve Evans have done with Thor and Captain America respectively and we can only except the same with Jez Renner as Hawkeye and Scarlett Johansson with the Black Widow. Best not mention the Hulk though as Paramount nearly finished him off and certainly made the Marvel fans mad enough to turn green with those shocking efforts. Not surprisingly Ed Norton surrendered the chance to play the Hulk here and lumbered it with romcom wimp Mark Ruffalo, of all people, as wet on screen as New York after Hurricane Sandy! The other record book entry from The Avengers cast would be the always excellent Samuel L Jackson playing the Nick Fury character in five separate movies, joining Hugh Jackman's Wolverine as the only two actors to appear in five different super hero films as the same character.
Robert Downey Jr. ... Tony Stark / Iron Man
Chris Evans ... Steve Rogers / Captain America
Mark Ruffalo ... Bruce Banner / The Hulk
Chris Hemsworth ... Thor
Scarlett Johansson ... Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
Jeremy Renner ... Clint Barton / Hawkeye
Samuel L. Jackson ... Nick Fury
Tom Hiddleston ... Loki
Clark Gregg ... Agent Phil Coulson
Cobie Smulders ... Agent Maria Hill
Stellan Skarsgård ... Selvig
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Pepper Potts
Paul Bettany ... Jarvis (voice)
Alexis Denisof ... The Other
The 'Other'........ "The Tesseract has awakened. It is on a little world. A human world. They would wield its power, but our ally knows its workings as they never will. He is ready to lead. And our force, our Chitauri, will follow. The world will be his. The universe yours. And the humans, what can they do but burn....? "
Scientists at S.H.I.E.L.D, headed by Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), have been messing around with the Tesseract artifact that they captured from the Nazis in the Captain America film to try and create a clean and endless energy source, so they say, but the strange glowing entity increasingly unstable. When it does tip over the edge in a secure underground lab it opens a portal to another world, Thor's now evil brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) coming through the star gate with bad intentions, doing a deal with the feared Chitauri race - in that part of the universe - to retrieve the Tesseract, in return Loki getting to use the Chitauri legions to take over Earth.
Once Loki secures the lab he steels the Tesseract and flees with some S.H.I.E.L.D's scientist who he has under his spell after zapping them with his magic staff, including Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), tasked to build him some evil equipment to eventually bring that army though the portal. In response, Fury activates the 'Avengers Initiative', a call to all the Avengers around the world to come together at S.H.I.E.L.D HQ and try and workout how to beat Loki as he builds the device in a secret location.
Quote: I am Loki, of Asgard. And I am burdened with glorious purpose.
Tony Stark is as reticent as ever to unleash Iron Man when it spoils his partying and general canoodling with his life and business partner Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) whilst Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) has just awoken from his 70- year sleep and looking to stretch his legs in pursuit of justice, the gorgeous Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) also on board. As Hawkeye is otherwise engaged he will have to wait to join the team.
They have unexpected support with the arrival of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) through another portal from the planet of Asgard, also in pursuit of Loki, whilst the sexy Black Widow recruits a reluctant Dr David Banner (Mark Ruffalo), his Hulk super power as unstable as the Tesseract and so preferring to hide away in India treating poor locals to avoid any stress.
Quote: 'Bruce Banner: I got low! I didn't see an end, so I put a bullet in my mouth... and the other guy spat it out'!
On board S.H.I.E.L.Ds impressive floating cloud station flight deck, Stark and Banner set about working out the science to defeat Loki, whilst Captain America and the Black Widow prepare to hunt him down. But Loki is on the offensive and the station vulnerable and if they don't find the portal soon the Chitauri will be coming to town.
Quote: 'Fury: When did you become an expert in thermonuclear physics?
Tony Stark: Last night'.
You have heard of super groups in music and The Avengers comfortably fits that on film, all the Marvel characters pulled together for a fan boys wet dream, which proved the case with its over the top impressive 8.4 rating on the Imdb movie database and now the third highest grossing film of all time. In fact it pretty much went on to break every record in Hollywood film receipts. It's not quite as good as the stats but great fun anyway and you won't be disappointed if you are into comic's big time or not, perhaps the high Imdb.com scoring more about the cinema experience than the DVD. Only a spoilsport would vote it down.
The cast is fantastic with no less than 6 previous Oscar nominees in the movie although, as ever, the big awards ceremonies paid no interest in the film. The special effects are as good as anything we have seen in this genre and you do wonder why the tech guys don't win awards for their amazing imagery and talent in these superhero movies. For the comic book purists, Lou Ferrigno again gets a credit here and I believe has been involved in every Hulk movie and TV series in some way over the decades, here doing some voice work. I'm probably wrong on that and I'm sure you guys will correct me if I am.
The key to the films guaranteed success is not only the way the previous individual Avengers movies have worked so well on the big screen with the CGI and weld together so well here, but TV director Josh Whedon of Serenity fame taking to movies so easily, bringing his humor and vision to the Marvel Comic world. He skillfully makes movies and television for both kids and young adults at the same time and so draws in all of his audience. Dad can admire the Black Widows legs and bottom and the kids can dream about having Captain America's shield for Christmas! Rob Downey Junior's Tony Stark character is already with of modern day cinemas most iconic and certainly a hit with the ladies. If you want to be a movie character I bet its Stark or Bond every time!
Although Avengers Assembly is a bit long at 143 minutes its quite simply a superhero film you should see as its what modern filmmaking is all about, modern digital editing cinemas kryptonite, able to give superheroes their superpowers, bringing to life a once camp genre with action scenes 35mm could only dream of. You simply couldn't make this film twenty years ago. We can only cringe, thinking back to the 1970s Batman and Spiderman movies! The days of tight fitting Lycra, poorly stitched capes and chunky dialogue are well and truly over and the films feeling more like the original comic books every new release. The disaffected in life can once again believe in their superhero's on screen and Disney made for this genre, the proof being comic conventions getting bigger and bigger every year, those superheroes no longer the preserve of the geeks and now the biggest selling movies of all time.
---The top 10 selling movies of all time---
1 Avatar........ .............$2,782,275,172 *(2009)
2 Titanic........ .............$2,185,372,302 (1997)
3 The Avengers.............$1,511,757,910 (2012)
4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2....... $1,328,111,219 (2011)
5 Transformers: Dark of the Moon...... ..................$1,123,746,996 (2011)
6 Lord of the Rings: Return of the King....... ............$1,119,929,521 (2003)
7 Dark Knight Rises........ $1,080,720,045 (2012)
8 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.............$1,066,179,725 (2006)
9 Toy Story 3................ $1,063,171,911 (2010)
10 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides............$1,043,871,802 (2011)
Imdb.com - scores it 8.4 out of 10 (403,321votes)
Metacritc.com - 69% critic's approval rating
Rottentomatos.com -92% critic's approval rating
New Yorker -'If you are a Marvel fan, then The Avengers will feel like Christmas. Thanks to the merry doings of the director, Joss Whedon, all your favorite characters are here, as shiny and as tempting as presents under the tree.
LA Times -' Whedon is the key reason why this $220-million behemoth of a movie is smartly thought out and executed with verve and precision. It may be overly long at two hours, 23 minutes, but so much is going on you might not even notice'.
The Guardian -'The Avengers is one of the best superheroes movies in a long time and is likely to become a classic of the genre. You would need to really hate comic book movies not to get a kick out of this'.
FX Magazine -' Avengers Assemble will unquestionably provide two and a half hours of geek 'nerdvana' for Marvel fan boys,
The Melbourne Age -' Joss Whedon's The Avengers is one of those rare big-budget summer blockbusters that doesn't completely insult your intelligence.
The Seattle Messenger - 'Yeah, it's all that. A tent-pole cash cow for the studio, a dream come true for fans, and treat for action aficionados'.
Just one 'making of' bit and rather dull, which suggest the double-disc Christmas release is out there somewhere.
I initially bought this DVD after seeing and advert on TV and thought it looked like the kind of film my Marvel loving husband would enjoy.
I will not try to explain the whole film beyond saying that this is about a group of Marvel's superheros come together to fight the bad guys. The action scenes were gripping and the effects were brilliant. It is full of incredibly talented actors/actresses and names that even I recognise - Samuel L Jackson and Robert Downey Jr to mention a couple of my favourites.
I hadn't seen Thor, Incredible Hulk and Captain America before watching this film but I am happy to say that did not detract from my enjoyment at all. If this is the only film you watch from Marvel you will still get the full entertainment from it. It was action packed and the story was great at showing how the different superheros initially had trouble working together because of their differences and attitudes but overcame these. For those of us that aren't familiar with all the characters, such as Loki who I wasn't sure about, there are enough references during the film to make it apparent who they are and what their role is. I was left curious about the backgrounds of some of the other characters but not enough that I felt I had missed out on much.
Obviously my husband loved the film and to my surprise so did I along with my 17 year old daughter and 10 year old son. At the time of buying it the cost was only £8.54 from Amazon and as a result i have since also bought Captain America, Thor and both hulk films - I already owned the Iron Man DVDs - just so that I had the whole story.
I would highly recommend this film to anyone who loves a bit of action and as the price of the others films have comes down so much you might want to consider buying those too.
Is there really any point writing a review of this film? I mean, really, it's the Avengers film. The film that has been talked about since the Ed Norton version of Hulk came out. The film that has been hyped being all hype. Writing a review for the benefit of other people making their mind up about whether to watch it or not seems silly. By this point you should know if you want to watch it or not but if you are really, really unsure after readnig reviews on it then buy it for someone you know will like it and then watch it with them instead.
The build up to this film has happened for a few years now. We have had Hulk (the one with Norton, not the other one), two Iron Mans, Thor and Captain America with the little post-credit bits tying them all in and leading upto this.
I think most people will know by now who is in this. In addition to Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and all the main characters in the other films we have Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye (breifly seen in the Thor film) and MArk Ruffalo taking over Nortons part as Bruce Banner/Hulk.
Bit about the film
DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THOR
We all saw Loki disappear (kind of) at the end of Thor but, oh dear, he's back and he is a little bit miffed at his 'brother'. So, Loki returns, does some mind voodoo on a few characters (including Hawkeye) to control them and attempts to take over the world with the help of some new friends. It is upto Nick Fury and the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. to get some superheroes together and save the day. It is a typical comic book film storyline but it is one that has never failed. Simple storylines leave less room for continuity errors and plotholes so you can just sit back and enjoy.
Opinion type stuff
I am not a comic book fan but I do seem to like most comic book adaptations into films. I watched all of the previous Marvel films linked to this one so I would have all the background information. The only way it makes a big difference is if you didn't watch Thor until afterwards. There is probably the odd reference and in-joke referring to the other films but it is small in comparison the vast amount of dialogue that it probably doesn't metter.
Written by the wonderful Josh Whedon (of Buffy fame) it has a light hearted sense of humour about it. The jokes are well balanced so as to not be in your face but cut the tension of the action sequences to remind you that it is a comic book film and not a serious piece of drama. There are a couple of key lines and shots that will help to keep you talking about the film after it is over.
I do recommend watching with someone else or a small group so you can all laugh together about it, I think it helps the atmosphere of the film than watching it on your own. I had plenty of moments when me and the person I was watching it with would turn to each other to remark on something being said or something seen and it hightened the enjoyment.
The only criticism I have on the film is that it is such an epic type film that going back and watching the previous ones make them pale in comparison. Not a problem if you have seen them but I went back and watched Hulk with someone who hadn't seen it and the film just fell a bit flat in comparison. Which, if that is my only downside, then that's not bad going for a film.
One Friday evening, not too long ago, I decided that it was about time I watched one of the new Marvel Films. Me being me, I ended up watching the most recent film in the franchise - Avengers Assemble (or The Avengers to the non-UK viewers). I enjoyed it so much that at this very moment I am watching it for a third time; plus it is rather easy watching once you've watched it.
Cast (descriptions taken from Wikipedia a little)
Robert Downey Jr: Iron Man/Tony Stark - a genius billionaire, playboy and philanthropist with a mechanical suit of armour he invented, alongside an inability to play nice with others.
Chris Evans: Captain America/Steve Rogers - A man who was enhanced to the peak of human physicality with an experimental serum who became a super-soldier and able to fight in World War 2.
Mark Ruffalo: Hulk/Bruce Banner - A genius scientist who over-exposed himself to gamma radiation, causing him to transform into an uncontrollable giant green monster when enraged or agitated
Chris Hemsworth: Thor - Crown Prince of Asgard (and based on Norse legend), with a magical hammer, out to get his brother under control.
Scarlett Johansson: Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff - A highly trained spy working for S.H.I.E.L.D. (the organisation which pulls all the heroes together)
Jeremy Renner: Hawkeye/Clint Barton - Another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and master archer, known as the "World's Greatest Marksman" in the comics
Tom Hiddleston: Loki - Thor's brother and nemesis, out to wreak havoc on Earth by releasing an army from another world using the Tesseract.
Clark Gregg: Phil Coulson - A S.H.I.E.L.D. agent overseeing a lot of the division's field operations
Cobie Smulders: Maria Hill - Yet another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who works as Nick Fury's right-hand (wo)man.
Stellan Skarsgård: Dr Erik Selvig - An astrophysicist, who was a friend of Thor's, now under Loki's control and studying the mysterious Tesseract.
Samuel L. Jackson: Nick Fury - Director of S.H.I.E.L.D, coordinating the "Avenger's Initiative" and sporting a rakish looking eye-patch
One heck of a line-up, I'm sure you'll agree (size-wise at this point). Some of the actors were quite well known to me when I watched this film (such as Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson), whilst others I didn't really know at all. What I do know after watching this film is that this combination surprisingly works brilliantly. I was expecting that such a large cast would mean that one personality or character would outshine all the others - or it would become so confusing that I'd lose patience. I felt neither. The cast played brilliantly off each other and seemed to gel together wonderfully. No-one seemed to outshine the other (although Tony Stark wanted to!), but each were able to bring their own personality to the mix. This is just the Avengers though; I felt that characters such as Coulson and Smulders were perhaps a little overlooked, and perhaps could have even been just one character. But they had their part to play - especially Coulson, who has also appeared in other films in the franchise. Having said this, I feel that the large cast was handled very well overall.
Loki, a fallen prince of Asgard, makes a deal with a race called the Chitauri. If he retrieves the mysterious energy source known as the Tesseract from the humans, he will be given a Chitauri army that he can use to subjugate the Earth. After Loki manages to magically enslave Selvig and Barton, Nick Fury activates the Avengers Initiative and begins to recruit some unusual characters to save the Earth. Amongst these individuals is the secret agent Natasha Romanoff, who is sent to persuade Dr Bruce Banner (otherwise known as the Hulk) to use his expertise the find the Tesseract; Tony Stark, who is asked to aid Bruce Banner (and play nice with the others); and Steve Rogers, a super-soldier from World War II who has been in a frozen sleep for 70 years. Add Thor to the mix, who arrives in a lightning storm to protect Earth and stop his wayward brother. This team of mis-matched individuals are in a race against time to save their friends, find the Tesseract, stop Loki and save the world from the Chitauri. Perhaps it's all in a day's work for the Avengers? You will just have to watch and see!
So what did I think?
I actually really enjoyed this film (perhaps not a surprise by this point in the review but oh well). The only part that I got a little tired of was the battle at the end of the film - it took about half an hour from start to finish and just felt a little too long the second time I watched it (and this is coming from the girl who likes the extended Lord of the Rings). However, this is a minor blip, especially as the first time of watching it felt just the right length, and I loved that Avengers were working together.
Considering I hadn't seen any of the surrounding films, I did think I'd be a little lost. Unfortunately, the story behind the Tesseract was in a previous film, so I was a teeny bit lost on that score. However, gaps were filled in quite nicely as the film went along - so I wasn't too lost for too long. There are, of course, some references to events of previous films that don't really make much sense. Again, these references tend to be quite subtle and don't detract from the story - rather they encouraged me to watch the other films in the series. The storyline isn't too challenging (as evidenced by the battle time-filler at the end) and there are some loose ends. This could be so that the next instalment can tie them up (I hope so!) but we'll just have to wait til 2015 to find that out!
Overall, I think the film was well-done, and the cast especially were balanced well - considering there are so many big personalities to cater for. The storyline was good, but perhaps a little bare as it felt like there was a lot of padding at the end, and not enough knot-tying (but, like I said, this could be done in the next instalment). I did like the fact that I was able to watch it out of sequence of the series and not feel totally at a loss; this bodes well for other films and means you can just watch the Avengers without having to bother with any of the others (unless you really want to). This is a good film to curl up with munchies on a Friday night - entertaining but not too much concentration is required to understand what is going on! Perfect.
The best Marvel offering so far? Probably not... but that doesn't stop this being an absolute riot from start to finish!
With a gathering of the Marvel stables biggest earners in Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor (missing Spiderman and the Fantastic 4 of course - maybe next time?) to keep the movie fans occupied and a smattering of newcomers in Hawkeye and The Black Widow as a nod to the hardcore comic book fans , this is a seriously character heavy film.
Maybe too heavy!
Despite the talent on offer, all to often we find the camera drawn to the charismatic Tony Stark. It does feel as though they are trying to squeeze every second of screen time from poor Robert Downey Junior - perhaps trying to justify the $50m bonanza payday he was offered to star.
When Iron Man isn't centre stage, the action usually revolves around the newcomers Captain America and Thor who both made the silver screen only the year before Avengers Assemble.
Sadly, The Hulk is something of a footnote. Recruited for his obvious 'talents' he doesn't feature much apart from an incredible airbourne battle which is one of the finest special effects laden set pieces seen this year, and the movies climax - at which the end battle becomes almost farcically one-sided with the green chap demolishing everything in his path.
There are some light 'fend them off' scenes with the two newbies (Hawkeye and Black Widow) valiantly holding their own, but I do think more should have been made of them as superheroes in their own right. Perhaps they will now be recognised by the fans and established for the sequel.
On another downer, Samuel L Jackson as boss man Nick Fury was barely seen. This was his first role as a leading character rather than a cameo and he bore very little authority over our team.
These might sound like negatives, and i apologise if that comes across. In fact it's the total opposite! The movie suffers slightly from too many fantastic characters, it would have to be a 4 hour cut to give them all the screen time and stories they deserve! And as most of the characters have already been established, the movie suffers from very little 'lag' while back-stories are explained and partnerships/hostilities forged. We are launched almost straight into the action and it doesn't let up for a little over 2 hours!
If you like action then this movie will leave you drained! An adrenaline pumping romp from beginning to end totally laden with special effects, set pieces and a thumping soundtrack which should entertain newcomers to the Marvel movies and simply delight the hardcore fans!
An absolute visual treat, and a real contender for Superhero movie of the past few years.
This is a film not to be missed. It is an all round action packed and family fun film.
From Ironman/Tony Starks sarcastic and quick witted comments to Captain Americas stern voice of reason.
Most people will see this as another cheesy comic book made into a film but it is well worth every minute. To fully appreciate everything you must watch the previous films to understand most of the characters. Hawkeye doesn't have his own film (yet) and Black Widow is shown in Ironman in bit parts.
Hulk is by far my favourite character. Dr Banner/Hulk make a perfect "superhero" His cool calm demeanor hiding a raging monster who just wants to destroy.
A few home truths come out about all the Characters in this film and you get to see a different side to them. Some parts are upsetting (i would say for avid fans of these films) but all in all a generally fun film and perfect for all the family.
Finally, a superhero movie worth seeing.
I watched this movie a few days ago and I am still thinking of it now! If you are, in anyway, fascinated by heroes such as Thor, Ironman, Hulk or Captain America, then I am sure you will love this movie as much as I did.
I will describe the plot very basic as it can easily be spoiled. Nick Fury brings together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki (Thor's evil brother) and his alien army. However, getting them together may not be as easy as Nick Fury had planned.
It also has a great cast including Robert Downey Jr/Ironman, Chris Hemsworth/Thor, Mark Ruffalo/Hulk, Chris Evans/Captain America, Scarlett Johansson/Black Widow, Tom Hiddleston/Loki, Samuel L. Jackson/Nick Fury.
One of my favourite aspects of the movie is that it has tied up any loose ends that you may have noticed in the Thor, Ironman or Captain America movies. I will not specify how, because it may spoil parts of the film for some of you. It has a fantastic storyline and I recommend you buy it and share it with friends. I have now watched this movie three times and I feel as though I am not done with it yet.
The price it very reasonable;
Amazon - £10.00
HMV - £15.00
Tesco - £12.97
ASDA - £11.00
Great movie and well directed by Joss Whedon. 5/5