Movie: The Avengers
*ring: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston.
Director: Joss Whedon.
Reviewed by Yamnaa Haq
The movie everyone had been waiting for such a long time has finally hit the theatres. The much hyped Marvel’s The Avengers follows a number of larger-than-life heroes, including Tony Stark/Iron Man, the powerful warrior Thor, Steve Rogers/Captain America, Bruce Banner as the Hulk, and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, as they combine forces after a vicious Tom Hiddleston’s Loki launches an attack against Earth.
I, for one, felt some trepidation about how the director and screenplay writer Joss Whedon could possibly bring together so many iconic superheroes, each with their distinct skills and personalities, within one movie without sacrificing the intricacies of the characters or the plot! Turns out that I needn’t have worried. Upon watching the movie, it became clear to me that Whedon was acutely aware of the risks, and neatly sidestepped them by paying attention to the character development as well as their interactions, so much so that they were one of the finer points of the film.
With so many action heroes in one reel, it’s not a surprise that the movie is a huge hit. One of the reasons for its immense success can be attributed to the fact that The Avengers has an immensely well-balanced and talented cast - each actor manages to shoulder their respective roles in the plot with ease. Robert Downey Jr’s ‘Tony Stark’- the snarky billionaire playboy with an iron suit - keeps up a steady stream of cutting one-liners, which he delivers with perfect aplomb. His dry wit serves to diffuse the tension in action scenes and considering his penchant for working solo, his inclusion into The Avengers is both a hilarious and well-executed aspect of the movie. Also, scenes of him with his now-girlfriend ‘Pepper Potts’ (Gwyneth Paltrow) provide an agreeable sense of continuity with the previous ‘Iron-man’ movies.
Chris Evans’ ‘Steve Rogers/Captain America’ was portrayed as a surprisingly vulnerable man who was dealing with the loss of his friends and family. His struggles with adapting to a radically changed world led to a more human dimension to the otherwise stoic character of Captain America. Mark Ruffalo proves to be an excellent ‘Bruce Banner/The Hulk’- the proverbial loose cannon of the team - and manages to bring certain gentility to the character. Scarlett Johansson plays Natasha Romanoff, or ‘Black Widow’ as she is professionally called. Her character is a tough-as-nails assassin who stands her ground amongst demigods and super-enhanced humans, and is indicative of Whedon’s love for strong female characters. Additionally, her scenes with ‘Hawkeye’ (Jeremy Renner) were intriguing.
‘Thor’ (Chris Hemsworth), here to claim his errant brother, ‘Loki’, has an interesting role to play. No longer is this arrogant prince of ‘Asgard’ determined to bring Loki to justice, the catch being his emotional involvement in the situation. Unlike the other Avengers, Thor hopes for Loki’s redemption, a fact that is interestingly brought into play when they meet in the final battle. The best thing about the characterisation is that it doesn’t affect the pace of the movie. It’s slipped in dexterously through wonderful dialogue and screenplay, which adds so much more to the film-watching experience, making it more than just an action movie.
That being said, the action sequences of the movie are absolutely superb - the combination of well-choreographed fight sequences and CGI comes together seamlessly, resulting in riveting scenes that keep you on the edge of your seat. The grand battle at the end is done on a breathtakingly epic scale, and the Avengers make a grand impression as they fight their way through Loki’s army, truly earning their title of Earth’s mightiest heroes.
The Avengers is a thoroughly entertaining movie; the script is solid, the ensemble given fair and equal amounts of screen-time throughout the film, and the entire production was an ambitious one that, in my humble opinion, paid off. It is, in fact, one of the fastest films to gross $1 billion worldwide. Within its 143 minute running time, the movie was funny, action-packed, had iconic fan service, a great and heroic musical score, and laid the groundwork for a much bigger conflict in the future. Well, the rumours are there is another character expected in the sequel to The Avengers, and that is of Wolverine. Who really knows how the next Avengers movie is going to turn out, but as it stands now, it is quite possibly the best Marvel movie at present.