The Avengers (2012)
starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., and Chris Hemsworth
directed by Joss Whedon
story by Zak Penn, screenplay by Joss Whedon, based on a series by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
In 2008, Marvel Studios released its first film, Iron Man. Despite the hype surrounding it’s box office success, and overall quality (some go so far as to say it revived the dying genre of superhero films), true comic fans were more excited about a short post-credits scene which hinted at the possibility of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes assembling on screen for the first time ever. Four years, and five films later, Marvel Studios made good on their promise. For many, the chance of failure was just as possible as the chance of success, but the over two hour superhero epic that resulted hit all the right marks. The story is that of the rise of the Asgardian Loki, mischievous brother of the lightning god Thor, in his attempt to take over the earth for his own with the assistance of a massive alien army, and an absurdly powerful energy source known as the Tesseract. The desperation to defeat him results in Nick Fury, head of S.H.I.E.L.D., an international peace-keeping agency, calling together a star-studded ensemble of superheroes that consists of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Hawkeye, and Black Widow. Between the flashing explosions, and larger-than-life fight sequences, the dialogue is witty and fun, flowing seamlessly from scene-to-scene. Whedon’s talent for wordplay shines through with wonderful one-liners. Even first-time audience members can enjoy this film, as the story is successfully expositional and yet still rewarding to followers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The acting effectively transforms the characters on the screen into the legends of comic book lore, with Mark Ruffalo’s intriguing Bruce Banner upstaging the all-star ensemble. The film is phenomenally well-rounded, and masterfully executed, offering something exciting and unique for avid fans and new viewers alike. An absolute must-see, destined to become a blockbuster classic.
Final Score: 4.8 out of 5