CAST: Tony Stark (Robert Downey), Cris Hemsworth (Thor), Cris Evans (Captain America), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Mark Ruffalo (Dr. Bruce Banner/The Hulk), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha/Black Widow), Don Cheadle (Col James Rhodes), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson), Stellan Skarsgard ( Professor Erik Selvig), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts); DIRECTOR: Joss Whedon; SCREENWRITER: Joss Whedon, Zac Penn (based on Marvel Comics Superhero Team, sixth installment of Marvel Cinematic Universe); PRODUCER: Marvel Studios; EDITOR: Jeffrey Ford & Lisa Lassek; MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Alan Silvestri; GENRE: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction; Fantasy; CINEMATOGRAPHER: Seamus McGarvey ; DISTRIBUTOR Walt Disney; LOCATION: USA; RUNNING TIME: 142 minutes
Technical Assessment: 4
Moral Assessment: 3.5
Cinema rating: For viewers 14 years old and above
Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson), director of the international peacekeeping agency SHIELD, recruits Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to form the superhero team of a lifetime that will take on Loki (Tom HIddleston), the brother of Thor. Loki suddenly materializes at the SHIELD headquarters to steal the Tessaract, the device that will enable him to open a portal in the skies through which evil metal monsters will enter to attack Earth. Loki, of course, wants total control of the planet, and so begins to wreak havoc on Manhattan, in New York.
What happens when you have too many cooks in the kitchen? As the saying goes, too many cooks spoil the brew, right? But what happens when you get together six superheroes to fight one villain from out of this world? Superheroes = superegos. So, first, a clash of egos, which may begin with words and escalate into actual fisticuffs and then metal clashing against metal, as in Thor’s hammer banging Captain America’s shield and vice versa. In the movies, that is great entertainment. Outside of Loki (who looks like a greasy-haired druid, although too clean shaven to appear menacing) it’s hard to tell who’ll emerge as another villain, what with all the superheroes’ superpowers! It’s a really super-super strangely enjoyable freak show and you’d be hard put to decide which freak to root for. How can you not be amused, for example, by the exchange between Captain America and Iron Man. CA mocks IM who’d be nothing without his armor; IM with characteristic braggadocio quips that without his suit he’d be a “genius, playboy, billionaire”. CM glumly declares what is needed is a hero; IM blurts out, “A hero? Like you? You’re a laboratory experiment! Everything special about you comes from a bottle!”
Don’t expect a movie of this type to have much of a plot; with six superheroes kicking ass, a meaty plot would just be a distraction. What director and writer Joss Wheadon does here is use the formulaic plot as a board on which to pin his characters and action sequences. It’s a good vs. evil story and we all know who’ll win in the end. But how the good will win is the challenge that will showcase Wheadon’s directorial talents. Wheadon is able to delineate the hero-characters admirably, which may be the main reason not one of them emerges as the super-superhero; all are allowed to shine according to their nature and they come out equally victorious in the end. Even Black Widow who possesses no superhuman qualities turns out to deliver more punches with her bare hands than any of the guys, precisely because she’s got no magical props to lean on.
The Avengers delivers a message that upholds teamwork as the essence of the war against evil. And it scores high because it explodes with stunt after stunt but doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a good show, it doesn’t tax your emotions, and it’s even unexpectedly funny at times—especially what it does to the megalomaniac villain.