Everything that's happening, the things that are about to come to light, people might just need a little old fashioned.
The Avengers (AKA: Avengers Assemble) is written and directed by Joss Whedon, with Zak Penn co-writing the story. It stars Robert Downey Junior, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddlestone, Clark Gregg, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders and Stellan Skarsgard. Music is scored by Alan Silvestri and cinematography by Seamus McGarvey.
Asgardian outcast Loki (Hiddlestone) has struck a deal with the Chitauri to exchange the Tesseract for an army with which he can attack Earth and thus control it. With the Earth in mortal danger, S.H.I.E.L.D director Nick Fury (Jackson) activates the Avengers Initiative; a collection of super heroes and deadly assassins who, if they can actually come together as one united force, hold the fate of the Earth in their hands.
I have no real frame of reference with The Avengers comic book world, when I was young I read a bit of Spidey, Batman and was kind of partial to The Fantastic Four, but I really don't remember story lines and gave up reading that sort of stuff once sport and exams came into my life. I love movies and as I enter the later stages of my forties I'm pleased to say I have a wide range of film genre interests. I have very much enjoyed The Avengers solo films so far, with the exception of Iron Man 2 which quite frankly is average at best, but the reality is that if The Avengers failed as a movie, that Whedon got it so wrong, then I wouldn't be foaming at the mouth or proclaiming that the director be stripped naked and whipped around the streets of Hollywood! As it is, with one or two minor irks aside, The Avengers is about as much fun as I have had with a movie in quite a few years.
I wouldn't know if the makers got the essence right, or if the story is at one in the Marvel Avengers Universe, I just know that it is a right old blast and made a colossal amount of money at the box office, even trumping The Dark Knight Rises in that department. It's a film full of derring-do heroics, ripe witticisms, wonderfully staged action, simmering sexual tensions, ego collisions, charm, heart and splendid human interactions. It looks fabulous on Blu-ray, the art design, the colour photography and Silvestri's score rumbles like thunder and crackles like lightning, just as a super hero movie score should do. The cast performances are hugely enjoyable as they bounce off of one and other, feeding off the respective thespian energy with a knowing of the right tone to make this colourful comic book world be all that it can be. While Whedon, with a weight of expectation akin to Atlas holding the World on his shoulders, comes through with flying colours with astute pacing and an impressive marshaling of an acting army.
Flaws? Jackson's Nick Fury could have done with more screen time and Cobie Smulders is sadly short changed as well. The Chitauri are only really a threat because of their sheer numbers, not because of any great alien design, and, well, The Hulk CGI hasn't really advanced much from the 2008 version, but really these are small itches rather than big ones. Is The Avengers the best film of 2012? It will be seen as such for many fans of the source(s) who have waited with baited breath for this coming together of their heroes, and that notion really shouldn't irk the more highbrow film fans out there. Me? No it isn't the best film of 2012, but as I found my self perched on the edge of my seat as the finale unfurls in a wave of explosive heroic energy, and I caressed my ribs from laughing out loud, I knew then that undoubtedly The Avengers is the most fun film of 2012. 9/10