Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddlesworth, Chris Evans
Starring quite possibly the most beautiful cast ever assembled on the big screen, this is one of the most hotly anticipated movies of the year following on as it does from the individual Avenger films – Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the much maligned Hulk movies. This sees some of Marvel’s most popular superheroes gather together to save the earth from Thor’s evil brother Loki (Hiddlesworth).
As you would expect following the previous offerings this is a spectacle from start to finish with huge set pieces and amazing fight scenes. It also has a very healthy dose of humour, thanks in no small part to Downey Jr, who completely steals the show as Iron Man. Firing out one liners at a rate that would make most stand up comedians balk, his wry wit is a reminder of just why the Iron Man movies were so successful.
His “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” immediately clashes with the more old school clean cut Captain America (Evans), who is still adjusting to life in the 21st century, having been frozen for 70 years. Equally Thor has difficulty relating to the earth-based heroes hailing as he does from Asgard. Then there is Bruce Banner, alter ego of The Hulk, who spends his days trying not to clash with anybody lest the beast within him be unleashed.
Although all recruited grudgingly by Nick Fury (Jackson) of S.H.I.E.L.D and Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanov aka the Black Widow, the group realise that they must work together in order to stave off the threat to humanity, leading to an amazing final sequence which sees them do battle on the Island of Manhattan with all sorts of demons and entities unleashed by Loki. Although you know that our heroes have to make it out alive there are a couple of edge of your seat moments as it looks like not all of the Avengers might live to fight another day. It is in these scenes that The Hulk really comes into his own and had they approached the character like this in the two previous movies they may well have been far more successful. Forsaking CGI for stop-action and stop-motion capture, the beast now has a real personality and provides one of the most hilarious scenes in the movie which had reviewers clapping and cheering in previews.
This is everything you would expect and more and if I had one criticism it is that with so many superheroes all vying for attention you only wish they could all have more screen time. That aside, a fabulous script, great directing, fantastic performances and a plot that is just the right side of silly to be plausible in a film like this, makes for one of the most exciting and watchable movies of the year. A blockbuster in the best tradition of the word, this is a thrill ride from start to finish and definitely one of the must-see movies of the summer.