Marvel’s Avengers Assemble – Review (Film)

 

*This review is entirely spoiler free, for anyone who hasn’t seen the film yet (what are you waiting for? Go now!)*

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Where to start?

The great acting?

The brilliant special effects?

The amazing script?

Ok, ok. Let’s back this up a bit before I fall into an abyss of gushing.

Joss Whedon is probably my favourite person in the audiovisual world – Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly/Serenity, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog… the man can do no wrong. He even wrote the screenplay for Toy Story for heaven’s sake!

BUT there is always that flicker of doubt. ‘Joss Whedon to helm Avengers movie’ was the headline. Joy was the initial reaction (although I didn’t have any idea what the Avengers were beyond being a team of superheroes) but as time went on I did think – can he deliver with this? It’s a HUGE movie and look at the people involved.

I needn’t have worried at all – Marvel’s Avengers Assemble (to give the film it’s full title) is an absolutely fantastic movie.

Getting all of these actors – the majority of whom have their own films as these characters already – to team up and share the screen shows some serious management ability.

And they all deliver – I’m not really a fan of Scarlett Johannson but she was great as Black Widow. Mark Ruffalo was the big doubt for me but he is the best Hulk I’ve seen on the big screen. The rest of the cast are all on form – Robert Downey Jr continues to impress me, I used to really dislike him but in the last 4 or 5 years he has won me over.

Speaking with others who’ve seen the film the big hook for everyone appears to be the comedy and wit that flows through the script – it’s classic Whedon for those of us who know his work. The balance of seriousness and comedy is so well done you can’t help but get swept up in the sheer enthusiasm the film has.

I have no intention of discussing the plot or anything that might spoil the film. It’s a nice bit of background to have seen the accompanying films (Iron Man/Captain America/Thor) but by no means essential. This is a self contained film that tells you everything you need to know about what is going on.

Marvel’s Avengers Assemble is the best superhero movie I’ve ever seen. To actually get that many characters & actors together, have them feel genuinely like a team and for the movie not to totally suck is great. Go see it!

Rating: 10/10

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Captain America: The First Avenger – Review (Film)

I am very excited about the upcoming Avengers movie. Joss Whedon is one of my favourite creative people in the industry and the fact he is helming such a huge blockbuster fills me with confidence.

Having only seen the first Iron Man film I figured I should start making my way through some of the other Avengers character films, starting with Captain America: The First Avenger.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Captain America, having had a toy figure of him when I was kid as part of a Marvel playset. Still, I have no idea what his story is or where he comes from.

Fortunately for me Chris Evans is on hand to relive Captain America’s genesis story. He plays Steve Rogers, a scrawny kid who is desperate to join the army and fight for his country. Unfortunately he’s too small and has lots of illnesses which prevent him from doing so.

Eventually his persistence pays off and they accept him… but only as part of a top secret government project that involves trying to create a ‘super-soldier.’

The film has just the right balance of comedy and action – even after Evan’s transformation the film doesn’t immediate follow the path you would presume it would take, which was a refreshing change.

And that transformation is seriously well done – the CGI making Evans appear smaller than he really is had me impressed and it makes a huge difference than if they had just had him go from normal to having super muscles.

Unfortunately I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that this film was just a set up to the franchise and that Captain America’s real adventures will begin in his next film (as well as being a part of The Avengers).

A lot of the battle/action sequences felt like ‘action-by-numbers’ and I didn’t feel that the story was anything special – although the filmmakers have to go by the story that exists so you can’t complain too much I suppose. The ending was great though and is a cool set up for them to take the character forward.

Overall Captain America is an average, if enjoyable, action romp that has some decent character CGI and does a nice job of setting up the franchise. Worth a watch but there is nothing ground-breaking here.

Rating: 6/10

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