Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson
Director: Joss Whedon
Running Time: 143 mins
The Avengers is an American film and the sixth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Earth’s mightiest heroes reluctantly unite to save the planet from destruction after the villainous god Loki attempts to enslave it with the use of a devastating weapon.
This is a seriously cool film. Apart from the fact that you’ve got the union of some fantastic superheroes, but it’s also jam-packed with fast-paced action, comedy, genuine drama, and, most impressively of all, a story that focusses on relationship between the Avengers, looking at them first as people before action heroes.
Let’s start on that very point. Whilst some of the other Marvel Cinematic Universe films have set up their characters well, this is the one that turns each and every one of them into really interesting people. The way that this film details how the heroes come together so reluctantly, and find their largely very similar personalities and specialities clash, was fascinating to watch, and it’s in fact that story that takes up the majority of this film – instead of just pure action, we get to see the team go through ups and downs and grow as a unit, which was fantastically interesting.
However, don’t think that this is some sort of heavy human drama instead of a good superhero movie, because it’s definitely that as well. From the start, there’s epic action all the way through, and whilst that isn’t necessarily the main focus of the story until the final act about 90 minutes in, there’s still enough throughout to keep any action fan very happy.
What’s more is that this film retains, and even heightens Marvel’s brilliant sense of humour in these superhero films. Whilst some of the comedy in the stand-alone movies was on occasion a little weak, this really hits home, with laughs all the way through made not only by simple jokes, but the friction between the Avengers throughout also makes for some good comedy.
The performances are also excellent here. Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans shine as Iron Man and Captain America respectively, and whilst I’m still not sold on Chris Hemsworth’s performance as Thor, that’s compensated for with some great shows from the supporting cast, including Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Hiddleston, who add to both the fun of the film as well as the story about the union of the team.
Overall, this gets an 8.1 because it’s a superhero film packed with fun action and comedy, good performances, a rapid pace, and a properly interesting story about our heroes as real people.