Marvel’s The Avengers plays out like a comic-book fan’s wet dream, the NBA All-Star game, and a lesson in teambuilding all at once. The ultimate escapist blockbuster, The Avengers is one of the most fun movies of the year, culminating - but not necessarily concluding - Marvel’s build up of films including Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. Written and directed by Joss Whedon with panache and wit, we are presented with many of Marvel’s most famous heroes in prime form.
After the events of the past couple Marvel films, Thor’s adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), now equipped with an energy cube called the Teseract and an army of creatures from a distant planet, is angry at his brother, and wishes to take it out primarily through attacking the weak and vulnerable planet which Thor (Chris Hemsworth) holds so dearly- Earth. After a small attack – saying small, it still results in massive chaos and destruction – Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), head of S.H.I.E.L.D., calls together the Earth’s living heroes in a special project dubbed ‘The Avengers Initiative’. From far and wide, and some even without being assisted, superheroes assemble on Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s headquarters, an aircraft carrier that can also fly and turn invisible, over the top- I know, but Whedon writes with a joking tongue-and-cheek quality that entertains audiences and breaths life into his characters.
With such natural comedic delivery and an outstanding sense of character, Robert Downey Jr. takes most of the wittiest lines as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Luckily, Downey Jr. doesn’t get all the lines, as I can imagine how this film could have easily turned into the “Tony Stark Hour” comedy skit. Whedon’s direction and writing shows an understanding of the characters, but focuses primarily on the humor of their interactions. I mean, the Avengers consists of a man frozen for over 50 years, a demi-god from space, a billionaire in a metal suit, and a brilliant scientist who turns green when he’s angry. There’s definitely plenty of room for jokes there.
An incredibly fun film packed with action and laughs, The Avengers is unlikely to disappoint. The culmination of five years of Marvel movies, it provides fans with just what they want. Writer/director Joss Whedon manages the large number of stars at his disposal very well, and his touch can be seen in the resulting film. A movie rich with special effects, wit, humor, energy, and a surprising style, I’m left wondering what Marvel will do next and how they'll be able to top this.