Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Assembly Begins
Earth’s mightiest heroes have arrived!
‘Avengers Assemble’ (also called ‘The Avengers’ in the USA – why couldn’t it be called that in both the UK and the US) was released at the cinemas in 2012. It’s the sixth film in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’. I saw this movie at the cinema for my birthday in May 2012. This was a huge movie event!
This is what the first phase of the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ has been building up to. The coming together of our superheroes featured in the previous five films of this series. The team-up for this Marvel movie’s Avengers are Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye.
I did purchase ‘Avengers Assemble’ on DVD in the complete box set for the Marvel Avengers 6-Movie Collection. Sadly I never got to see those six movies in that DVD box set since I got busy before coming to revisit the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ properly. I currently own the ‘Avengers Assemble’ epic movie as a part of the ‘Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe’ – Phase One’ DVD box set.
‘Avengers Assemble’ stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye. The film also features Tom Hiddleston as Loki as well as Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
The film was directed by Joss Whedon. I’m impressed with how he’s crafted this film to bring all the Avenger heroes together in this film following their first appearances in their own movies. I believe this is the first time that this has been achieved to bring many Marvel superheroes together in a film.
At one time, I did own a DK ultimate guide book on the Marvel Avengers superheroes featured in the Marvel Comics universe. But like with the X-Men, there were so many superheroes to count and register that I eventually decided to give the book away. I wish I had the book now. It was well made.
The Avengers made their first comic book appearance in ‘The Avengers #1’ in September 1963. The team was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The superhero team was different compared to the movie. In their first comic appearance, the Avengers were Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and Ant Man(?!) and the Wasp(?!).
Anyway, ‘Avengers Assemble’ marks the first of our superheroes teaming up in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’. There would be more Avengers superheroes added on to the team in future films, but for now the team-up is Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye.
In the film, Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. are dealing with the Tesseract, a powerful energy cube that previously came from Asgard and ended up on Earth. In the process of examining the cube, S.H.I.E.L.D. gets visited by the villainous Loki who comes to attack and steal the Tesseract from them.
As the world enters into a stage of crisis, Nick Fury decides to summon the Avengers to come together and stop Loki. These include Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye. These heroes need to work together to stop Loki and a monstrous army from outer space.
This new superhero team-up is risky with the clash of personalities as heroes interact with each other whilst tracking down the Tesseract. But soon the team unites together as Loki and the vicious army of the Chitauri attack New York City. Can our heroes work together to save the city and Earth?
I recall getting a sense of excitement as I watched this movie at the cinema for the first time. I hadn’t seen all the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ movies at that point. I’d only seen ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’. It was after seeing this film I caught up with the rest of the ‘MCU’ series.
But nevertheless, this movie was pretty exciting for me as I love the Marvel Comics superheroes anyway and I had a sense of what the Avengers were about. I’m pretty sure I did read a comic featuring the Avengers at some point in my teens. But my memories of that comic are so vague now.
Robert Downey Jr. returns as Iron Man/Tony Stark. It was a thrill to see Tony Stark in this movie after seeing him in ‘Iron Man’. He retains that cocky, arrogant attitude that he always seem to have when in a ‘MCU’ movie. It was intriguing seeing how Tony Stark works as a team member in the Avengers.
Sometimes Tony’s attitude can set off disagreements with others. He doesn’t always see eye to eye with Captain America and he even gets into a fight with Thor in their first meeting. But he gets on well with Bruce Banner and he also manages to self-sacrifice himself when saving Earth from danger.
Chris Evans returns as Captain America/Steve Rogers. Steve is a man out of time since he was frozen for nearly 70 years since the events of ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’. He’s finding it a struggle to cope with the fact that he’s been frozen for a long time and has to blend in with the 21st century.
I like how Captain America manages to get back into the action as he has his first fight with Loki in Stuttgart. There are times when he doesn’t get on well with Tony Stark and he’s serious-thinking than he is. Eventually, Captain America gets to take charge of the Avengers team in saving New York.
The Hulk/Bruce Banner returns and he’s now played by Mark Ruffalo. As I said in my review for ‘The Incredible Hulk’, I’m sad Edward Norton didn’t reprise his role for the Hulk in ‘Avengers Assemble’. It would have been great to have had that sense of continuity from the Hulk’s first ‘MCU’ appearance.
But that doesn’t mean to say Mark Ruffalo is bad in the role of the Hulk/Bruce Banner. On the contrary, he does well in playing the mild-mannered scientist helping out before he becomes the Hulk. It’s also pretty incredible that the Hulk gets to be one of the team when he’s a raging monster.
Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor. Thor makes his first appearance in ‘Avengers Assemble’ as he comes from Asgard to steal Loki from the Avengers who’ve already captured him from Stuttgart. He’s there to have it out with Loki before he is in a broil with Iron Man, stopped by Captain America.
Fortunately Thor becomes helpful when he and the Avengers try to find the Tesseract and stop Loki aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. aircraft carrier, the Helicarrier. It is extraordinary Thor is a god working with the Avengers who are mere mortals. He becomes a good team player as they fight the Chitauri army.
Scarlett Johansson returns as Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff. Natasha didn’t have her own ‘Black Widow’ movie as she made her first appearance in ‘Iron Man 2’. It’s amazing that she gets to be one of the Avengers team, especially since she was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent working for Nick Fury beforehand.
From the comics, I recall Natasha/Black Widow being more of an assassin as well as a spy with a dark past. I believe that gets touched upon in this movie, especially in that confrontation scene she has with Loki in his cell. But she comes across as pretty heroic, especially as the team rescues New York.
Jeremy Renner returns as Hawkeye/Clint Barton. Clint made his first appearance in the ‘MCU’ movies when he had a cameo in ‘Thor’. That was pretty brief and didn’t give him a standout character moment apart from being a master archer. He doesn’t have a big outing in this film either.
But you could say this is where Hawkeye comes to the fore in the ‘MCU’ series. Clint gets forced to work for Loki for a time when he’s possessed by his scepter sticking in him, making him one of the baddies. Thankfully he becomes good again as he uses his super archery skills to assist the Avengers.
Tom Hiddleston returns as the villainous Loki. This was the first time I saw Loki on the big screen and I found him to be an impressive, intimidating villain. He’s clearly obsessed with power and wants to be ruler of the Earth people when he has a chance to lead the Chitauri outer-space armies to victory.
I enjoyed the confrontation Loki had with Thor, as the two have a connection from Asgard in formerly being brothers. I like how Loki manipulates Natasha’s fears as well as making the Avengers bicker among each other. I did enjoy Loki’s scene with Tony Stark as well as his scene with the Hulk. 😀
Samuel L. Jackson returns as Nick Fury. Nick Fury has been a mainstay through the first phase of the ‘MCU’. It’s Nick Fury who has assembled this team of Avengers superheroes together as well as being in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. He takes risks with forming this team together and defeat the evil Loki.
There are times when Nick Fury isn’t telling everything the Avengers they need to know, which causes them to bicker among each other. But Fury is clearly on the side of good and even defies the World Security Council on a hasty decision they make. He even gets to be the action man with a gun.
Clark Gregg returns as the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Phil Coulson. Like Nick Fury, Coulson has been a mainstay throughout the first phase of the ‘MCU’. This is where Coulson gets to shine and become a moral centre for the Avengers superheroes, since he clearly admires them and they admire him too.
Cobie Smulders stars as Maria Hill, a high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who works closely with Nick Fury aboard the Hellcarrier. Maria Hill is like the voice of reason for Nick Fury when she questions his sincerity about certain decisions. She also gets to be an action girl when trouble ensues in the movie.
Stellan Skarsgård returns as Erik Selvig, who made his first appearance in ‘Thor’. Initially, Selvig is working for S.H.I.E.L.D. when studying the Tesseract’s power. He, like Clint Barton, soon gets controlled by Loki to work for him in the movie. Thankfully, Erik Selvig comes out of his enslavement.
The film also features the return of Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Tony Stark’s love interest. Paul Bettany returns to voice J.A.R.V.I.S., Iron’s Man’s AI butler. Apparently Jenny Agutter appears one of the members of the World Security Council, but since she was in shadow I couldn’t register her at all.
‘Avengers Assemble’ definitely has the feel of a pretty good action-packed adventure movie that’s well directed by Joss Whedon. The climatic action sequences in New York where the Avengers fight the alien, insect-like Chitauri are so mesmerising and exciting to watch especially for the big screen.
My Dad did say that there’s a lot of flash-bang-wallop in this movie and I suppose there is. But it’s not flash-bang-wallop that distracts from me enjoying many of the character-driven moments in the movie. It’s not as bad as say in other action-packed superhero movies that I’ve seen a lot nowadays.
Thankfully our heroes defeat Loki and the Earth is saved by the Avengers. I like how the movie closes with Nick Fury and Maria Hill reflecting on the future of the Avengers. Nick Fury is confident that they will need the Avengers again to help them in a tricky situation and they will come at the calling.
The DVD special features of ‘Avengers Assemble’ are as follows. There’s ‘A Visual Journey’, which is a behind-the-scenes featurette looking into the amazing sets, groundbreaking visual effects and stunning cinematography featured and how this superhero team-up for a movie was brought to life.
On the Blu-ray for ‘Avengers Assemble’, as well as ‘A Visual Journey’, there are special features like ‘Marvel One-Shot: Item 47’; a gag reel and deleted and extended scenes from the movie.
‘Avengers Assemble’ (or ‘The Avengers’) is a brilliant superhero movie featuring the first team-up of Marvel Comics superheroes in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’. It’s what the first phase has been building up to and I’m so glad I saw it at the cinema. It’s an epic film and it promises more things to come.
There’s a mid-credits sequence at the end of the movie where in outer-space, the leader of the Chitauri simply known as the Other confers with his master about the failed attack on Earth. Who could his master be? There’s also a post-credits sequence where our heroes, the Avengers, eat at a restaurant. I expected them to say something. But no! They were silent! What was the point of that?
‘Avengers: Assemble’ rating – 9/10
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