How does writer-director Joss Whedon (Cabin In The Woods, Serenity) manage to rein in the juggernaut that is The Avengers? One that’s filled to the brim with superheroes we all know and love and have each had their own films leading up to this release, Iron Man has even had 2! How does he do it? Well, in all honesty, he lets them all loose! These superheroes brawl and duke it out throughout the almost 2 1/2 hour run time, but only save the last 30 mins of that for the bad guys. Whedon knows that ego’s as large as those belonging to this group will clash and he just let’s them work out their problems throughout the film. He understood that in order for them to work together they would need to overcome their issues, that this dysfunctional family is only more dysfunctional due to their abilities.
I can’t help heaping praise on Whedon for the amazing script he helped craft, as it manages to be smart, action packed, and above all hilarious. He also manages to finally do justice to the Hulk and makes him central to the story and group dynamic. Mark Ruffalo holds his own and manages to actually distinguish himself from our previous two Bruce Banners (Edward Norton and Eric Bana) by being restrained as the doctor and understanding what triggers his change into the “other guy.” What can be said about Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark that hasn’t been? Seriously, no other member of the group seems to be having more fun than him. Tom Hiddleston knocks it out of the park as Loki. The British actor steals every scene he’s in, even one that hilariously doesn’t go his way. He comes off as a true villain, which is a requirement in movies such as this that depend on the heroes being challenged. Hiddleston’s performance has a huge part in making this movie as amazing as it is. The rest of the cast also has fun. Chris Evans‘ Captain America is still trying to adjust to being dropped in this new world after being frozen for some 70 years. He is a born leader, a trait which ultimately leads him to coordinate the efforts of the Avengers. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) still retains some of the arrogance he displayed in his first outing, but has matured quite a bit since his interactions with the now-absent Dr. Foster (Natalie Portman) and eventually taking over the throne of Asgard. As for the two not-so-super members of the Avengers, the ever sexy Scarlet Johansson is a marvel both visually and performance wise. A scene she has with Loki had me completely enveloped given how the silver tongued villain apparently unraveled her only to have it all elegantly thrown in his face. Jeremy Renner has quite a bit of fun as Hawkeye who racks up a serious body count with his bow and technologically advanced arrows. Although S.H.I.E.L.D. remains enigmatic, its director Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) and agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) ultimately manage to remind us that the heroes need us as much as we need them.
Overall, there’s nothing The Avengers doesn’t have and is one of the best superhero films we have been treated to. Head out to your nearest 3D theater and let yourself be immersed in the amazing triumph that is Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios‘ The Avengers!