Friday, 8 January 2016
The Avengers (2012)
When The Avengers was announced, there was still something of a question mark hanging over the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yes, Marvel had made several solid films, but (1) only the two Iron Man entries could be considered bona fide hits, financially speaking and (2) they'd not previously tackled a team film, and there was a lot of scepticism about whether audiences would embrace the larger roster of characters.
Yeah, well we can consider that question mark well and truly blown away. Audiences flocked to The Avengers: as of the time of writing, it is the 4th highest grossing film of all time, though I suspect a certain other Disney property will knock it down a spot (it it hasn't already).
I'm pleased to say that the success of the film is wholly deserved. Marvel assembled a great cast over the course of the "phase one" films leading up to this one, then it gave them a smart, funny, action-packed script to work with. Whether it be Black Widow's interrogation scenes, the banter between Iron Man and Captain America, or the city smashing climactic action sequence, there's almost certain to be something about the film that charms you. For me, it's the way the film shows the central cast being heroes, not just soldiers. Given the choice between saving lives and just punching bad guys, they invariably and instinctively choose the former.
The plot? Rogue Asgardian Loki arrives on Earth and steals a very dangerous artefact. Only an eclectic group of powerful but-not-exactly-easy-to-work-with individuals can stop him. If they can get on the same page long enough to gel as a team, that is.
Great stuff: if you only see one Marvel film, it should probably be this one (though honestly it does work even better if you've seen the first Thor, Iron Man and Captain America films before sitting down to it).