Avengers Assemble Review

August 7, 2012


I guess it’s a matter of how low you set your expectations. I never figured that I could be so mislead by hype. That those behind this children’s comic book adaptation would dismiss the adults accompanying them so completely out of hand. Then again the €700 million its grossed around the world shows how much I know.

If you like your action heavy on comedic sauce, falling down from the special effect heavy spins than this is the flick for you. The ludicrous story has something to do with aliens from outer space threatening life on Earth as Universal assemble as many franchises as possible under one roof-the cinematic equivalent of Liffey Valley, to save the day. From its start things are blown up, buildings collapse and actors run blindly away from effects as plot is discarded. Oh yes, The Avengers makes good on its promise to be an ass kicking juggernaut.

The problem is that there is so much metal on metal bish bash bang that none of it is memorable. Not a single sequence of action detracted from what an artistic and intelligence vacuum sucking the dignity and talent of all involved into a reverse toilet, crapping it out of the silver screen in a painful excretion of genre box ticking.

It certainly not helped by the tits and ass assembled to bring our heroes’ to life, few if any of whom bring any charisma to their roles. Robert Downey Jnr is always watchable but can anyone recall the last time he played anything other than smug? He’s Iron Man/Tony Stark. Mark Rufflo is bumbling brawn as The Hulk; Chris Helmsworth is Thor (or She-Ra, I can’t be sure) and Chris Evans is Captain America. While Scarlett Johansson wears a cat suit. Rather nicely.

The one person who doesn’t showboat is the magnificent Tom Hiddleston, the villainous Loki, stealer of a weapon of mass destruction. He lights up very moment he spends on screen and is the only lead you welcome the sight of.

The movies lighter moments are its best. But even then the makers manage to screw up the balance, jamming a joke in where its least needed- such as The Hulk and Loki’s climatic show down which is pant wettingly good but infuriating. It completely robs the film of the weight of its grand finale .

Director and screenwriter Joss Whedon seems so focused on securing sequels that he looses touch with the story, which is full of loose, contradictory and unclear ends. (Apparently The Hulk suddenly being able to control his temper and not assault the rest of the Avengers in New York made sense to any one who read the comics. But for the buttered popcorn brigade, no explanation was provided.)

In a world where The Dark Knight so thrilling showed us the potential of the super hero genre, to treat this as an equal is a shocking and unwarranted slight.

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