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The Avengers (2012)

Shit happens. Everything was going so well, then along comes a freedom stealing warrior from another planet. Wouldn't you just know it. Typical. Loki and his army are on the warpath and there aren't many people on earth that can save us all from complete annihilation. But there are a few.

Joss Whedon takes advantage of the fact that we are, by now, mind-numbingly familiar with ninety percent of these characters already by not bothering to develop any of them. They are all true to type and comfortable to this audience, so Whedon can concentrate on the story, which is something he takes no time introducing us to (see paragraph one).


More intriguing than the story is really the interaction between all of these larger than life characters, each of them worthy of at least one movie all of their own. For this is what the fanboys wanted and what Whedon seems to have taken great pains (and heaps of cash) to deliver. Given the undeniable differences, Whedon has achieved what he set out to do here and that is make a bunch of fancy dress costumes work surprisingly well in tandem. The ridiculous premise takes a back seat (which is just as well) in favour of snappy lines from a clever, witty script. Everyone is on point and up to standard, with Tom Hiddlestone the stand out performance as Loki.


This could easily become an example of the law of diminishing returns, however. Maybe not financially at first glance, but one of satisfaction. For all of the baying and hollering for this project to come to fruition, there may be a cost. Not least of this is overkill. No sooner had the premiere fired up did the Iron Man 3 marketing kick into gear. Let's not forget that not every Marvel project garnered the same positive responses. Putting them all together may have seemed like a good idea, but too much of anything will make you sick. Furthermore, if you're going to have a high profile band of avengers, you'd better hope they are all as charismatic and appealing as each other.


When stripped to the sum of its parts, The Avengers is not greater for the collaboration, but it does go some way to diluting the very best that Marvel has to offer. The movie looks incredible and has eye candy in spades. In fact, this is a wet dream of a film for its target demographic that, like Marvel themselves, believe in more but bigger. A true blockbuster in every sense of the word, tossing out A-listers like confetti, to be gobbled up by an avaricious clientele that will gorge until they are sick. A feast for the eyes, if not the grey matter, The Avengers will impress and take away breath with its lusty visuals, even without much of a coherent storyline.


For the fans, this is manna from heaven. For the rest of us, it's overlong and deficient in those areas when the characters you were least moved by in their own features, are the main focus of attention. Thankfully, it did bring the odd chuckle, with the Hulk very nearly stealing the show.

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