Avengers is the latest superhero American blockbuster to sweep the nation and it's a surprising spectacle of dramatical storylines and soft humour.
As blue flames recede from his explosive entrance into the heart of one of S.H.I.E.L.D’s most secure bases, the Norse trickster god Loki (Tom Hiddleston) rises and aims his most piercing glare at Gen. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). “I am burdened with glorious purpose,” Hiddleston states in a dark voice with ice-cold intensity.
As soon as the words fall from his lips, we see them to be true. In one bright, swift eruption Loki declares war on S.H.I.E.L.D, lays out an entire room of agents, turns one of their most skilled and trusted members to his own ranks, and ignites this year's summer blockbuster season.
Setting his villainous sights high, Loki plans to lay siege to earth and conquer all of humanity. This is his little way of taking vengeance on his brother, Thor, for removing him as King of Asgard.
To accomplish his task, he steals the luminous Tesseract from S.H.I.E.L.D and plots to introduce a threat too great for any one hero to handle. In response, Fury sets out to assemble his Avengers.
Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) make up earth’s mightiest six-pack.
Other than tremendous potential for destruction, unwavering forces of personality, and previous hit summer films, what do all of them have in common? Not much.
Iron Man’s crisp and narcissistic banter is parried by Captain America’s upright insistence on selfless duty, whereas Thor’s otherworldliness is difficult for both to swallow.
Further cramping the team spirit is the addition of the unstable and potentially hazardous Bruce Banner.
With so many characters, one might be concerned that the movie will fall apart under the weight of the competing narratives. However, Avengers Assemble never feels disjointed. The story line is straightforward and the momentum isn’t carried through complicated plot contortions, but rather stays grounded in character interactions.
This is where director and co-screen writer Joss Whedon is at his finest. His talent for capturing the dynamics of team dialogue is well known from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly.
In Avengers, Whedon doesn’t miss a beat. Nearly every line uttered between the uneasy allies is infused with his dry wit. This ensures the tension between the cast is not overly dramatic or heavy, but is often hilarious.
The success of Avengers also largely belongs to Loki and the delirious malevolence Hiddleston brings to the role. His antics are as enjoyable to watch as they are fiendish.
There is no drag to this film, no chance to catch your breath. The film is clever, fast paced, and just plain fun.
If you’re a fan of any of the previous films, you owe it to yourself to see this movie. Take a break and enjoy a world where heroes aren’t afraid to wear star-spangled tights and brightly coloured capes to throw down with the bad guys and show us what it takes to make the world a better place.