Avengers Assemble – review

Marvel-lous! – 4 out of 5

Review by Grace Cowey, Communications Planner

I wouldn’t say I’m your typical comic book movie fan. For one thing, I’ve never actually read a comic book and I’ve only seen a few comic book films. But whenever I watch one, I find myself feeling mildly obsessed and wanting to book a ticket to Comic-Con. Avengers Assemble was no exception, and brought out more of the suppressed fan-girl in me than I’ve ever experienced before.

Maybe it was the fact that I had forgotten to put my contact lenses in – it was a 3D film, so I was rocking the glasses-on-glasses thing, which made me feel a bit like a superhero myself with some kind of super-powered vision. As the lights went down, I expected to see a bunch of dry, technology-focused advertising in the run up to the movie, seeing as how the cinema was full of what looked like extras from The Big Bang Theory, but actually found the ads surprisingly palatable and engaging. They were clearly capitalising on the whole 3D experience (Mentos 3, Max Payne 3 etc…) and were quite male-centric, but the two minute long Citroën DS5 mini-movie made me well up a little (I’m a crier, often irrationally, and something about the French countryside and the old man’s gentle face did it for me).

I had originally hoped that Avengers Assemble would be ‘Iron Man and Friends’, as I love Robert Downey Jr’s inflated ego and self-satisfied sense of humour, and had been marginally disappointed by Edward Norton’s recent portrayal of The Hulk (the two characters who most appeal to my inner fan-girl). It’s a good thing, therefore, that I hadn’t penned the script, as I left feeling as though there could have been a bit less Iron Man, a bit more Captain America (swoon), a bit more character development of Hawkeye and the Black Widow, and a bit more brotherly conflict between Thor and Loki. As for The Hulk, Mark Ruffalo’s quiet, studied self-control was a massive improvement on Norton’s psychosis and Dr Banner was as entertaining to watch as his alter-ego.

The plot did little to deviate from your standard ‘super hero saves the day by defeating the bad guy’ formula, but the mash-up of characters is what really made it so much fun to watch. It was genuinely an ensemble film, and hard to point to the true ‘star’ – beginning and ending with Iron Man, by way of The Hulk, with some spanners thrown in the works by Thor and Loki, peppered throughout by a mesmerising, leather-clad Black Widow. Captain America was possibly the most pointless character in terms of bad-guy-defeat and team synergy, but he is definitely my new favourite super hero. Something about those 1950s ideals and the way he hitches his trousers up to his belly button…

All in all, it was a super fun movie and one which I will watch again when it comes out on Blu-ray. And I will possibly dress up as one of the characters for Halloween. And I might re-watch all of the movies made about each character individually, two or three times. Maybe I’ll even read the comics. I’ll possibly buy the action figures as well. This is what mild obsession feels like.


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