RELEASED: 26th April 2012
DIRECTOR: Joss Whedon
CAST: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson
BOX OFFICE WORLDWIDE: $1.5bn
AWARDS: None (1 Academy Award nomination and 1 BAFTA nomination)
Loki has teamed up with the Chitauri Army and uses the power of the Tesseract to travel to Earth and begin plotting an invasion of Earth by the Chitauri in the hopes of conquering and ruling it. In response to the destruction at a remote research facility, the director of the S.H.I.E.L.D Nick Fury reactivates the ‘Avengers Initiative’, gathering Earth’s mightiest heroes together to save the world.
Back in 2012, Avengers Assemble (or The Avengers outside of UK/Ireland) was the culmination of Marvel Studios attempt at branching out the Marvel Cinematic Universe, bringing forth key superheroes from their solo films (Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America) and bringing them together for a team up film that comic book fans have long dreamed about. For good measure as well, the film brings the return of the MCU’s most interesting villain at this point in Loki, who pits his wits against the Avengers and also have them clashing amongst themselves as he Hannibal Lecter’s his way through the second act of the film. The film will remain a historic moment for not just the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward, but for the comic book film genre in general, having these characters appear together on the big screen for the first time and while their sequels have been grander in scope and scale, there’s just a repeat ability factor here that can’t be matched compared to the original. Maybe it’s the way that anyone can jump in to watch it and have not seen the other films, as we even get some brief backstory/flashbacks of the characters, who they are and what they stand for. Joss Whedon does a great job in giving each individual member of the Avengers their moment to shine and the action sequences are well handled, from the combat sequence between an ‘enslaved’ Hawkeye vs Black Widow, to the Hulk trashing the Helicarrier chasing Black Widow and also going up against Thor, to the climatic battle in New York against the Chitauri). The special effects are still hold up well to today and I still prefer the practical/CGI look of the Iron Man suit compared to what we got going forward in Infinity War/Endgame. The chemistry amongst the ensemble is what makes the film and the MCU has a whole work so well, from the back and forth between Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark with Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner, to Chris Evans’s Steve Rogers attempting to adjust to being a man out of time and understanding certain moments of humour (‘I understood that reference’). Obviously though, it’s Tom Hiddleston’s gleeful performance as Loki that makes the film standout amongst the majority of comic book films that came out this decade.
FAVOURITE SCENE: Bruce Banner transforms into the Hulk, punches the chitauri leviathan and Tony blows it up. As the rest of the Chitauri army cry out, we get the circle moneyshot of The Avengers to the theme from Alan Silvestri.
FAVOURITE QUOTE: “Puny god.” – The Hulk
DID YOU KNOW: Reportedly, a scene was filmed where, during the final battle, Captain America saves an old man trying to protect his grandchildren. He tells him to “Get them to cover”, but as he walks away, the old man asks him “Cap, is that really you?” He turns and, noting the man’s World War II veteran lapel pin, trades salutes with him. As Captain America sprints away, the children ask their grandfather, “Do you know him?”, and he replies “we all know him.”