Avengers Assemble (2012) Directed by Joss Whedon. With Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L Jackson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston.
In the same way that any superhero sequel benefits from all the hoops that its origins story predecessor has had to jump through, Avengers Assemble benefits tenfold. Joss Whedon’s coming together of many of the Marvel series’ most prominent players is a joyful delight of a film that’s able to cut straight to the chase, allowing all the grown ups to pretend they are seven years old again, while simultaneously being never less than exhilarating for younger eyes. Director and co-writer, Whedon, has been quoted as saying he writes every character as the lead, and it’s a testament to his innovation as an author that he is able to cram so much fun and personality into each individual in what is, essentially, a straightforward and simplistic tale of goodies versus baddies.
All the heroes are given plenty to do and all look great doing it. If there is a central player, then it seems fitting that it be Robert Downey Jr’s charismatic Tony Stark/Iron Man. Of all the Marvel films included to date, Jon Favareu’s Iron Man series has been the most satisfying, in terms of character, and Whedon gets the most out of the Downey Jr. while never allowing him to completely overshadow the other players. Also worth mentioning is The Hulk. Mark Ruffalo plays a super-chilled Dr Banner to the extent that he’s the last man you’d expect to flip and turn green with rage, but once he does, and like all the characters , he’s employed with great wit and invention.
In many ways, Whedon might well have storyboarded this in his high-school days with old action figures, and this realization is quite possibly the cumulative result of all those carefree playdays. So – Michael Bay and his Transformers might want to listen-up – it seems that we can have a entertaining and humongous blockbuster experience that’s sole aim is the thrill the senses without overly bothering itself with, y’know…a story. By pulling this off, Joss Whedon has achieved what many considered to be the impossible. A hugely enjoyable, fun- packed two hours plus that breezes by and most crucially, remembers to never take itself too seriously. 5/5