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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Non-Spoiler Review: Marvel's The Avengers

Finally, the assembly officially begins!

Opening in theaters today, April 25th, in international theaters, Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and Marvel Studios proudly present the crowning jewel and long anticipated superhero team up movie everyone has been waiting for - The Avengers! The culmination and fruit of four years of work since 2008's Iron Man ushered in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is finally here, and it's bringing out a storm of fans and viewers into theaters the world over. Anyone who's followed all five films of Marvel Studios knows that everything is connected and has led up to this. While it has yet to open in US cinemas until May 4th, this Spoiler-Free review will give you an idea of just why you should see this comic book film dream come true if you still have any reservations. That being said, read away and learn why it's awesome, true believers! Also, if you do watch, finish the whole thing to the end, and don't leave while the credits roll!

Movie: Marvel's The Avengers 
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson 
Directed By: Joss Whedon

Taking place right after the events chronicled in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers brings together all of these remarkable individuals, pitting them against a force that no single hero can withstand! When the fallen Asgardian god known as Loki comes to Earth and threatens it with invasion from an alien race, S.H.I.E.L.D director Nick Fury must find a way to stop him and his diabolical plans. To that end, he enacts the Avengers Initiative: a plan to gather the greatest and most powerful heroes the world has ever known. Calling together Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, the team assembles to fight and protect the earth... or avenge it by any means necessary.

Marvel's The Avengers Trailer #2

Directed by Joss Whedon, The Avengers is more than just your dream comic book movie come true. It practically has all the elements that make it a clear work of art spilling off the source material it's based on, and it's not afraid to push the envelope in terms of action and story. No fan will disapprove of everything going for this movie. It has epic written all over it, and it unifies storylines and threads that were told in previous films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe into one. Whedon cleverly weaves everything together and delivers on his promises, and much of the fun and payoff comes off the final act of the film, where the team stands banded together to fight the immediate alien threat in the heart of New York City. You've seen it in trailers and it's not much of a spoiler. However, the experience is enhanced by the chemistry and crafty dialogue delivered by the oh so awesome cast, who have not faltered in portraying their roles significantly.

It was big and risky to cast and contain notable actors and bring them together in The Avengers, but in the end it pays off in spades and the final product gives us a group that makes it so believable. The cast assemble of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, and Samuel L. Jackson return to reprise their respective roles as Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Nick Fury respectively, and none of them skip a beat in bringing their A-game and charisma into the characters they play so well. Mark Ruffalo is a welcome addition to the cast, and is the new man to play Bruce Banner, who turns into the rampaging jade giant known as The Incredible Hulk whenever he's angry or stressed. In fact, his portrayal of Banner reminds me a whole lot of Billy Bixby, and it's further complimented by the fact that legendary bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno, who played the Hulk with Bixby in the 70's Incredible Hulk TV series, is voicing the role amidst the CGI build of the green goliath.

Marvel's The Avengers Super Bowl XLVI Commercial (Extended)

Overall, it's a wellrounded team, but the other people making up the other characters do a lot to provide the meat and heart of the movie as well. First of all, I can't say enough about Tom Hiddleston, who reprises his role as Thor's mischievous evil adopted brother Loki. He returns even more sinister and crafty than ever before, and ensures that he's more than just Thor's exiled brother plotting in the shadows. He's the bad guy you love to hate, and played rather menacing than tragic this time around. Props also go to recurring characters Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard). Gwyneth Paltrow also makes a return as Tony Stark's beau and secretary Pepper Potts, and adding female power is How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders, who stars as Fury's right hand woman Agent Maria Hill. The cast is more than perfect; they have chemistry beyond relief. To quote Ruffalo's line as Banner: "They're a Time Bomb" waiting to explode and impress, and yes they will impress with epic lines, conversations, and all!

By this time, a lot of good things will be said about The Avengers, and it's well deserved praise for a movie that has everything going for it. From superheroes fighting the good fight to epic fight scenes giving fans a treat like no other, there's no stopping this movie from becoming the most talked about summer blockbuster movie of the year. There are some gaps, questions, and quirks to the story that will raise some questions though. Without going to spoiler territory, I'll save those matters for another and more detailed review for another time. For certain however is the fact that this movie should be watched, and all those looking for the payoff and references to comics will see that everything is in place. Again, I must stress to those who leave after the movie is done, DON'T. A staple for Marvel movies is that you can bet there's a scene in the middle or after the credits, so don't leave yourself open to missing eye-openers and treats for future films. That being said, take it away and assemble to your nearest theater to see this masterpiece. The Avengers have assembled, and it's time to celebrate it.

Rating - 5/5

Originally posted in Timzster

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