UK Release date: 26th April 2012
Watched at the cinema Saturday 5th May 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Having successfully avoided the opening week I decided it was probably safe to go and see this one in its second week of showing at the local. Not too busy but the accountants would have been pleased with the turnout for the tea-time showing on FA Cup final day. Did it live up to the critical acclaim it’s had? Well I cannot lie, the critics are right! I have been a fan of the work of Joss Whedon since Firefly and I must say he hasn’t let me down. It’s clever, witty and never drops the ball as far as the Marvel universe goes… Great stuff! But I digress, here’s a brief summary before I give you more of my thoughts.
S.H.I.E.L.D. has possession of the Tesseract, an artefact of great power taken from Thor’s realm, Asgard. They don’t realise it can be used as a door and Loki, Thor’s brother, is using it to bring himself to Earth. He has assembled an army and needs the Tesseract to bring them down and conquer the planet. To help him he turns several humans to his side, including Hawkeye (Clint Barton). Nick Fury recognises the threat and sets his agents in motion to assemble a team capable of defeating it. They are; Iron Man (Tony Stark), Captain America (Steve Rogers), The Hulk (Bruce Banner) and Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff). Latterly Thor arrives from Asgard and pledges to fight alongside them. With the scene set Loki unexpectedly allows himself to be captured. He’s taken to the S.H.I.E.L.D. fortress in the sky… but does he have an ulterior motive? Well I’ll leave it there or the Spoiler Police (Marvel Division) will be revoking my Avengers fan club membership (again).
I first have to say I saw the film in 2D (none of this 3D nonsense for me) and even so I did find some of the scenes very dark. Also, the aspect ratio at 1.78:1 seemed totally wrong to me, most films these days are shot in a ratio of 2.35:1 and I can’t see why this one had to be different (it may be a 3D thing, but it niggled me slightly). As far as performances go, well everyone did a great job; Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, Tom Hiddleston who was particularly good as Loki and not forgetting Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
Of course there are plot holes here, as there are in all superhero films and I’m not going to chime on about them now, I’m sure there are many out there that are better qualified than me so I’ll leave it to them. What I took away from it was a very entertaining film with a lot of (sometimes subtle) humour and I really enjoyed it. The narrative did seem to get a little stuck in a couple of places though, like when Thor arrived and ended up having a fight with Iron Man, but I can forgive these because as a whole it all worked pretty well. I was a little disappointed with the back-story to Black Widow and Hawkeye, it was only alluded to quite briefly and, I guess because they are more minor characters, I wanted to know a little more about them. But over all I must say it’s well worth the admission fee!... Highly Recommended.
My score: 8.9/10.
IMDb Score: 8.8/10 (based on 65,676 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 69/100: (Based on 40 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 93/100 (based on 230 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 96/100 (based on 199,821 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Tony Stark: [to Thor] No hard feelings Point Break, you've got a mean swing.
[Referencing their recent battle]
Nick Fury: Gentlemen, you're up!
Tony Stark: Dr. Banner, your work is unparalleled. And I'm a huge fan of the way you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage monster.
Bruce Banner: Thanks.
Tony Stark: Let's do a headcount: Your brother, the demigod; a super-soldier, a living legend who actually lives up to the legend; a man with breathtaking anger management issues; a couple of master assassins; and you've managed to piss off every single one of us.
Loki: That was the plan.
Tony Stark: Not a great plan.
Tony Stark: [to Loki] There is no throne, there is no version of this where you come out on top! Maybe your army will come, maybe it's too much for us, but it's all on you! Because if we can't protect the Earth, you can be damn sure we'll avenge it!