Directed by: Joss Whedon – Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader, Samuel L. Jackson
Boasting quite possibly the most ridiculously good-looking cast since, well the last Avengers movie, this sequel to 2012’s Avengers Assemble sees all the old team back together, and a few new additions gracing the screen.
If you’re not familiar with Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Captain America et al at this stage, you have most likely been stranded on a desert island for the past few years, as to say we have been bombarded by information and teasers about them and this movie is an understatement. It is often the case that a movie, even a gazillion dollar blockbuster like this (I may have exaggerated budgets) finds it impossible to live up to such hype, but thankfully Avengers not only lives up to its pre-publicity but it supersedes expectations.
Opening with a spectacular action-sequence, this movie lays its cards on the table from the off, and you just know that you are going to be in for a roller-coaster ride. After raiding a Hydra (the bad guys) outpost the team retrieve Loki’s sceptre, and uber genius Tony Stark (Downey Jr) and Bruce Banner (Ruffalo) discover an artificial intelligence contained within it. Hoping to utilise it for good, their creation quickly turns on them in the form of Ultron (voiced by Spader) and they spend the rest of the movie trying to undo the damage he has done and restore order to the world. Their cause isn’t helped by plenty of in-fighting, as they turn on each other thanks to the mind manipulation of the Scarlet Witch (Olsen).
Yes the plot may sound silly, but bear in mind this is a comic book movie – it’s not War and Peace and nor is it trying to be. What it is is action packed with plenty of humour, spectacular set pieces and well-rounded characters that you really care about. You’ll run the gamut of emotions and find yourself frustrated with some of the outcomes, but ultimately you leave the cinema buoyed and wanting more.
All the cast give excellent performances which is to be expected, as many of them have had several outings as these characters at this stage. Downey Jr and Hemsworth provide much of the wry wit, while the underlying love story between Ruffalo’s Banner and Johansson’s Black Widow is as tender as anything you would find in a Nicholas Sparks (The notebook) novel.
Marvel have this summer blockbuster thing down to a tee, and this will manage to satiate die-hard fans, while no doubt welcoming more people into the Marvelverse. This is everything a blockbuster should be – thrilling, funny and engaging. The action never detracts from the characters, and the effects are there to enhance the story rather than simply show off. A joyous cinematic experience, this spectacular will probably demand more than one watch.
In Cinemas Now!