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Avengers Assemble

November 16, 2014

Avengers Assemble (2012)
Director: Joss Whedon
Actors: Robert Downey Jr, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans

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Synopsis: Exiled Asgard prince, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), with the help of a sinister alien race, is able to worm-hole his way to Earth by latching on to the Tesseract energy source there. Loki’s plan is to rule over Earth, but spy agent, S.H.I.E.L.D., contacts round all the known superheroes to combat Loki and retrieve the Tesseract.

Review: Avengers Assemble does exactly what it says on the tin: the Avengers assemble and proceed to smash things up – a lot! Don’t get me wrong, it’s all highly enjoyable, with Joss Whedon’s vision for the Avengers coming very much in the lineage of J.J. Abrams’ recent Star Trek reboot: they’re both highly literate, have a pleasing self-awareness and lightness of touch, while always honouring the fanboy, action-heavy element to the genre.

In fact, exponential to the pulpiness of the material, Whedon’s achievement in transcending that disposability is actually quite impressive. Recent superhero movie plots have been anonymous in the extreme – think of much of the X-Men franchise – but Whedon sensibly makes his energy plot-hook here little more than a macguffin around which to wrap the more fertile material of his subject matter. With the Avengers, it’s the very merging of the different characters that makes the film and how exciting/bizarre (take your pick) the juxtaposition is between all of them and their respective talents: from the essentially human skills of Black Widow and Captain America, and the industrial-aided might of Iron Man, to the more fanciful, extraordinary attributes of Thor and a pleasingly light-hearted Hulk. (November 2014)

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