Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard and Samuel L. Jackson.
Finally getting to review the most over hyped summer blockbuster/superhero movie of the year. I was very surprised at the enormous buzz this movie was getting both from audience and specially from critics raving about it. Its understandable that the fan boys would love to see their beloved Marvel Comics Superheros getting to appear in a single movie together but the whole "Best Superhero Movie of all Time" thing is absurd. Avengers broke many records, created new ones and is now the third highest grossing movie ever. I see that most movies these days specially the summer releases or generic movies like these are targeted at certain audiences and deemed as "Just for Fun" movies where you are suppose to forget everything and just enjoy. I am one of those people who enjoys good movies only, i wont have a great time unless the movie itself is letting itself break free from the awful pathos. Avengers as much as appealing it looked, after watching it i realized what a near mess it was. The Avengers is not a bad movie per say, but the whole idea of many superheros coming together was not fully explored or executed that well. There were some good surprises too, for example Hulk finally getting the appropriate on-screen treatment thanks to the wonderful performance by Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johanson outshining in her role as Black Widow in a movie where she gets to do a lot more than she did in Iron Man 2. Iron Man or as i like to call him Robert Downey Jr. 2.0 was destined to overshadow everyone else because of his own humor and then the character himself and his ego, power, wealth and girls but Downey surprisingly was at his best after his not so cool portrayal in Iron Man 2. Poor Thor wasn't treated well here and Captain America didn't quite fit well enough but Chris Evans tried his best to show his inner battles. Loki was a buzz kill and others were good enough.
This movie is about the Avengers Initiative that is activated after Loki, the brother of Thor, with help from some extra-terrestrial race, Other, decides to subjugate earth in exchange for Tesseract. Nick Fury who is the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. recruits Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk and others to team up against the danger that is about to come down on earth. Basically movie starts very slow with much of time wasted in lazy development and nothing much interesting. Loki's arrival and him mind-controlling few of the members including Clint/Hawkeye and the scientist Dr. Erik for his escape from the facility and in future to help him with his plan never actually builds that sense of what awful things are about to come in the movie. Natasha/Black Widow is contacted to go to India and bring back Dr. Bruce Banner/Hulk while Tony Stark/Iron Man and Steve Rogers/Captain America are being told about the plans too. The very first moment when you see Iron Man flying around and being the kind of self-centered annoying bore that he is, you know it that it might be "Avengers" but the movie is about Iron Man only, it will revolve around him and he'll be getting the most screen presence. Which is annoying, bad and at the same time kind of cool too because as much as i hate Tony, i love Iron Man because he is nothing like any other superhero as far as Avengers go. Loki is captured by them after an interesting incident and Thor tries to get a hold of his brother and sees if he can bring him back. What follows is how they come together as a team to stop the evil, leaving aside their personal stuff and baggage just for the sole purpose of saving the city and saving humanity. Interesting turns of events with fights both verbal and physical, interesting one-on-ones and explosions, destruction and finally at the end, we see the big battle.
It is quite weird how you can't help but bring Transformers 3 in your conversation because Avengers is like Transformers 3 but with a lot more brain, wittiness, meaning and interesting lovable characters. Transformers 3 wasted its entire run time just for the sake of last hour destructive and explosive moments where they get to destroy the city and everything but the movie was nothing before that. Its somewhat same here but it gets help from Joss Whedon who carefully finds a lot of meaningful banter, enjoyable superhero clashes, some sentimentality and lots of humor that never gets silly or on the wrong side. The first part is definitely flawed and empty but the last few minutes are filled with some of the best and most enjoyable action filled moments of any movie this summer. The grand production and visual effects comes into play there but at the end of the day you still feel like this was not what you were hoping to find in a movie that was really celebrated by people as if it finally took the "Superhero" movie phenomenon to another level. Its bigger than any other superhero movie they ever did but it comes down to one thing, it not different, its the same generic stuff and it never breaks free from that. Hands down to Mark Ruffalo for finally getting the character of Bruce Banner and Hulk right. His performance is the single best thing about the movie. The constant sense of battle that he does with his self all the time, the fragility and everything really makes his portrayal the best so far. Scarlett Johanson never comes across as the Only Female Protagonist who is just there for the Eye Candy stuff but she plays her part in the team. She fights in every way possible and she is the part of it. They couldn't have found a better person to play that part without going into a very cliched place which always happens with beautiful actresses playing these physically demanding characters. We get to see a very distinct side of Stark as he tries to mingle himself in the crowd of these "other" superheroes without loosing his touch. Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye is a man with some deadly skills and he plays his part quite well even though for most of the time he is under control of Loki. His one on one fight sequence with Black Widow is one of the best moments in the movie.
I will still like to congratulate Joss Whedon and the producers for pulling this off with whatever they did to make this movie not fall apart under its own weight in a way. The thing that troubles me is that it was suppose to be this Superhero Movie of the decade by offering us something new but in the end it just offers fans what they want without shaking up a little. It acts like an obligation to the stand alone superhero movies Marvel did to acts as a build up for this event which at the end feels like a half-baked pie of much supposedly greatness. It can still be fun and entertaining to watch with a unique style and energy. The heroes are somewhat treated very well by the filmmaker here, which they rarely do.