Review | The Avengers


Avengers assembled: Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, Hawkeye, Thor and Black Widow

The road leading to The Avengers begins way back in 2008, when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) mysteriously popped on a post credit scene for Iron Man. Four years and four movies later, Marvel Studios’ super-team at last shapes up in Joss Whedon’s fun, unbridled movie.

The plot continues the events showed in Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, setting of when malicious Loki (Tom Hiddleston) invades Earth and steals a powerful artifact which can mean the planet’s doom. The threat forces Nick Fury, the director of SHIELD, to assemble the team known as The Avengers, a collection of special individuals.

Bringing together so many superheroes in a single movie is complicated, specially when they come from individual franchises (well, Marvel has been focusing on the project so much that the solo movies had a drop on the story) and present themselves different from each other. Thoses almost surreal moments appear in a massive way on screen (the showdowns between Thor and Hulk, and Iron Man are amazing), with a sharp direction from Whedon – the use of a long shot on the final battle is impressive – who also allows each hero a proper role.

 That may be the grand merith from Whedon’s script: organization and balance of the characters. It’s a clash of egos and personalities, and the cast dynamic is fantastic, with each actor defending its character with talent and charisma. Robert Downey Jr remains perfect as Tony Stark, and this time he offers something never seen before: emotional vulnerability in the Golden Avenger (his reaction to the a death of a certain character is notable). Chris Evans gives Captain America the politically correct treatment, Chris Hemsworth nails Thor’s accent and even Scarlett Johansson is able to make Black Widow more than just a pretty face. The new face here is Mark Ruffalo as the next incarnation of Bruce Banner/Hulk, proving to be the most satisfactory portrail of the green monster – who’s much more comic here.

 
Tom Hiddleston’s Loki

There’s also plenty of space for Tom Hiddleston, who makes Loki one of the most interesting villains of the Marvel mythology. The actor is much better explored here than in Thor, providing true sparks when he has a verbal dispute with Tony Stark’s narcissism. Worthy of equal recognition is Samuel L. Jackson, who reveals traces that until now were unknown to Nick Fury, such as his commitment to justice and ambition in achieving his goals – even if that means taking advantage of an agent’s demise or blowing up planes of his own armada.

On the technical field, Avengers doesn’t let down. The visual effects are great (they finally got the Hulk right!), Alan Silvestri’s score beautifully ponctuates the more epic and dramatic moments, and even the 3D conversion is pretty decent. However, the design of some creatures (specially those flying “serpents”) remindedme a lot of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which presented a very similar climax with destruction and extradimensional holes. But the comparisions end there, since Whedon is a much more skillful director than Michael Bay, with better notions of how to conduct action sequences.

The Avengers is a dream come true to Marvel fans. Even if not a masterpiece, it’s one of the most funny and grand comic book adaptations released so far. And hold on tight, because the post credits scene promises an even bigger spectacle.

Let’s keep an eye on for Fury’s next apparition…

Obs: Gwyneth Paltrow and Stellan Skarsgard reprise their roles from Iron Man and Thor.

Obs II: In case you don’t know (that’s fine, I myself didn’t know until a few hours ago), the figure at the post credits cene is Thanos, a cosmic villain from Marvel universe. 

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