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The Avengers (2012)

Every team needs a Captain.

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 142 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A

To me, The Avengers was a British TV series from the 1960s about spies starring a very sexy Diana Rigg not every single comic book character ever conceived implausibly put together in one film. I was never a teenage stereotype in small town America so no matter how hard try I will never really get the whole comic book thing but this probably helps me with this genre as I have no source material to meticulously compare them to. Against my better instincts (the very concept of the movie is absurd) I gave The Avengers circa 2012 a chance and I was very pleasantly surprised.

The bad guy of the piece is the pale, slimy adopted demi-God Loki (Hiddleston) from Thor who decides to take one more bite of the cherry and invade earth with the help of an otherworldly army. Trying to stop him is a motley collection of God’s superheroes and humans – called The Avengers and headed by Nick Fury (Jackson), – including Captain America (Evans), Iron Man (Downey Jr.), The Hulk (Ruffalo), Thor (Hemsworth), Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) and Clint Barton/Hawkeye/who? (Renner).

Surprisingly, Jess Whedon has come up with a plot that is actually fairly well developed with the relationship between very different characters taking centre stage for much of the scene setting. Although the politics can be slightly confusing to a new-comer, the build up is measured and progresses clearly throughout out as it culminates in a predictably explosive finale. The climax is certainly not a let-down and goes to show that when some care is taken, an epic CGI battle scene doesn’t have to end up as a massive computer generated mess.

A nice touch is that the tone of the movie rarely gets too serious and there are always a varying quality of laughs to be had. Somehow, most of the funny moments come courtesy of The Hulk in angry mode whereas free-quipping Tony Stark tries his best but eight out of ten times comes across as rather irritating – yet more of an argument against an Iron Man threequel.

Whedon has done well to take a couple of average comic book movies and welded them together to make one that’s better than its constituent parts. A bit like the Newcastle United football team.

It's Got: A well executed finale, good plot progression and interaction between The Avengers, decent humour

It Needs: Less of Tony Stark, bit less politics, a bad guy with more backbone


A far better superhero mash-up than it’s constituent parts would suggest, Joss Whedon’s The Avengers has surprisingly well-executed plot and action and comes across as entertaining and pretty funny.