The glitz and glamour of a film premiere can generate a euphoric atmosphere. Star struck onlookers with their pens and posters mix with the geeks and the media for a glimpse of the Hollywood elite as those lucky enough to hold a ticket are herded towards escalators, shuffling awkwardly down a red carpet that isn’t meant for them. I had been like Banner and The Hulk all day, trying to keep my excitement contained for a full 8 hours. I was so focused on seeing the heroes on screen I barely had time to notice them right in front of me as we were ushered along. I could have touched Scarlett Johansson. COULD have. But then I wouldn’t have been allowed in to watch the movie. Office hype was at fever-pitch due to news that she went ‘au naturel’ underneath that signature Black Widow cat suit. I was torn, but I made my choice and settled for a photo. She has a very photogenic shoulder and back (see below for proof). A few escalators later and we’re seated in the screen, watching the red carpet show unfold as Jonafon Woss patters with the celebrities one-by-one. It isn’t long before the film rolls, and we all look fetching in our Hulk/Iron Man/Thor/Captain America themed 3D Glasses.
This is a very different breed from its comic book half-brother, The Dark Knight. One tries to be the antithesis of old-school comic book conventions, grounding every part of the experience in a gritty and plausible sort of reality. Avengers Assemble 3D is full-tilt the other end of the spectrum. It embraces its heritage of fantastical costumes, one-liners and impossible action set pieces that are designed to dazzle.
The film itself is a giddy fanboys dream scenario (see – wet dream). Fortunately for everyone, Avengers Assemble 3D is also a brilliant action movie. Joss Whedon deserves a lot of praise for handling this project with such deft aplomb, and masterfully juggling each characters ego and backstory so nobody is left behind to look weaker than the others. In fact, the management of character face time is so good that it will surely revive consumer appetite for future solo outings from the likes of Thor and Captain America, as the Marvel Juggernaut speeds into a new era of superhero flicks and towards an Avengers 2.
Despite a long first Act of necessary exposition, there is a smorgasbord of killer action set pieces peppered throughout the next two-thirds. You’ll be amazed by how heavy-hitting the brawl between Thor and Iron Man feels. More refreshing is just how much of our heroes’ personalities comes through during these fights. Hulk especially has a hilarious temper tantrum, smashing the villainous Loki around like a ragdoll. In fact, Hulk is a real highlight through most of the movie in both his guises. Mark Ruffalo plays Banner as a nervous and self-depreciating scientist and the dynamic works a treat. The character really holds weight and gains a lot of sympathy from the audience which was much needed after two lukewarm solo releases that have taken very different approaches. Hopefully, this will be the depiction of the big green monster that finally sticks and can spawn it’s own franchise with Ruffalo in the driving seat.
Thor is back to full arrogance delivering iron-denting head-butt’s to Tony Stark, and Captain America battles with a fierce heart that’s motivated by the civilians he fights to protect. The sudden death of a regular character leaves Cap to become the soul and moral compass of the team, a role that only he can fill. Iron Man is still Iron Man, which is a delight as he makes cocky jibes at his fellow teammates. He is definitely back to his best and some of the verbal exchanges in this movie are the best of any Marvel film to date. The humour is always right on the money and cheesiness is sparse despite the premise.
All action sequences are exhilarating and fun. You’ll be amazed what is achieved in just 2 hours, and relieved that what you’re watching ISN’T a hot mess of blurry CGI FX and bad acting (*cough* Transformers). It could have all gone so wrong, and it was a heavy ask, but Marvel have a winner on their hands. Avengers Assemble 3D has set the bar very high for all comic book films that come after it. The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man I’m looking at you… watch your back, The Avengers are coming.
Avengers Assemble 3D releases nationwide on Thursday 26th May.