Avengers Assemble review

A bald pirate gathers together a bunch of freaks to fight a god and his big insect men.

The Hulk bits are good. Iron Man’s quips are tiresome. Captain America’s uniform is hilarious. Norse god Loki had a good English private school education, didn’t he?

I’ll get to the point: I think Avengers Assemble is a little bit rubbish. I make the point of saying “I” because this, evidently, isn’t an opinion held by the rest of the universe. And, in part, that is what has compelled me to write a review of a film I would usually just ignore.

This isn’t director Joss Whedon’s most intelligent, inventive foray, throwing lightweight nonsense action scenes together, hoping that liberal sprinkles of equally nonsensical and mind-numbingly quip-tastic dialogue might add depth. It isn’t helped by the characters’ quickly glossed over motivations and decisions, either (“No! I don’t want to join! Oh, go on then.”), resulting in an implausible union, the very crux of the film. But, hey, they need to move on to the next action sequence ASAP!

Marvel’s clever years-long marketing strategy has heavily relied on the “simple” amalgamation of several popular franchises - great storytelling was never really a factor in this film’s potential success and the end result very clearly demonstrates that fact. It could have been worse - it definitely could have been a lot worse - but there’s an inherent problem in creating a solid, compelling story (as opposed to a compelling string of action scenes) over two hours and twenty-two minutes with so many characters with such history and monumental egos.

And there’s a huge irony in the big event of bringing together this range of characters: When you strip away their skills and powers they exhibit as much variation as the mythical depressing tube of all-yellow Fruit Pastilles. Underneath the paper-thin psychology of man-out-of-time Captain America, man-with-inner-demons Hulk, lovable dick Iron Man, and so on, every character - every single character - behaves in the same way. OK, they’re all heroic - they can have that - but how, for example, have they developed the exact same dry sense of humour? Ultimately they’re all as shallow as a flea’s swimming pool and that’s another problem arising from dealing with so many domineering characters.

Just for good measure, the film tops off a boring story and bland characters with some pretty awful acting performances (by no means universally bad) and questionably camp and relatively dull production design. So, yeah, sorry to disagree with you all, I’ve tried - I really have tried - but I can’t find a lot to admire. The Hulk bits are good.

2 out of 5

27th Apr 2012 | Official site | On IMDb

Comments

The Avengers: 6/10
leave your brain at the door. The day after I actually forgot I’d seen it!

matt, 26th Jun 2012