The Avengers (2012)

The Avengers
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Action violence

Director: Joss Whedon
Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Cobie Smulders, Gwyneth Paltrow, Stellan Skarsgard, Paul Bettany, Clark Gregg

Marvel Studios presents The Avengers - the superhero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel superheroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

DVD
Status: QuickPick
Run time: 137mins
Origin: UNITED STATES
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
When worlds collide
by Simon Miraudo,

The Avengers is a toybox come to life, and Joss Whedon is the precocious, imaginative, quick-witted scamp entrusted by Marvel to pose their action figures in ways pleasing to our eager eyes. Hulk fights Thor. Captain America fights Thor. Iron Man fights Captain America. And Hulk, Thor, Captain America and Iron Man all get their chance to beat up the snivelling villain Loki. Our seven-year-old selves couldn’t have conjured it any better. They are joined by Nick Fury, Black Widow, Agent Coulson, and Hawkeye, who, despite not having had a film yet dedicated solely in their honour, popped up in the previous flicks to lend a hand, deploy a jibe, or deliver some exposition. Here, everyone gets their fair share of screen time; everyone gets their hero shot; everyone gets their killer Whedonesque...

The Avengers is a toybox come to life, and Joss Whedon is the precocious, imaginative, quick-witted scamp entrusted by Marvel to pose their action figures in ways pleasing to our eager eyes. Hulk fights Thor. Captain America fights Thor. Iron Man fights Captain America. And Hulk, Thor, Captain America and Iron Man all get their chance to beat up the snivelling villain Loki. Our seven-year-old selves couldn’t have conjured it any better.

They are joined by Nick Fury, Black Widow, Agent Coulson, and Hawkeye, who, despite not having had a film yet dedicated solely in their honour, popped up in the previous flicks to lend a hand, deploy a jibe, or deliver some exposition. Here, everyone gets their fair share of screen time; everyone gets their hero shot; everyone gets their killer Whedonesque joke. Without knowing any more of the plot, you surely recognise whether or not this is for you. Frankly, if you are the kind of person who is not excited by these characters occupying the same cinematic space, then I just do not know what to say to you. Perhaps you’d be interested in this review of Romantics Anonymous instead?

It would be easy to accuse The Avengers of laziness; for relying on the goodwill established by the earlier instalments and expecting fanboy satisfaction this time around by merely having multiple costumed crusaders share the frame. But, despite them playing Gods and superheroes, it bears repeating that the actors are just human, and their charming, nuanced performances are a big reason for the picture’s success. It’s not just that we find comfort in seeing Tony Stark trade jabs with Steve Rogers; it’s that we’re seeing characters richly developed by Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans antagonise one another, reveal different shades of one another, and compel one another to evolve accordingly. The actors, and writer-director Whedon, have all put in the work, rather then thoughtlessly reciting their lines, throwing money at the screen, and telling us to swallow what's shoved down our throat.

For the past five years, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Coulson (Clark Gregg) have been recruiting the gifted and talented and freakish for a secret military force known as the Avengers Initiative. Well, that proved to be a bust, so they wind up without much of a defence against the vindictive Loki (Tom Hiddleston) when he abandons his intergalactic home of Asgard to take up residency as King of Earth. With an alien army of creepy crawlies at his disposal and the fabled, power-generating Tesseract cube, he seeks to enslave the human race, and then rub it in his brother Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) face. Will those two just trade noogies and leave us out of it?

Fury has no choice but to appeal to the egomaniacal Stark, time-displaced Rogers, and the Hulk-hiding Bruce Banner (franchise newcomer Mark Ruffalo, welcome!) to join them in what could be the last battle for humanity. But super-spy Fury isn’t telling his rag-tag soldiers everything, and the revelation of these secrets threaten to ruin their tenuous bonds. Meanwhile, underling Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) might betray her stoic, interrogation-adept veneer when her unrequited love, archer Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), is brainwashed into backstabbing them. Then Thor turns up to defeat Loki on his own, and they all have trouble getting along, and even though Fury fails to address their personality clashes in a constructive manner, they eventually learn to help one another, and, well, you’ve seen a team-up pic before. You forgive the clichés when it builds to as spectacular a final melee as seen in the extended climax.

What few issues there are with The Avengers are issues inherent to its genre. Like many superhero vehicles before it, proceedings kick off with an impenetrable diatribe about geek minutiae that will likely fly over the head of most audience members (this one included). And, as seen in countless team-building movies, many a moment is devoted to bringing the band back together, and having the same exposition about the same glowing cube relayed over and over again. Also, for all its hedonistic pleasures, stunning action sequences, and preposterously appealing central performances, can we truly consider The Avengers a great stand-alone feature when it relies - in a narrative sense, and in a character establishing sense – so much on what we’ve already seen? These are quibbles of a minor nature, however; in fact, I’d rather you consider them conversation-revitalisers should you find yourself in an endless loop of praise with your buddies.

The Avengers is an experiment, both artistic and financial: the culmination of multiple projects released over a number of years, for which anticipation had reached fever pitch, but, expectations would stand unreasonably high. Astoundingly, it’s a success. Not only is it the best of the series, it even enriches the others (especially Thor, which had always been the weak link; Loki is a much more interesting adversary now, and he’s given plenty to chew on). Considering Whedon is making a follow-up to the final products of numerous directors and screenwriters, it’s a marvel – pun intended – that he can maintain their comic tone whilst still showcasing his inimitable voice and style. This will likely be the closest we ever get to his big screen Buffy (no, we don’t count the Kristy Swanson film as canon).

There will no doubt be a sequel, and there will be Iron Man 3, and Thor 2, and, perhaps now with the ferociously improved CGI Hulk and an appropriately hirsute actor portraying him, we'll get Hulk’d or Keep On Hulking or something. A continued run of quality can’t be guaranteed, but all involved in The Avengers experiment should be proud they took on the challenge of redefining some significant pop culture icons, and, from 2008-2012, actually enhanced them.

4.5/5

Check out Simon’s other reviews here. 

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Member Reviews (73)

Casey
says
Great movie
Posted Friday, 28 March 2014 See my other reviews
John & Sonia
says
loved it also. plenty of action and great effects.
Posted Friday, 21 February 2014 See my other reviews
Karen
says
loved it. exciting.
Posted Monday, 2 December 2013 See my other reviews
Great movie!!!
Posted Friday, 1 November 2013 See my other reviews
I don't want to waste more time talking about a movie that I just wasted 2 1/2 hours of my life
Posted Wednesday, 29 May 2013 See my other reviews
quite entertaining and well done. Now lets see if it's rival aka superman, batman and co will come up with something to rival it
Posted Sunday, 28 April 2013 See my other reviews
garrett
says
Great movie! Much better than I expected. Great acting, espec. Iron man and Loki
Posted Friday, 19 April 2013 See my other reviews
PEG
says
Movie of the Year & deservedly so. All characters perfectly cast & te script flows beautifully. So well done & Robert Downey Junior especially holds it together from the front.
Posted Tuesday, 16 April 2013 See my other reviews
Loved it.
Posted Thursday, 4 April 2013 See my other reviews
ben hall
says
ok
Posted Thursday, 28 February 2013 See my other reviews
Terry
says
This is one of the best action adventure movies of all time. Characters from the Marvel comics have never been brought to life better than this. The extras are also worth watching.
Posted Wednesday, 27 February 2013 See my other reviews
ok
Posted Saturday, 23 February 2013 See my other reviews
Raymond
says
great movie
Posted Friday, 22 February 2013 See my other reviews
Antony D
says
put your mind on zero and enjoy the ride :) very good special effects.. relationships amongst the heroes a bit over the top... Acting was poor, but probably to stay within the comic book characters.... Story line simple, predictable but pretty good.. length of movie reasonable Exceptional (although predictable) special effects. Looking forward to the sequel !
Posted Monday, 18 February 2013 See my other reviews
Frank.
says
Ok for a couple of hours of mindless mayhem. Special effects etc good. Pretty much what you expect from these movies.
Posted Sunday, 17 February 2013 See my other reviews
Maureen
says
Was OK.
Posted Tuesday, 12 February 2013 See my other reviews
Really enjoyed it was easy to watch and a break from everyday life.
Posted Wednesday, 6 February 2013 See my other reviews
Lucky Lennie
says
Special effects were exceptional but the actors had little opportunity to shine due to the script and over-the-top storyline. In fact, I would suggest only comics readers could properly relate to this movie. It was just OK.
Posted Thursday, 31 January 2013 See my other reviews
David Daniell
says
Enjoyed it very much, full of action and excitement.
Posted Wednesday, 30 January 2013 See my other reviews
Pfurball
says
Thoroughly enjoyed this action packed movie with twists and turns and stuck well to Marvel comics. Good actors and plot kept you riveted to the screen.
Posted Saturday, 26 January 2013 See my other reviews
Janine and Ror
says
Pleasantly surprising - much more in this that you would expect. I enjoyed the second viewing even more. You need to really watch Robert Downey Jnr because it's easy to miss something, he delivers lines with such rapid fire.
Posted Friday, 25 January 2013 See my other reviews
Otto
says
Great special effects. Over the top action. Great fun.
Posted Monday, 21 January 2013 See my other reviews
Cass
says
All the family loved this movie (all boys)....lots of action and laughter throughout, although the evil character was a little weak. Was watched several times before I was allowed to return the movie. Highly recommended for lovers of superheroes.
Posted Saturday, 19 January 2013 See my other reviews
Stuart
says
of all the different movies (iron man, capt.America, Hulk, thor) this one was better than the rest but not great
Posted Wednesday, 16 January 2013 See my other reviews
Joyce
says
Bit slow not much action, at the end it got better with the fight scenes.
Posted Tuesday, 15 January 2013 See my other reviews
Iwasn't expecting too much because of the hype leading up to the release of this movie, so was pleasantly surprised when I not only enjoyed it, but had a good laugh and thoroughly enjoyed the interplay between the characters -
Posted Monday, 7 January 2013 See my other reviews
movielover2012
says
was so looking forward to see Thor but he hardly made much appearance or speak. and he didn't take his shirt off. !! bitterly disappointed. not much storyline and no acting. boring fights. Loki doesn't seem that evil either. compare to Thor. this is hardly a worthy sequel.
Posted Friday, 28 December 2012 See my other reviews
Andrew
says
What can you say...its superhero time! A good cast with killer special effects. I enjoyed the movie, though cannot help but think it was a little over promoted and my expectations were, perhaps just a tad, high. Having said that, you would not be disappointed with this movie, the characters work well together and sort of ground each other against some of their more corny lines.
Posted Tuesday, 11 December 2012 See my other reviews
Matthew B.
says
Looks good. Lots of action and noise. Just not very fulfilling action and noise.
Posted Saturday, 8 December 2012 See my other reviews
Kaye
says
Not the best movie.
Posted Wednesday, 5 December 2012 See my other reviews
Livingwell13
says
I expected it to be bad for some reason, but found myself quite engrossed. Typical boy movie, lots of blowing up and fighting, but what's not to love about a bunch of completely flawed heroes, who of course pull together in the finish and save the world. Nothing new there, but loved Loki as the bad guy, he does it so well. They looked like they had fun making the movie and it shows on screen.
Posted Tuesday, 4 December 2012 See my other reviews
D.M.
says
Would this one be the biggest block buster of the year? I would think so, for the filmmakers spared no expense. There's an absolute perfection about this movie and the special effects that pervade the film are excellent. In the hands of a less adept filmmaker, the combination of these super hero characters might have been cheezy, however there's a sophistication like in the Iron Man movies that's also in this one. The ultimate hero of them all? Captain America of course, for when Thor's hammer comes down, the Captain's shield resists! Yah! USA (or something like that). Great to watch, terrific acting performances.
Posted Friday, 23 November 2012 See my other reviews
great movie, loved it.
Posted Wednesday, 21 November 2012 See my other reviews
uncster
says
What a movie should be like. Lots of action, adventure and smashing. Loved it.
Posted Wednesday, 21 November 2012 See my other reviews
pepsi man
says
i love watching these kind of movies, it makes me feel alive
Posted Wednesday, 14 November 2012 See my other reviews
ICP
says
Average, thought the acting lacked depth and overall storyline was disjointed. Batleship though was a great concept & effect. The youngest son (11) though got a lot out of it and enjoyed it.
Posted Wednesday, 14 November 2012 See my other reviews
henny
says
great movie full of action, realy enjoyed
Posted Wednesday, 14 November 2012 See my other reviews
Kristina
says
Fantastic movie bringing all the avengers together to fight the evil Loki. I would advise you watch Captain America first before watching this one as you might be a bit at sea by the references to the Captain's past. I highly recommend this film.
Posted Sunday, 11 November 2012 See my other reviews
Lauren
says
Brilliant movie, great cast and a captivating storyline. There was loads of action, much humour and awesome graphics. Every one in my family loved this movie, even the member who usually isn't into superhero flicks. I highly recommend this movie for anyone.
Posted Thursday, 8 November 2012 See my other reviews
PeterJH
says
One of the better offerings in this genre thanks to Robert Downey and Tom Hiddleston and excellent graphics (excepy for The Hulk character). As for the other actors,,,,,bit of a yawn, especially Chris Hemsworth. He needs to grow up and stop channelling Russell Crowe
Posted Wednesday, 7 November 2012 See my other reviews
I could watch this movie everyday!!! Loved it. Great ensemble cast and some really witty banter between the characters. There's obviously going to be a sequel and I can't wait!!
Posted Tuesday, 6 November 2012 See my other reviews
Liz C
says
I can't help myself. This movie was big ole bucket of fun. It never takes itself seriously and director Joss Whedon, as ever, has his hand firmly on the quip meter. Having all the superhero's face off against each other before the fight has even begun is clever and it makes you love 'em even more. Still can't stand Robert Downey Jnr's Tony Start.....but I think that is the point. Double thumbs up - fine family fare.
Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 See my other reviews
Nick
says
I had read a couple of reviews that were less than glowing and while far from perfect this is one hell of a good film. I can see why the punters flocked to see it. Not all characters get a fair go (hawkeye & black widow) but iron man steals every scene he is in, great popcorn entertainment with witty dialogue and real heart. The FX are also very convincing. Loved it
Posted Wednesday, 31 October 2012 See my other reviews
Purplesue
says
Brilliant!! Full on action from beginning to end. Sometimes forgot to take a breath I was so into it. Great fun for the whole family. Hope they make an Avengers 2
Posted Saturday, 27 October 2012 See my other reviews
Johno
says
Big big movie, everything's done on a grand scale great acting, script and stunts (CGG's) great fun for everyone.
Posted Thursday, 25 October 2012 See my other reviews
Benji and Dad
says
Our young boys thought it was exciting through out the whole movie.
Posted Saturday, 20 October 2012 See my other reviews
Kazza
says
Better than I thought it would be, though Lori was a bit stale, Hulk great again, good all-rounder for the family
Posted Saturday, 13 October 2012 See my other reviews
Anya
says
LOVED IT!! Hulk was the best.
Posted Tuesday, 9 October 2012 See my other reviews
I truly enjoyed this superhero movie. Usually not a big fan of these kind of movies, but thought why not just watch it and yeah I loved it that much. Brought back my childhood!!
Posted Monday, 8 October 2012 See my other reviews
Briget
says
Good light hearted family entertainment. Kids loved it.
Posted Thursday, 4 October 2012 See my other reviews
Julia
says
Loved it, thought it was going to be just another superhero movie, but Boy , I was surprised! Whole family really enjoyed it!
Posted Tuesday, 2 October 2012 See my other reviews
Far better than expected.
Posted Thursday, 27 September 2012 See my other reviews
Kim
says
Great superhero movie
Posted Sunday, 23 September 2012 See my other reviews
Bron
says
A good movie overall. There were some really boring bits between the good bits, though. There was a special effects overload.
Posted Wednesday, 19 September 2012 See my other reviews
Tonles
says
If you want a film with great special effects, lots of action and some laughs then this is for you!! Great casting, truly enjoyable.
Posted Wednesday, 19 September 2012 See my other reviews
Johnson
says
Superb. What's not to love when you combine Marvel's best superheroes? Actually, it could have been complete tripe, but Joss Whedon's skill at giving each character their own development curve really pays off. I still think Tony Stark is a jerk... and who would have thought The Hulk could be so lovable?
Posted Wednesday, 19 September 2012 See my other reviews
PGW
says
All the super heros in one movie - nice concept. Enjoy the ride.
Posted Wednesday, 19 September 2012 See my other reviews
darthdorian
says
One of the best marvel movies. Only reason it doesn't get 5 stars are the cheesy one liners.
Posted Tuesday, 18 September 2012 See my other reviews
John
says
Watched it at the cinema and watched it again on DVD. It was no less entertaining the second time around and thats always a good thing. When I was 11 I think I watech Return of the Jedi 9 times, twice at the cinema and 7 times on VHS... can this compare to that... idk, but then again Im no longer 11... so... 5/5
Posted Wednesday, 12 September 2012 See my other reviews
CC
says
Forget the over-analysis. I enjoyed this movie from start to finish. Best superhero film I've ever seen. :)
Posted Monday, 10 September 2012 See my other reviews
wally
says
I thought it was going to be a great movie but a complete disappointment could of been a bit better of a story line a few of the avenger unrealistic
Posted Monday, 10 September 2012 See my other reviews
joffa
says
ok watch first half more like 'big brother in-house fight scene', second half better after invading aliens finally arrived the 'heroes finally had a 'decent adversary' to aim all their inner anger at......... and that they did and did well
Posted Wednesday, 5 September 2012 See my other reviews
AVENGERS
Posted Wednesday, 5 September 2012 See my other reviews
Carolyn
says
Dare I say it...? I found this surprisingly underwhelming, despite really enjoying the separate Iron Man & Thor movies. I didn't care what happened to even watch it until the end. Loki was one of the few high points.
Posted Wednesday, 5 September 2012 See my other reviews
Erin
says
Yes Yes Yes! I am loving all of the new film adaptations of the comics from Marvel Studios! They are resuscitating these Superhero characters and epic stories in the same way that Christopher Nolan saved the Batman franchise. Keep it coming!
Posted Wednesday, 5 September 2012 See my other reviews
le goret
says
Thanks to my teenage years, I am a fan of Marvel comics generally, but less so of the movies extracted from them. I found this instalment particularly dull, boring and simplistic to the extreme. A waste of talent and money, really. Give it a miss.
Posted Wednesday, 5 September 2012 See my other reviews
jtbug
says
Don't believe the hype. I realised as I was watching it that I'm not that big a fan of the Iron Man, Captain America and Thor movies, and that I prefer Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, even Hellboy, Blade, Judge Dredd and The Phantom have better back stories and interesting characters. Now there's an Avengers team I'd like to see. I kept thinking how much better it would have been with Ed Norton as the Hulk (from the Incredible Hulk) and despite how much I like Joss Whedon, I didn't really buy into this Happy Meal.
Posted Wednesday, 5 September 2012 See my other reviews
David Williams
says
Very entertaining action movie,much better than I was led to believe,some great lines and heaps of fun
Posted Tuesday, 4 September 2012 See my other reviews
Margit
says
Loved it !
Posted Monday, 3 September 2012 See my other reviews
great movie 10/10 ,i hope the next one is not that far are way
Posted Sunday, 2 September 2012 See my other reviews
Lyn
says
Despite all the hype, I was bored - way too long, extremely simple plot, no suspense and the Thor/Loki thing is tiresome. Some amusing lines.
Posted Saturday, 1 September 2012 See my other reviews
Aaron Ramon Ki Re
says
Saw this twice at the movies, it is the ultimate recipe for how you make an awesome superhero movie with multiple complex characters and great action/special effects. When it comes to comic book movie adaptations it doesn't get any better than this. A great movie for all ages - not to be missed!!!
Posted Thursday, 30 August 2012 See my other reviews
spotlight
says
Silly enjoyable fun and a few 'laugh out loud' moments thanks to the witty script. The cast really worked well together.
Posted Saturday, 12 May 2012 See my other reviews