'The Avengers'; Joss Whedon, Marvel's Latest Superhero!
By MovieTalkies.com, 07 May 2012
So, finally, it all comes together.
Released this past week, 'The Avengers' has been four years in the making, ever since the first 'Iron Man' film hit theatres in 2008. Since then, with the Hulk, Captain America and Thor all getting their own movies, comic book aficionados and superhero fanboys across the world have been awaiting the day when all of these fabled Marvel characters come together in epic action as the superhero strikeforce team, The Avengers.
The film's plot, penned by director Joss Whedon and Zak Penn, sees the four superheroes, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Dr.Bruce Banner, AKA The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), team up under Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and his 'Avengers' initiative, to take on Thor's adoptive brother and fellow Norse God, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who has designs to take over Earth with the help of an army of evil aliens, the Chitauri. The story, which has been hinted at for years in Marvel's post-credit stingers, references several plot elements from Marvel's past films, like the energy cube The Tesseract, which appeared in Evans' 'Captain America: The First Avenger'. That apart, fan-favourite characters like Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Natasha Romanoff, AKA Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), all put in appearances here.
With an armful of characters to work into the story and a bevy of A-listers to manage, cynics have wondered whether a true 'Avengers' movie is even possible, without making the film seem partial to a character or two. The brilliant thing about Joss Whedon's take on the story is the way that he manages to do just that, giving each of his superheroes a moment of glory of their own, and their own track. There's also a healthy level of banter here, as each of the film's four superheroes are dealing with the baggage they've brought along from their past exploits, like Downey's Tony Stark still dealing with the confused equation between him and his assistant Pepper Potts, while Captain America still struggles with life in the 21st century. Between all these troubles, we also see the four heroes adjust to get along together, unable to come to terms with each other's varying values, only for it all to come together perfectly in a final half-hour as an epic battle for the ages where the Avengers go up against Loki's forces, to truly save the world.
While Downey, Evans, Hemsworth and Jackson, all are in superb form here, the find of the film is the new guy, Ruffalo, who becomes the third actor to play The Hulk in a decade, after Eric Bana in 2003 and Edward Norton in 2008. Ruffalo puts in an effortlessly amazing performance as the flawed and broken Dr.Bruce Banner who is baited back into the Avengers after he has spent a year training himself to not to 'hulk out', as they say. Perpetually on the edge because of what he's afraid of he might do, Ruffalo gives new hope to a revival of 'The Hulk' franchise, which has seen less than enthusiastic responses in its two movie outings over the last ten years.
Part of the reason why Whedon does so well with 'The Avengers' is because of the effort that Marvel has put into the film, setting up each of the characters and their mythologies in films of their own, so that Joss doesn't have to get through introducing each of them all over again. But then, credit is also due to Whedon himself, who, being a comic book writer and fan himself is in perfect position to pay attention to every detail and come up with something that could pass muster with any Marvel fanatic.