Nick Fury: I recognize the council has made a decision but given that it’s a stupid-ass decision I have elected to ignore it.
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
After four years of build up with six individual stories, Marvel finally gave us their first big team-up with all of them for one big movie. The MCU has certainly come a long way since this movie first came out seven years ago but this was the end of the beginning for Marvel. It was grand, ambitious, and truly stepped up the game.
The movie involves the sinister Loki (Tom Hiddelston) working with a nefarious alien force known as the Chitauri who desire to take over the world. Loki steals an item from Shield for the Chitauri known as the Tesseract and in return they promise him an army to subjugate Earth. To retrieve the Tesseract and stop Loki’s nefarious plan, Shield head Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) activates the Avengers Initiative calling a group of superheroes together including Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert. Downey Jr.), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson), Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), and Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).
On paper, the story doesn’t sound like much and in some ways doesn’t make much sense. It’s just bad guy bent on world domination and a bunch of heroes trying to stop him. The movie is pretty much just driven on one-liners and action. In any other film this would probably be horrible. And had we started off with this movie before all the other solo movies that would be the case. But the heroes and the villain have developed such personalities from the past five movies that the movie not only succeeds in bringing them together when they team up but also when they interact with one another, work off of one another, getting into fights, insulting one another, etc. The characters are so well defined and interesting to watch that you could just have the movie be just all of them talking a room and it would be okay.
When it comes to the action things get even better. It is nothing short of fun. Every superhero has a unique gimmick when it comes to battle and as I said before each one has a unique personality to balance it out so it doesn’t get to drawn out. Each Avenger does something that fans want to see with the Hulk jumping around and smashing things, Captain America using his Shield, Iron Man flying around and shooting stuff, etc. Each hero does something different is balanced out so unlike something like Bayformers it doesn’t get old.
All the actors bring their A-game to this movie but there are two that stand in this. The first is Mark Ruffalo who made his debut as Bruce Banner here. Ruffalo really presents the character well as a weary man who’s come to terms with having this beast inside of him and has just tried to spend years of trying to achieve inner calmness. At times he seems only half awake but it’s done in a sense that works as it feels like he’s sacrificing his stronger emotions to keep himself in check. The second is Scarlet Johansson as Black Widow. Her character generated a great deal of mystery and fascination in Iron Man 2 through just her body language and expressions and here we find out a lot about her past and how she met Shield and it generates a lot of fascination with her.
The Avengers doesn’t have much drama nor does it present much in the way of complex dilemmas. It’s just a fun action movie done with so much wit and humor in it that it makes the even the most mindless and silliest of moments enjoyable. Its characters and interactions give the feel of an amazing comic book adaptation. The MCU has come a long way since this point but never can we forget where such the glorious team up began and closed one door while opening over a hundred more.