Which female superhero should be introduced in The Avengers’ sequel?.
Tag Archives: thor
#23 – ‘The Avengers’ (2012)
*Robert Downey Jr
*Samuel L Jackson
Director:- Joss Whedon
So this is it. Four years since first alluded to in 2008’s hit ‘Iron Man’ – The Avengers film has finally arrived. And boy, was it worth the wait.
My main focus is to avoid spoilers, which is extremely difficult for a film such as this, but seeing as it hasn’t been released in the US at the time of this review – I can’t risk the majority of my traffic declaring war on my Limey self. So I won’t delve into the story specifically, rather what I found good and, of course, not so good about the movie.
So, for those who haven’t followed the Marvel Cinematic continuity.. The premise involves an international peace-keeping organization known as SHIELD. Headed by Director Nick Fury (Jackson) – A group who have kept tabs on protecting the world from the most extreme threats, but have also hatched a ‘backup’ plan of sorts if the battles they fought became too overwhelming. This plan was dubbed the ‘Avengers Initiative’. An idea to bring together a group of ‘remarkable people’ to defend the world. These include billionaire genius – Tony Stark (Downey Jr), WWII super soldier – Captain Steve Rogers (Evans), Gamma radiation whizz – Dr Bruce Banner (Ruffalo, previously portrayed by Edward Norton) and Asgardian thunder ‘God’ – Thor (Hemsworth). Rounded off with expert marksman Clint ‘Hawkeye’ Barton (Renner) and master assassin Natasha Romanof (Johansson).
So, the big question is – does Joss Whedon pull off the unthinkable? Has he achieved what many people have had much skepticism over during the last decade? A resounding ‘YES’ will be heard across the globe. The Avengers is, simply put, absolutely amazing for the duration – with a few minor hiccups. But still executed so well that it will whet the appetite of every fanboy and Marvel movie goer.
There’s an abundance of spectacle to behold here. From the face off between Iron Man and Thor, to the epic reintroduction of our Jolly Green Giant. It’s nothing short of some of the most entertaining and memorable action sequences in recent memory. But the standout throughout this piece, is the character interaction – every single character from Tony Stark to Maria Hill gets their chance to shine and it’s certainly where the strength of this film truly lies – no doubt a credit to Mr Whedon personally. Notably the scenes between Banner, Stark and Rogers play out for tension and teething problems during the team’s inception – but it’s a great payoff to see these outlandish and out of this world characters go against one another in witty ‘back and forths’ and sniping one-liner put-downs. Stark, of course being the usual purveyor of this.
Relieved I am to say, the billionaire playboy, as most have feared – does not dominate proceedings. As previously stated – everyone has their chance to shine and the playing field is even. As a whole, the humour is very abundant throughout the entirety of the film, but it’s extremely subtle and does not detract from any tension or build up – it’s very clean-cut, precise and excellently timed. The script is a very effective blend of aforementioned humour in addition to dramatics and emotion (pulled off brilliantly by Mark Ruffalo’s Banner in particular), married to conventional superhero film aesthetics. CGI effects are 5-Star, no doubt. It’s almost seemless and is vastly accentuated positively by some brilliant camera work.
The ensemble cast of superheroes have much to be proud of. With a very organic and smooth integration – each one has a discernible quality and personality to throw into the mix. Which allows the audience to come up for air and still have vested interest. Tom Hiddlestone’s Loki is an absolute beast here – if he was brimming with evil in 2011’s ‘Thor’, then here he is evil personified. His interaction with some of The Avengers makes for some unnerving and downright scary viewing. He relishes in his role and leaves with an unsettling thought of method acting preparation. It’s just that good.
So with the positives (non-spoiler ones) out-of-the-way.. What did this film fail on for me? Well, the biggest for me – was the Alien army. I found the inclusion of the unknown extraterrestrial threats extremely uninspired and pretty useless to the plot and the characters. I personally would have liked to see Loki conjuring up mischief to the extreme and taking on the Avengers on his own. Certainly would’ve garnered more of an edge of seat response. There’s also a few plot holes concerning certain characters that really should not have been there. Another prominent issue I found was the very drawn-out opening to the film. I was expecting a lot of fast paced action to kick-start The Avengers, but it’s disappointingly slow and does VERY VERY slightly discredit the overall effectiveness of the film.
These, in hindsight, are only a few small glitches that fail to seriously tarnish an otherwise spectacular Marvel epic from Joss Whedon. Long may this continue.
Believe the hype.
My Top Ten MCU Moments (2008-2011)
So last Thursday, in an extremely time-consuming preparation method for the soon to be released ‘The Avengers’ – I decided to watch all 5 films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. As most will know, the films are interconnected and will culminate in the ensemble piece this month. Here are my top ten moments, spanning all five movies, leading to ‘The Avengers’.
10 – Thor’s Exile To Earth (Thor)
Best quote from the entire film… Odin (Anthony Hopkins) – “HEEEEUUURGH!”
09 – Banner Becomes The Hulk At Culver University (The Incredible Hulk)
Norton’s face @ 0.02 is a major grin win
08. Stark and Rhodey Take On Hammer Drones (Iron Man 2)
Probably shoe-horned in for fan service, but it’s still a cool scene to see on the big screen
07. Loki finds out his true parentage (Thor)
Hiddlestone is absolutely divine here. Stellar chemistry with Sir Anthony
06. Birth of The Super Solider (Captain America: The First Avenger)
While this film didn’t live up to everyone’s expectation – this again was a great scene to see immortalised at last
05. The Hulk vs The Abomination (The Incredible Hulk)
A great climax to the often overlooked chapter in the MCU
04. The Star Spangled Man (Captain America: The First Avenger)
Probably not an obvious choice, but this sequence is fun, visually great and backed by a brilliantly composed song
03. Thor vs Loki (Thor)
Again, Tom Hiddlestone throws down some of the best dialogue of the movie. Intense and emotionally compelling. Also cements his ‘evil’ turn after a snarky “Haa haa!” when he takes Thor down. Niiiice
02. Nick Fury Approaches Tony Stark About The ‘Avenger Initiative’ (Iron Man)
This moment was the comfirmation that ‘The Avengers’ was happening. Geek out to the maximum
01. Iron Man – the entire film (Iron Man)
Sure, it’s not a ‘moment’ per se. And the Nick Fury scene wasn’t technically in the main film…But Jon Favreau’s brilliantly acted, written and produced Iron Man film that paved the way for the MCU, is damn near-faultless.
#9 ‘Thor’ (2011)
Director:- Kenneth Branagh
*MINOR SPOILER ALERT YOU GEEKS*
Remember at school, you was taught about all those wonderful Gods of Greek, Roman and Norse mythology? Well apparently they’ve the ability to cross worlds… It’s a sweet life for some, eh? Enter Thor, God of Thunder and heir to the kingdom of Asgard. This latest offering from Marvel Studios further develops Marvel’s ultimate goal of the ‘quintessential comic book movie’ – to be released next year, and actually fares a lot better than last year’s let-down, Iron Man 2. Slated for development over the last few years, a story such as this one is the kind you have to ask
– Would what works well in a comic book necessarily work on-screen?
Well the easy answer is no. Adaptation from book, even in novel form, to film has been a problem that beleaguered many screenplay writers and directors. Thor is an extremely challenging story to translate into live-action – having to switch from native Asgard, where there are a towering scape of sleek, shiny buildings with an abundance of metallic spray paint – to a modern-day New Mexico complete with holes in the ground and coffee shops seems like a film any director could easily let go by unnoticed. Least of all a British thesp with a resume filled with Shakespearean works. But, yes, of course – Acclaimed actor and director Kenneth Branagh took the reigns of this massive beast and puts to shame any doubters on whether he could direct a summer blockbuster popcorn film. His credible work on Shakespeare films is actually a positive marker on ‘Thor’.
The arc revolving around three of the main characters, Thor, his brother Loki, and father and ruler of Asgard, Odin, is very reminiscent of a Shakespearean tale of betrayal and tragedy. With one brother resenting and envying the other’s achievements, and a heinous plan to force themselves upon their kingdom as their King through means of malicious and hurtful intent. See? Sounds like a great and engaging story, huh? Aussie man-mountain, Chris Hemsworth, is surprisingly great as the titular hero. With a knack for the arrogance that is an apparently important trait of Thor – and convincingly realised by the former soap actor. To be honest I found that after Thor’s journey to Earth and subsequent involvement with Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster was the point where I found myself a tad less impressed by Hemsworth. As a more charming and intimate God of Thunder, he just trails along the similar path that 9 out of 10 love stories in films leads. But due to the plot, we have to realise that this is part of the humility and selflessness Thor has to come to terms with.
It also avoids the fish out of water pothole. Where a character is constantly befuddled and unaware of new surroundings and its inhabitants. There’s only 2 or 3 scenes where we see that being used to comedic effect. Which was a very big relief for me personally. It could have potential turned this film into a complete car wreck. Along with a great casting of Anthony Hopkins in the role of Odin, and Branagh collaborator Tom Hiddlestone as the eventual villain, Loki, Hemsworth makes the cut convincingly enough to warrant a strong thumbs up.
A few nags that most viewers may express might be the over-exuberance of CGI and the sort-of dumb Asgardian costumes (metallic spray-painted synthetics). But it’s not really to the point of constant eye-rolling and sighing.
Conclusion. Thor is a great start to the summer. Cool action scenes, some super dialogue and a solid direction from Branagh. Let’s see when those sequel rumours begin to spread.