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The Avengers (2012) was the culmination of everything Marvel Studios had been working towards since Iron Man (2008), their first film in the MCU.
A film like The Avengers, in terms of the Superhero genre, had never even been dreamed of before by movie studios, never mind actually achieved with such success.
This is why this film still stands tall as one of the best superhero films to date, because it achieved something most deemed impossible. Having that many characters in one film was doomed for disaster it seemed but Marvel, and especially writer and director Joss Whedon, created a formula that not only worked but made it seem like it was easy.
What helped Marvel is that all of the Avengers, including minor characters and main villain Loki, had already been introduced into the universe which saves much vital time introducing them at the start of this film. Of course Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk all had their own films but we had seen Black Widow play a big role in Iron Man 2 and even Hawkeye appear briefly in Thor.
As for your minor characters, Agent Coulson had appeared in four of the five MCU films so far, becoming the bridge between the heroes and S.H.I.E.L.D, we saw Dr Erik Selvig play a role in Thor, Director Fury too plays a big role in this film having appeared in a handful of films beforehand, mostly in post-credit scenes.
We’re introduced to Agent Maria Hill, Fury’s second in command in this film and lastly welcome back everyone’s favourite villain and Thor’s brother, Loki, who serves as the films main antagonist.
Regarding the film’s story, Whedon made it simple but extremely effective. Our heroes are all introduced separately and then brought together as one, though not yet as a team. The introductions are nothing to pass over though, as fans finally got to see the character interactions they’d been waiting for.
Some of the highlights include Agent Coulson excitedly teetering over Captain America, Dr Banner tricking Black Widow by pretending to turn into the Hulk and a classic Iron Man entrance from Tony Stark who overtakes Widow’s PA system in her jet and blasts Loki down to Shoot To Thrill by ACDC.
This is all topped by our final introduction when Loki has been captured by S.H.I.E.LD with Cap and Iron Man. Thor appears, captures Loki and takes him to a near cliff where they speak about the events of Thor, where Loki faked his own death. Iron Man then knocks Thor away, which leads to some classic lines from Iron Man (“Shakespeare in the park”) followed by a fight that’s not only epic but extremely fun.
When Cap enters, he stops the fight before Thor finds out his hammer isn’t completely unbeatable as it bounces off Cap’s shield before the three settle down and return to Loki. When the rest of the team assemble on the helicarrier, it becomes evident that Director Fury is hiding something from them. After finding out that he planned to use the Tesseract as a weapon, the Avengers remain unsure of working for Fury.
But, after Loki’s team, with a brainwashed Hawkeye leading them, attack the base and free Loki, hell breaks loose which brings the Avengers together and out of their spat with Fury.
The end result sees the Avengers split up and dishevelled, especially after learning Agent Coulson was killed by Loki.
When Stark figures out that Loki plans to use Stark Tower as his base for his invasion, the Avengers regroup and head to New York City to avenge Coulson and stop Loki.
The battle that ensues is one of epic proportions, as Thor and Hulk rejoin the fight alongside a healthy again Hawkeye. It includes some of the most famous scenes in the film, including Dr Banner’s classic line of “That’s my secret, I’m always angry” and transforming into the Hulk, Cap showing a police captain exactly why he’s in charge.
After a while, the Chitauri appear to be too much for team but when a nuclear bomb is sent by the World Security Council to level the city, Iron Man flies into the Chitauri base and destroys their ship, and subsequently defeats the Chitauri and ends the battle.
Loki is then captured by the team and sent back to Asgard with Thor.
Our mid post credit scene reveals that it is Thanos, long time Avenger foe from the comics who is behind the invasion of earth and after being told ‘fighting humans would be to court death’ he turns and smiles into the camera and giving fans the tiniest exciting glimpse of the future of the MCU.
Our very last post credit scene sees the team eating Shawarma at a virtually destroyed cafe in New York City.
Throughout your first watch of the film, the realisation that this team is together on the screen carries you through, but what you notice on your second or third viewing is that it is actually is a good film in its own right.
Each character gets their fair share of screen time, the source material has been looked at and used, the action scenes are what you might expect from an Avengers film, the previous films are addressed whilst it also looks to the future without any confusion and the script, along with the performances are excellent, mixing brilliant adaptations with the comedic timing needed for a comic book film.
The Avengers helped set up what was an excellent second phase for Marvel which includes some of its best films to date.
That’s where we will pick up next time with the start of phase two and Iron Man 3.
If you missed part 5 of our guide with Captain America: The First Avenger, you can check that out here: http://bit.ly/1UkBMgP