The Avengers: "You Think You're The Only Hero In The World"

Director: Joss Whedon
Writer:    Zak Penn
               Joss Whedon
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson
               Robert Downey Jr
               Chris Evans
               Mark Ruffalo
               Chris Hemsworth
               Scarlett Johansson
               Jeremy Renner
               Tom Hiddleston
               Cobie Smulders
               Gwyneth Paltrow
               Stellan Skarsgard
Rating:    ****

Release Date: Out Now 

You'd think that bringing all of these superheroes and A-List stars together in one film would mean an overdoes of chest puffing and over-inflated egos, luckily this is not the case in The Avengers (Avengers Assemble in some countries). Thankfully, writer-director Joss Whedon keeps things brilliantly bright and breezy, making a long film zoom by faster than a speeding bullet.

(L-R) Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans,
Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey Jr & Mark Ruffalo
Of course with The Avengers being a Marvel members-only affair there are no appearances from Superman and such, so Iron Man is our biggest star. Iron Man is their biggest hit, at least in box office terms, and that means Robert Downey Jr is the star of the show. His greatest weapon is his sharp tongue and wit, which he uses to steal scenes like there's no tomorrow. Which there actually may not be, because an invasion of Earth is imminent.

Naturally, the rather big headed Downey Jr butts helmets with the oh-so-noble Captain America (Evans) who's still a tad stiff after being kept on ice since World War II. Mark Ruffalo is probably the most subdued of the gang, but I guess he has to be, or else he turns green and smashes stuff up.

Chris Hemsworth also returns as the strong and determined God Thor, just a year after his big screen debut. It's his bad boy brother Loki (Hiddleston) who is the cause of this little get-together, who manages to achieve high levels of being scary and silly all at the same time.

Throughout the movie the action is almost non-stop. Hand-to-hand combats are slotted in between the major, adrenaline fuelled set-pieces; the first aboard the Avengers' floating fortress and the last in New York where they come together as the most good looking group of superheros ever to grace a cinema screen, pouncing upon an army of flying lizard thingys.

Sure the end of the world is imminent but Whedon manages to maintain a good time atmosphere, seeming to take inspiration from old classic Hollywood movies where the fun is as much derived from the witty banter between the actors as it is from the big explosions and the butt-kicking.

Samuel L. Jackson
Scarlett Johansson is brought in from the iron Man movies to keep the rowdy boys in line and Jeremy Renner playssecond fiddle to Loki as the archer Hawkeye. She and he have a small amount of history in service, but otherwise there isn't too much backstory to slow things down.

Samuel L Jackson is the joining factor in all the above franchises, playing head of the defence league SHIELD. Clearly, this film is part of a bigger campaign (money grabbing scheme) by Marvel (come on, it's no accident that Thor and Captain America have been released so close to this), but the superheroes are brilliantly portrayed, managing to erase any cynicism from fans and movie goers during the movie.

There will definitely be some comic book fans who will probably take issue with the light-hearted approach, gaps in sensible logic and probably even the casting, but Whedon doesn't ever patronise viewers. He hits the audience with just the right tone and where there are rough edges, he uses Iron Man's dry humour to smooth them out, something which is completely charming and effective.

The Avengers - Trailer