Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

April 27, 2012

Saving the world in style

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 10:32 pm

April 27, 2012

Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L Jackson, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard

Director: Joss Whedon

Comic book fans who’ve kept their eyes peeled to the Internet for every scrap of news since the film was first announced, will be delighted to know that The Avengers more than lives up to their tall expectations. The truth, in fact, is that even if you’re unfamiliar with the Marvel universe and the back-story of these superheroes, you’re still likely to find yourself cheering for the sheer spectacle that’s up on screen.

After successfully introducing movie-goers to Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, and Thor in previous films, the decision to get all these big guns firing as one was brave to say the least…given that each of them inhabits a different space, and comes with his own set of quirks and characteristics. But writer-director Joss Whedon, a lifelong Marvel fan, recognizes that challenge clearly, and uses exactly that to form the basis of his story – in order to come together to fight a common enemy, these superheroes must first sort out their own egos and differences.

That enemy, by the way, is Loki, the Asgardian demi-god who you might remember, was banished from the heavens at the end of Thor for his propensity to create inter-galactic mischief. The Avengers opens with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) stealing the Tesseract, a powerful energy source, with which he intends to open a portal to space to summon an alien army to help him enslave all mankind.

In response, Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), director of international peacekeeping agency SHIELD, gathers his best men: billionaire industrialist Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), supersoldier Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans), god of thunder and Loki’s brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth), ace scientist and Hulk alter-ego Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), along with slinky Russian spy Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and expert marksman Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Together they must work as a team to thwart Loki’s world-ending scheme…but there’s that small matter of fighting amongst each other to resolve first.

Director Joss Whedon maintains a cracking pace, switching deftly between spectacular action sequences, and witty interaction scenes between the characters. Expectedly, Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man gets the best lines here, especially his clever putdowns to the others – to the red-caped Thor he asks, “Doth mother know you weareth her drapes?”, while to Banner he says: “I’m a huge fan of the way you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage monster.”

It’s particularly remarkable how Whedon ensures that the story remains rooted in the characters, without ever compromising on the punch-ups and the adrenaline-pumping set-pieces. The film’s third act for one, a thrilling alien-bashing finale on the streets of Manhattan, is pure fanboy wet-dream.

The performances are top-notch across the board, particularly from Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk far more sympathetically than in the two previous films that starred Eric Bana and Edward Norton as the angry green fellow. Ruffalo nails the almost precarious relationship between Dr Banner and his alter ego, and delivers plenty spontaneous laughs.

In the end, The Avengers isn’t just the ultimate spectacle, but also incredibly smart and surprisingly humorous. I’m going with four out of five for The Avengers. It raises the stakes for comic-book movies hereon… Batman and Spider-man, are you listening?

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

30 Comments »

  1. the avengers was a treat..being a comics fan.. i was waiting for years..but it couldn’t have got better than this..awesome movie.

    Comment by syed feroz — April 27, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

  2. good god,it really must be good….4 stars!!!
    I’m going tomorrow…never been more excited for a movie 🙂

    Comment by parth — April 27, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

  3. I loved it!! Especially Tony Stark a.k.a Iron Man!! He was just cool and smart of all!! Couldn’t ask for more or better…loved it

    Comment by Kp Sivaramakrishnan — April 27, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

  4. simmply mind blowing movie!! a musst watch.

    Comment by arnav — April 27, 2012 @ 11:55 pm

  5. Did you seriously just give a warning to Batman? “Are you listening, Batman….” I bet The Avengers is good; I have high hopes for The Amazing Spiderman, but no way will any of these movies will even come close to the hype, success, and quality of The Dark Knight Rises. Seriously, you ended your review in such a lame manner.

    Comment by Roy — April 28, 2012 @ 12:00 am

  6. If u could add a link to your CNN IBN or IBN7 Video review link to your website the it would be great, as i have to search the net for the video reviews

    Comment by Ankush — April 28, 2012 @ 12:16 am

  7. Eeally enjoyed the movie but I think i wd have enjoyed it more in 2D. When are they going to get over this 3D business? It gives me a headache and the colours are so dull.

    Comment by Amit Nagpal — April 28, 2012 @ 1:15 am

  8. ‘The Avengers’ is gift to all the fanboys who grew up watching/reading the Superhero-stuff. Its a gift that we waited for long time. And after watching this movie, I think the wait was worth. Its a like a dream-come-true. Amazing stuff, this is!

    Comment by Pankaj — April 28, 2012 @ 1:43 am

  9. Disagree, more like pure bollywood masala movie. I guess that’s was super hero movies have become.

    Comment by grimmjow — April 28, 2012 @ 3:00 am

  10. Sir,
    I don’t think it is fair to call the finale of The Avengers a thrilling set piece and critisizing Transformers Dark of the Moon, as both the finales were quite same. In fact, 120 of the 1500 programs used by ILM from transformers, is also a fact that Michael Bay literally began the trend and Transformers is much more complicated.

    Comment by Chandramouli Daga — April 28, 2012 @ 8:19 am

  11. made well with real witty one liners. loki outstanding.hulk with a slight sense of humour. enjoyed the movie finally somebody who understsands ‘marvel’

    Comment by jonathan s parker — April 28, 2012 @ 9:32 am

  12. It was a great challenge for Joss whedon And he tackled it in a great way. Awesome!

    Comment by Rocky — April 28, 2012 @ 9:59 am

  13. der is an old poverb for this movie….too many cooks spoils the broth….boring movie…with poor story base with cheezy comic lines..totallly disappointing……and again showing the poor side of india……..

    Comment by raunak khaitan — April 28, 2012 @ 10:44 am

  14. a must watch movie……
    puar paisa wasool film.
    dont miss it..

    Comment by binaya — April 28, 2012 @ 11:09 am

  15. @roy …cudn’t agree more

    Comment by lolo — April 28, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

  16. 4/5?? That too from You?? This must be one hell of a movie then.

    Comment by Kali — April 28, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

  17. This movie is as far from Bolllywood masala movies as is possible. Its SMART,FUNNY, ADRENALINE PUMPING, JAW DROPPING, BONE CRUSHING AND MORE while making sense at the same time. Just because a movie is entertaining don’t compare it with mindless Bollywood masala movies which, by the way suck so hard, its unbelievable.

    Comment by rofl — April 28, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

  18. Watched it couple of hours back and i guarantee that this one’s EPIC! Iron Man, HULK, Captain, Thor all were simply great..even hawkeye and i felt scarlet was absolutely kick-ass as well.
    Action, the humor all worked just perfect for me.

    Fav scenes
    The scene between Loki`and HULK when loki tries to intimidate the HULK ..errr.. seriously intimidate “The HULK”???…you guys will laugh your guts out…the entire auditorium burst out laughing 😀
    And this one line when HULK says “My secret is that I am always angry” and what follows! it blew me away….DO NOT MISS IT!..
    njoy..:)

    Comment by Anvik — April 28, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

  19. the avengers is really a treat to watch. it just a little boring in the first half due to all building up and story telling but second half makes for it. action sequence is very well directed and graphics is just awesome. acting by all the actors is superb. comic scenes in between the action is superb . also chemistry between bruce banner and tony stark is amazing . hulk although gives a tough competition to iron man in this field . all in all its a movie surely to watch.

    Comment by ashish — April 28, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

  20. 1 st half is boring , 2nd half is like F1 Race:)

    Comment by Prashant — April 28, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

  21. Biggest disappointment,PROPAGANDA MOVIES WITH CHARACTER LIKE CAPTAIN AMERICA …OVER THE TOP …NO EMOTIONAL CONNECT WITH ANY OF THE SUPERHERO ..MOST IRRITATING IS IRON MAN …I WISH HE WOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED IN THE END … I THINK STILL THE BEST WAS CAPTAIN AMERICA …HULK IS WASTED … WITH KING KONG IN-DISGUISE … REPETITIVE FIGHT SFX ..NO MUCH STORY TO SUPPORT THE CAUSE OF AVENGER … TYPICAL SUPPERHERO MOVIE … WITH VERY LITTLE EMOTIONAL UNDERCURRENT …NOT ABLE TO CONNECT TO MOVIE ..JUST AN EYECANDY..
    FOR GODSAKE …NO IRON MAN ANYMORE …PLEASE ..MOST IRRITATING SUPERHERO IN HISTORY …
    ALL IN ALL 4 OUT OF 10 FROM ME …TYPICAL SUPERHERO MOVIES … STILL BATMAN STORY LINE , MUSIC , KIND OF VILLAINS BATMAN ENCOUNTERS HAS NO MATCH ….. I DO NOT THINK AVENGER CAN BE REMEMBERED AS DARK KNIGHT ..IT IS NO WHERE NEAR …. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT …

    Comment by okroal — April 29, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

  22. its such a nice movie with intelligent humor! Even if u are not a fan… you will enjoy it!

    Comment by Somya — April 30, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

  23. My Review – http://celluloidpoints.blogspot.in/2012/05/avengers-by-joss-whedon.html

    Comment by tanuj — May 1, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

  24. 1st half was super boring bt the 2nd half was good. This movie doesn’t deserve 4 stars, 3 stars would have been OK.

    Comment by vivek — May 2, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

  25. Saw Avengers3D yesterday.Movie was just like our Bollywood Multistarrers with all Marvel Superheroes thrown in. Gues what Hollywood is copying us in that.Bring all the heroes in one,so that viewers come for their favourite one and this way halls r packed.But Multistarrers forget one thing..the story which is the real hero of any movie. Story had nothing new to tell,the plot has been used zillion times in hollywood. The Superheroes were wasted which could have been a brilliant movie.
    Looked like Marvel’s X-Men! Climax was highly lifted from latest instalment of Transformers.Ironman was given the best lines & maximum screen space and turned out to be the saviour in Avengers.Rest were all supporting casts.Wonder why It got 4 stars? And what to say of 3D technology.Its Such a pain in A**.This movie had 95% screening in 3D.Hardly a greatt experience.It would have been betterin 2D.
    I wont ever go and recommend anyone to go for a 3D movie.It strains your eyes and my reason for Headache.I would give it 3 out of 5.Individual series of Ironman and Hulk were much better.

    Comment by Siddharth Bajaj — May 3, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

  26. I agree with Roy, Mr. Masad, warning the batmas series was not expected atleast from a reviewer like you. I am sure you might have meant superman and spider man.. while you wrote this.
    Except this one instance, i have loved all you movie reviews so far ..

    Comment by Suchi — May 4, 2012 @ 7:01 am

  27. As much as I was looking forward to this movie…I always thought it was going to be jus another Superhero movie where bunch of superheroes are brought together to fight of the end of the world situation…I went to the theatre expecting just mindless entertainment… But the movie really left me surprised and wanting for more when I came out of the auditorium!!! Each and every character is given equal screen time and no one is preferred over other…all the actors have done justice to characters…living upto the class of movie it has been made.
    Joss Whendon’s comic timing is impeccable just like his action direction…the dialogues are witty and fresh and lightens even the most serious of the characters (Loki, Bruce banner, Thor and black widow).
    Cant wait for upcoming Avengers movie!!! Hope Joss Whendon directs the next movie!!!
    I give 4 1/2 stars for the movie…you would definetly wanna go back and watch it again!!!

    Comment by Karishma — May 4, 2012 @ 7:56 am

  28. Looked like Marvel’s X-Men! Climax was highly lifted from latest instalment of Transformers.Ironman was given the best lines & maximum screen space and turned out to be the saviour in Avengers.Rest were all supporting casts.Wonder why It got 4 stars? And what to say of 3D technology.This movie had 95% screening in 3D.Hardly a greatt experience.It would have been betterin 2D.Story had nothing new to tell,the plot has been used zillion times in hollywood. The Superheroes were wasted which could have been a brilliant movie.

    I wont ever go and recommend anyone to go for a 3D movie.It strains your eyes and my reason for Headache.I would give it 3 out of 5.Individual series of Ironman and Hulk were much better.

    Comment by SIDDHARTH BAJAJ — May 4, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

  29. Ha!! Chris Evans’ facial exoirssepn at the cheer for Downey Jr. was like: Damn, I was The Human Torch AND now I’m Capt. America, why didn’t I get that kinda cheer? Don’t worry Chris, we still heart you, lol!

    Comment by bunda — May 18, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

  30. Couldn’t agree more. I would love to see more detailed reviews from you. I love the way you write.

    You seem to favour English/Hollywood movies against Hindi/Bollywood movies. You are generous and meticulous while writing reviews from Hollywood films while you you don’t take Bollywood movies seriously and dismiss them.

    I’ve also attempted to write a review of the same. Please find the time to read and comment. Thanks a lot. Here is the link: http://beingchinmayjoshi.blogspot.in/2012/05/movie-review-avengers.html

    Comment by Chinmay Joshi — June 10, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

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