Nick Fury and SHIELD have their hands full. Outmanned, outgunned and outclassed, only a desperate play at bringing together the world’s greatest heroes can possibly stem the tide and save the world!
This movie is all about bang and flash – it’s big, it’s loud and it’s in your face. The culmination of the last several years of Marvel superhero films, this finally pulls together the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America franchises into a giant epic battle royale. Even with a veritable who’s who of heroes and blockbusters, the whole still manages to be greater than the sum of its parts.
Joss Whedon’s guiding hand comes out well throughout, with the solid pacing and witty banter that have made him a household name. It was hard to see him in this role originally, after seeing the film, it’s hard to picture anybody else. Whedon remains true to the source material for the most part, although Hawkeye comes across as a sad shadow of what he used to be in print and the Incredible Hulk is perhaps a bit overpowered. But this is the first good Hulk movie in, well, ever and the rest of the gang are true to form. Robert Downey continues to completely own the role of Iron Man and Captain America and Thor somehow remain true to their characters without becoming annoying caricatures…which they had a tendency to be in the old comics. The enemies – other than Loki – are faceless and nameless in both style and form, but it works as this is clearly a film about laying the groundwork rather than telling a compelling story. The goal here was to set a stage big enough for this group and the film does that brilliantly. The final battle is the stuff of Hollywood legend.
This film may well reinvigorate the individual franchises at least as much as making everybody lick their chops waiting for the next Avengers film. Captain America and Thor both broke onto the scene with somewhat flat films. This movie was good enough to make them relevant again on their own. It may also get people interested in taking another stab at an Incredible Hulk movie. Maybe.