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Out of 10: 'Avengers Assemble'

They have a Hulk- I have a Sulk.

By Conor HuftonPublished 6 years ago 3 min read
Photographer: 'Ok Guys, though you aren't all Iron Man, I want you to look like you're relevant to the plot' 

The film that first saw some of the MCU’s most known heroes coming together. ‘Some of MCU’s most known heroes coming together’ was the original title but changed because it was…awful. Also I’m lying.

I’ll avoid over discussion of performance, it’s an ensemble piece and most roles are reprised. The only major new cast member was Mark Ruffalo who brought a sense of relatability and subdued trouble to the Hulk.

There are creative scenes to reintroduce the leads, all with a sense of individual style. Iron Man’s introduction shows the power of his suit as well as his personal relationships, Captain America’s shows his strength and eagerness to fill the role of soldier again. The introductions of Black Widow and the Hulk stand out. Black Widow’s gives clever expectation of subversion, segues effortlessly into humour from tension and makes an incredible display of her acrobatic fighting style. By the way, Scarlett's voice is great.

The Hulk’s shows the difficulties of living with a monstrous personality and the semi comical semi dramatic portrayal of distrust and caution this would cause.

The main positive is seamlessly merging differing worlds that were explored previously. Supporting characters texture the film. Clark Gregg’s agent Coulson brings a sense of relatability and subdued competence; in awe of superheroes like Captain America but able to perform a job that would amaze the average person. Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury gives a sense of morally grey authority, unafraid of using deception to motivate heroes, and with moral superiority over the council he answers to. It's unclear what Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye provides

Bless Him

Falcon was more relevant to this film than Hawkeye, and he wasnt even in it.

There are some interesting scenes of inner group conflict, manipulation, and moral ambiguity that give needed depth. Similar depth comes from Iron Man’s actions in the final battle, which inventively uses intertwining plot points to resolve one another, meanwhile developing a character and solidifying the group dynamic at a logical time in the story. Arguably the best scene involves the Avengers' interactions being exhausted and Loki’s widespread and tense destruction forces the characters have to fully show their resources. The Hulk’s transformation and Iron Man and Captain America’s teamwork are particularly impactful results of this event. The film never loses focus and any subplots or character arcs are inextricably linked with the Loki allying with invaders storyline.

The basic plot is occasionally flavoured by cunning from Loki and slight diversion from typical tropes; e.g. his brainwashed servants showing independent thought and characteristics rather than seeming zombified. There are also surprisingly complex but short lived exchanges between Loki and the heroes that give a sense of capability and personal history to less physically powerful Avengers. As mentioned before, the plot is basic; it could broadly belong to any fantastical team action film. The idea of using a basic plot and subtly flavouring other details was intentional for a crossover film thats main commercial appeal was potential fan service. There was a possible concern to seem overly intellectual.

The writers borrow plot devices from the hero’s solo films for fulfilling inclusivity. There’s also an obvious effort to provide a self-contained group of events with a distinctive resolution so new viewers aren’t alienated, a balance that’s challenging to achieve in an ambitious crossover. With an end that shows promise and acknowledges the events the film initiated, Avengers Assemble is a satisfying start to a more connected fictional universe.

Now for the Rating

'Of course we value you, Hawkeye. Would it make you feel better if we let you in the middle pointing your arrow at an ACTUAL GOD like there's a chance you might be able to hurt him?'

7 out of 10. It’s not perfect. I’ve pointed out the positives of a basic plot, but there are disadvantages. One is the potential overreliance on simply showing popular characters.

They attempt to stop this from being egregious by giving plausible working relationships, but the overreliance arguably limits texturing the story or characters further.

A lot of the action seems unnecessarily long and repetitive. Sometimes it’s totally needless; there’s no conflict in the fight between Cap, Thor, and Iron Man when their alliance is a foregone conclusion and there’s little excitement in the scene. Towards the end, the heroes effortlessly use basic attacks on several anonymous seemingly weak aliens for several minutes, resulting in an uninteresting experience with little sense of threat attached.

It can seem slightly padded, but this is slightly lessened by interesting events happening in the midst of battle (E.g. Bruce Banner’s limited control over his rage, Tony’s self-sacrifice). It’s undoubtedly responsible for a lot of amazing films that have come since, but this is probably part of its weakness in hindsight; since so many elements have been improved on in later MCU entries, re-entering the mind-set of being totally captivated is difficult.


About the Creator

Conor Hufton

getting better at this writing thing (aka slowly learning the alphabet, learnt how to use pen). Spanning critical writing, fantasy, parody and sci-fi (ruining all of them in the process).

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