The movie Avengers Assemble is the long awaited superhero extravaganza, where several save-the-day-types join forces to fight against the film’s antagonist, Loki. Loki has stolen a mystical glowing blue cube which he hopes he can use to conquer the world. The heroes believe this cube is so powerful that even Loki will not be able to control its power. And so, Nick Fury, the leader of the S.H.I.E.L.D organisation, reacts to the threat by gathering several superheroes together to form a formidable fighting team to tackle the enemy. But first, the heroes must learn to work together before they can fight their common enemy.
Unfortunately the film fails to move beyond this brief synopsis into anything more substantial. Avengers Assemble was probably made to cater to a very large audience, and it seems the point was to create a film that both a twelve-year old and a thirty-year old could engage with and appreciate easily. This is the film’s biggest strength, and also its biggest weakness. It may be aesthetically pleasing, but is ultimately lacking in any true substance in terms of plot, structure or script. It makes it very easy to pick up, and just as easy to discard.
Everything about the plot is insultingly linear and predictable and follows the most basic structure of ‘good versus evil’ with a predictable injection of basic virtue and morals – in this case ‘unity’ and ‘teamwork’ are clearly highlighted. This might not seem out of place with a film made by Disney or Pixar, but for a film which was so highly anticipated with so many big characters it is a major flaw and a let-down to see the story treated with such delicacy.
This film also manages to insult your most basic intelligence by showcasing unnecessary antics that are nothing more than fantastical nonsense. If you were to describe one of the action scenes in words, you would find yourself gibbering like a toddler. In one scene Nick Fury is violently gunned down, but dusts himself off in time to evacuate his base. In another, Captain America is shot down, dusts himself off and carries on (neither of these people are bullet-proof by the way). Black Widow, a hero who cannot fly, gives Captain America a psychic eyeballing before bouncing off his shield, and grabbing a flying motorcycle ten times her height in the air.
Many films have unrealistic stunts or plots which can be good harmless fun, but they don’t take as many liberties with your intelligence, quite like the way Avengers does. This is the crucial point of why the film is so awful; for example, a typical James Bond film can be criticised for unbelievably over-the-top stunts and fantastical scenes, but there’s a difference. James Bond has gadgets, he gets stuck in traps, he finds puzzles, secrets, people betray him, and there are elements of mystery and intrigue, and usually a shifting, thrilling plot. The crucial flaw about Avengers Assemble is that there are no rules. The heroes never get stuck, never get challenged, they are never in any recognisable danger, there are no puzzles, any challenge is overcome easily because the characters do as they please and have no weaknesses. No rules means there is no mystery, nothing of interest to keep you on the edge of your seat, no element of intrigue that you need to keep watching to find out more about, and so it insults your most basic intelligence by trying to convince you that it is entertaining because the graphics are superb, the actors are famous, there are bright colours everywhere and Iron Man is a cocky narcissist – which is meant to be funny, probably.
Another gaping flaw was the film’s ‘baddie’, who was hardly foreboding or menacing enough to ever present a sense of danger or worry, especially against so many heroes, all equal protagonists, all dreadfully dull – Bruce Banner the most boring of all. Slim and snake-like, Loki’s character physically portrays deceit and cunning,with perhaps a sense of evil genius. None of these traits manifest themselves, and instead the character is a god without a backbone,and a magic stick as his most dangerous feature. Loki never presents much of a threat and there’s something very exasperating about the film’s only enemy being such a push-over. His plans for world domination are so boring they are difficult to remember throughout the film and you can quickly tell he’s not a tyrannical despot at all, but rather a nuisance that Nick Fury et al. are trying to swat away. It’s a far cry from The Dark Knight’s Joker – a villain the hero can truly fear.
Avengers Assemble might be the wet dream every comic book fan was waiting for, but unfortunately, any potential the film had was squandered. The essential elements for creating a good film were sloppily omitted and focus was instead aimed at top-of-the-line CGI and little else. Avengers Assemble was the most culturally insignificant event of the year. If you feel thrilled or stimulated once the film is finished, it’s possible you were in a coma.