I lived in my family home for 26 years (give or take a few months) until my parents sold and moved. I still miss it.
There are very few places that give you that feeling of consistency and security as your family home. Today I realised that I get close to that feeling when I walk into Screen One of the Savoy Cinema in Dublin’s city centre.
My timing was perfect, the lights went down and from the back somebody shouted “Avengers Assemble”. The audience loved it. I settled down with obligatory popcorn, and Peanut M&M’s accompanied with a small carton of apple juice. I felt at home.
Then the Avengers began to Assemble.
I don’t think that I will ever be able to enjoy a ‘single’ superhero movie ever again. Well that may not be strictly true but what I saw was a slick, tongue in cheek, clever, fantasy-action flick.
You do not need to have seen the previous instalments in the franchise but it certainly helps.
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has a new power source which is stolen by the Norse God Loki. Fury then gathers a bunch of extraordinary people from around the globe to help him battle Loki who is intent on conquering Earth:
Each of the heroes are given equal screen time, equal cheesy one-liners and (with a bit of suspended disbelief) equal credibility. If you have seen the previous movies you will notice a few actor changes. This is most notable with the inclusion of Marc Ruffalo as Bruce Banner. Anyone who can take over from an Edward Norton role and make it their own deserves a pat on the back as long as he doesn’t smash you.
We have all been part of a team at one time or another and understand the dynamics involved in getting any bunch of egos firstly, to agree and secondly, to work as a team.
Director and Co-writer Joss Whedon has a strong background in sci-fi with major successes like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly television series has the experience to make it look like this team was the most difficult one ever to assemble and all with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Though there are serious moments that may surprise you.
With measured rising tension, the main characters fight amongst themselves as much as they do in the final battle against Loki and his army as they attack Manhattan. Whedon has firmly staked his position as one of the great sci-fi action directors.
The chemistry between the team is perfect. With four superheroes to manage the final battle could have been as confusing as the Transformer movies but Whedon manages to track the action with the precision of a mathematical formulae that keeps us in the loop.
What results is a still a popcorn and bubblegum movie except the popcorn is infused with the honey of the Gods and the bubblegum is made by Willy Wonka.