Earth’s mightiest heroes assemble

“A demigod, a super soldier living legend who kind of lives up to the legend, a man with breathtaking anger management issues, a couple of master assassins” are how genius billionaire Tony Stark describes The Avengers to their nemesis Loki.

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By Stephanie Holland / Senior Staff Assistant

Assembled (Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Pictures)

By Stephanie Holland / Senior Staff Assistant

“A demigod, a super soldier living legend who kind of lives up to the legend, a man with breathtaking anger management issues, a couple of master assassins” are how genius billionaire Tony Stark describes The Avengers to their nemesis Loki.
These descriptions are The Avengers at their most basic. They don’t tell the full story of “Earth’s mightiest heroes.” For that, fans have been packing theaters to see the long awaited movie “The Avengers.”
Consisting of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow and The Hulk, “The Avengers” has been in the works since the final scene of “Iron Man” when Nick Fury informed Stark about The Avengers Initiative.
Beginning with midnight screenings on May 4, moviegoers turned out in massive numbers to see the final product.
The film opened with a ridiculous $207.4 million, the biggest opening weekend ever.
Box office success aside “The Avengers” is just a really well-made movie.
From the story to the acting to the special effects, it’s as close to a perfect movie as comic book fans could have hoped for.
In the film the heroes must fight off an invasion spearheaded by Thor’s evil adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
This is the extent of plot synopsis the studio has allowed out as all other aspects of the movie have been a closely guarded secret.
With each film in the franchise Marvel has established origin stories for the main characters, allowing “The Avengers” to jump right into the fight to save Earth.
However, before they can fight off their enemies the team must learn to coexist.
These disagreements provide for some of the film’s best action sequences as Thor and Iron Man have an epic battle that displays the best of both heroes’ abilities.
All the actors from the origin films are returning, including Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye.
Also returning are Samuel L. Jackson as S.H.I.E.L.D., director Nick Fury and Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson.
The one major change is that Mark Ruffalo replaces Edward Norton as The Incredible Hulk. While fans were initially wary about the change, Ruffalo delivers the film’s strongest performance, adding a new dimension to Bruce Banner’s dual personalities.
It also helps that the actors are not competing against one another for attention.
Every actor gets ample time in the spotlight and then supports the others when it’s their turn.
As great as The Avengers come together as a team, no superhero can reach his full potential without an amazing villain, and Hiddleston’s Loki is gleefully evil.
The genius of Loki is that while he is 100 percent crazy, his belief that he is justified never waivers. This provides for some chilling scenes between he and his brother Thor, as well as an especially great showdown with Black Widow.
Hiddleston could easily take Loki over the top but he never fails to show the vulnerability and inferiority complex that is underneath Loki’s schemes.
With an all-star cast of superheroes and villains this big, a director with experience in the comic book/fantasy genre is required, and “The Avengers” has that in spades with Joss Whedon.
Whedon has already firmly established himself in the genre and with fans with his hits “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Firefly” and “Serenity.”
His choice as director of “The Avengers” instantly put any lingering doubts about story and continuity to rest.
The major challenge of any comic book film is the tightrope of satisfying long time loyal fans while also appealing to viewers who haven’t read every issue of “The Avengers.”
Whedon accomplishes this feat in spectacular fashion, staying true to the characters’ established history but also providing plenty of new moments.
He also crafted an extremely funny script.
“The Avengers” is one of the funniest action films to come along in awhile. There were several laugh out loud moments during the climatic battle scene and the team’s first meeting is just hilarious.
The strength of the story makes the action sequences even more enjoyable.
The final battle is full of special effects that so seamlessly weave into the film, viewers forget they’re not real.
From top to bottom “The Avengers” works on every level. Moviegoers from eight to 80 will enjoy the action, comedy, emotion, effects and acting.
Plus they have a Hulk.

Keeping watch (Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Pictures)

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