There is a saying: “Guns don’t kill people, Joss Whedon does”. Buffy, Angel, Serenity (Firefly was cancelled before he had the chance) and Dollhouse all the saw the demise of major characters. Forget about the expendable red shirts as his pen proved mightier than the sword, gun or any weapon. In The Cabin in the Woods, the last movie he co-wrote and produced it was more a case of who survived than who died. When he was announced as writer-director for the Avengers movie, and everyone had recovered from their initial geekgasm, there was a nagging thought. “Could he really kill off one of the iconic heroes that had survived decades on the pages of Marvel comics?” Even on comic pages he managed to kill off one of the X-Men in his Astonishing X-Men series, but now he was dealing with the Disney-owned Marvel, would they put an end to his character assassination? But hang on, Disney have been traumatising children for decades, killing off the parents of characters, from Bambi through to Lion King, so there goes that guarantee. However, Disney and Marvel are both interested in protecting their bottom lines. Iron Man, Thor and Captain America have already had successful movies, and Hulk couldn’t even be destroyed by two lacklustre films, but Hawkeye and Black Widow have yet to have their own solo cinematic items… Luckily for you, we have a no spoilers policy so you won’t find any revelations about the death count in Avengers Assemble, except for the fact that lots of baddies die because they have to - it’s the American way.
As with The Cabin in the Woods, there is not a lot to say about this movie, apart from the obligatory, “Awesome. Go see it”. Whedon, even considering his aforementioned reputation, was the right man for the job. His work has always been ensemble pieces, allowing him to great dynamics of competition and cooperation between the characters. Add to this his experience of writing X-Men, as well as generally being a geek supremo, meant that he was more than conversant with the Marvel universe and the tone it needed, being a master of the witty quip, with most of those going to Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark/Iron Man. However, all the characters get their fair share of one liners and snappy comebacks. Whedon also managed to create a likeable and believable Bruce Banner/Hulk through Mark Ruffalo by harking back to the Bill Bixby days, and using mocap to capture a far more realistic version of the other guy.
It is Whedon’s success at creating the necessary team spirit and rivalry that makes this the fantastic movie that it is, and it would have been equally as entertaining even if it didn’t have the budget for the spectacular, action-packed finale filled with the all too familiar site of a city being destroyed (not really a spoiler, especially if you’ve seen the trailer). It must surely announce to the studios that Joss Whedon is a safe pair of hands, even if they never really had the complete faith in his ability to make crowd-pleasing effects movies that his legion of fans do.
This is, deservedly, the most anticipated movie of the summer. Even if you are not a massive fan of Marvel comic book movies, make an exception and see this one. And, if you can, see it in 2D, the way it was shot by the great British cinematographer Seamus McGarvey. It is pure, unadulterated entertainment that is both smart and smart-arsed. And yes, Whedon does live up to his aforementioned reputation.
We have a variety of promotions to get you see this movie. When you buy your tickets for this year’s SCI-FI-LONDON festival at the Apollo Piccadilly Circus, you can get 20% off Avengers Assemble tickets. We have also been given some tickets for people dressed as Avengers characters, taking part in the SCI-FI-LONDON costume parade on April 29.
We also have a pair of tickets to see Avengers Assemble at Cineworld West India Dock. Simply click here to drop us an email to be in the draw. Entries close April 30.
Want a limited edition Avengers Assemble T-shirt? We have five to give away. Simply click here for a chance to win.