Monday, May 7, 2012

The Avengers

As a film, The Avengers has much in common with its team of heroes. It has to bring together disparate characters, many who have led their own franchises: genius billionaire Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who becomes Iron Man with his high-tech armor suit; patriotic super soldier Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) as Captain America; Norse god of thunder Thor (Chris Hemsworth); and Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo here, in the best casting of the character yet), the brilliant gamma radiation scientist who turns into the enormous rage-fueled monster Hulk if he’s not careful. The team is rounded out by master spy Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and expert archer Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner): they don’t have superpowers, but they become incredibly useful and integral members. The film has to have a reason for these heroes to assemble, given their different methods and ideologies, and it has to provide each member with a purpose, even though their capabilities lie across a broad spectrum. In short, the team the Avengers and their new film have a lot of complex heavy lifting to do – and both ultimately succeed like gangbusters.