And so the time has finally come for the beginning of Summer with its blockbusters and of course the 4+ year plan of Marvel to dominate the future of SuperHero films from here on in.
With the arrival of Iron Man back in 2008, and the subsequent additions of The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger to the Marvel universe, its all been leading up to this moment where all the eggs are in one basket and a lot of studio heads are holding their collective breaths....
They needn't have worried. The task of uniting already defined characters along with actors who are used to running their own show was given to one of the few men in the industry who has shown that ensemble pieces are his speciality - Whedon. His flair for giving a varied cast equal billing, airtime and each a slice of his delicious dialogue was apparent in the likes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly! And the meeting of such large onscreen characters as Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow and Hawkeye is no exception - this is undoubtedly the most fun you can have in a cinema with your clothes on!
Whedon has managed to duplicate the under-seen and under-valued mix of action, adventure, complicated back story, and above all fun that made his Serenity a joy to watch. In a big buck, all singing and all dancing CGI-fest, you'll be so pleasantly surprised at how many times you not only smirk and smile at events upon the screen, but at how many times you actually will laugh-out-loud at pure comical genius that covers not only words but physical actions too. And it never deters from the action nor the spectacle that pushes its way to the fore frequently as the quarrelling Avengers try to learn to work together to save the Earth from the villain from Thor - Loki (Hidleton in fine vengeful "kneel before me!" mode.)
What could have been so easily the Iron Man and Friends film has an ace up it's spandex sleeve in the form of its S.H.I.E.L.D agents - Fury, Coulson and Smulders - who bring the human element to the earth-shattering proceedings. Whether its Agent Coulson all star-struck at his childhood hero Captain America, or Nick Fury disobeying direct orders with a loaded bazooka, we are reminded that flesh and blood heroes are in real danger and can be killed off - after all, this IS a Whedon film and that's something that the man doesn't shy away from, ever!
The humour is based at fans already in the know from the previous works and newcomers to the Marvel universe with surprisingly a lot of the big laughs based around Ruffalo's Hulk and not Downey Jr's Iron Man. Whether its the chilling but ill-timed rant from Loki that jaw-droppingly gets cut short by the big green man or when he lets off a little steam and frustration at the person next to him - Thor - during the big battle sequence (with shades of ID4, The Matrix Revolutions), Hulk becomes not only the ace up the Avengers sleeves, but Whedon's too.
With a lot being said about the humour, some may be concerned that the action is not up to scratch but rest assured that here, Hulk does smash along with the other Avengers' who definitely "bring the party" to us. Multiple story strands all weave together seemlessly with each of them allotted their specific task to carry out whilst learning to trust each other and work together... or else!
A great time for all, this shows that the foundation is not only sound and solid but it demands more trips and adventures, hopefully under the watchful eye of Whedon - the ONLY superman for the job.
UK release date: 27.04.12