Friday, 20 April 2012
Marvel Avengers Assemble benefits enormously from its format. It's essentially superhero tapas: bite-sized chunks of each hero are far more palatable than an entire main course of any of them. Tony Stark doesn't get the chance to become exhaustingly irritating, Captain America is never allowed to get too dull and Mark Ruffalo's Hulk is sensibly marginalised, given that the previous 252 minutes of screen time devoted to his character have been such catastrophic cackpats. That's not to say The Ruffles lets the side down: he's by far the most charismatic of all the leads, and his CG alter ego is easily the best screen incarnation of the character yet. Bring an umbrella, because when Hulk eventually gets to smash, there'll be a shower of geekjizz.
The biggest surprise about Whedon's script is how ridiculously hilarious it is. Of all the actual "comedies" dumped on audiences lately, none are this ROFLsome, and the film does it without a single swear, cock joke or wacky scene of inadvertent drug use. And Loki's assessment of Black Widow as a "mewling quim" is the most bizarrely brilliant insult I've heard for yonks. Expect it to enter the cultural consciousness very soon.
Nevertheless, Marvel Avengers Assemble is a big bucket of megafunballs, thanks to the ginger-bearded genius of Joss. Big and loud, but never dumb (Whedon even slips in a few un-blockbustery meditations on the nature of war), it's the year's funnest - and funniest - film so far.
Shit title though.