The story is based, of course, on “The Avengers” comic books originally created by other geek legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963.
The film brings together Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) to form The Avengers team.
They are supported by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the ever-present Agent Phil Coulsen (Clark Gregg) and Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), all a part of the ‘peacekeeping’ organization S.H.I.E.L.D.
Thor’s adopted half-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) serves as the story’s main villain, as he conspires to subjugate Earth with the help of another supernatural race, the Chitauri.
The film is superbly casted, especially with Robert Downey, Jr., who was made for the role of Tony Stark, and Tom Hiddleston.
Hiddleston had a tough role playing Loki, the over-proud and vengeful second-born son, but the manic energy he brings to his role makes Loki’s delusions of grandeur believable for the character.
Furthermore, the superheroes are portrayed to continually remind the audience that, mutations or suits of armor aside, they are all still very human, with human flaws and missteps.
Whedon brilliantly takes what makes each character unique and pulls it to the extreme to show those shortcomings — thus Captain America’s belief in the right of military authority comes dangerously close to blind acceptance of orders and Tony Stark’s signature sarcasm becomes bitter.
The challenge for the characters, then, is to overcome these flaws and work together to “fight the foes no single superhero could withstand.”
It is for this reason that “The Avengers” is largely an exposition used to introduce audiences to the characters and show how the Avengers team was formed. It does not feel that way, however, thanks to the fast-paced script and brilliant action sequences.
Audiences did not seem to think so either, judging from the numerous box-office records the film matched or surpassed. Among other achievements, “The Avengers” had the biggest opening weekend in North America, it was the third-highest grossing film ever with a world-wide total of over $1.5 billion and the fastest to gross over $1 billion.
Even Tony Stark could respect that kind of money.