After a bunch of origin stories for the various heroes, this film brings the heroes together and the phase 1 of the MCU to a close.
Loki was set adrift in the finale of Thor, and now turns up in earth preparing the way for his new allies, the Chitauri, to invade earth. Loki enters earth via the Tesseract, an artifact held in a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility. Loki promptly converts a few S.H.I.E.L.D. agents into his followers and escapes. The heroes that have gained their origin stories earlier in the MCU films are then gathered up on the S.H.I.E.L.D. flying air craft carrier with even Thor arriving in pursuit of his brother. This was obviously Loki’s plan all along – get the Avengers together, sow disorder and chaos among them, escape, and open a portal to bring the Chitauri to New York. Obviously, S.H.I.E.L.D. allowed this to happen to give the Avengers a reason to actually work together (death of agent Coulson) and thus stop the invasion and Loki. Furthermore, the whole chain of events gives Nick Fury a justification for The Avengers in the first place – Earth needs a defense force and The Avengers are it as demonstrated during the battle of New York.
It is nice to finally see a bit more of the meta plot, the structure intended to hold all the MCU films together, that is, the S.H.I.E.L.D. We even see the World Security Council, that seems to be in control of S.H.I.E.L.D., although Nick Fury is something of a rogue – he seems to agree on the goals, but takes liberties with the methods.
As an individual film, this is a fun romp. The fight scenes are mostly interesting as there’s more heroes involved and thus more variety. The calmer sequences are mostly nice, as there’s more surprising interactions, and some actually impressive revelations. The dialogue is kept on a not too serious level, so it is fun to follow.
The climax, the battle of New York against the Chitauri, is unfortunately a bit of a letdown. The Chitauri are boring – it is just about taking out the next half a dozen Chitauri infantry and the next Chitauri war machine, interspersed with scenes of the heroes becoming more and more desperate as they are taking small hits all the time, but there’s no end to the Chitauri force. Loki is mostly sidelined during the fight, so he completely fails to impress.
Altogether, it seems that everyone involved had loads of fun creating this – as the screen time between all the heroes is pretty evenly split, the script or the performances don’t even try to reach deeply personal or dramatic depths (which the MCU has mostly failed to do thus far).
One of the more impressive films of the MCU, as it aptly avoids the weaknesses of the franchise. I did hope for even more time spent on the meta plot, but, oh well, I had a lot of fun with this.
- Director: Joss Whedon
- Watched on: 13th May 2017
- Watched at: Home (Nelonen)
- Fanboy grade: 4/5