Friday, May 4, 2012

"The Avengers" (2012)

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Samuel L. Jackson
Written and directed by Joss Whedon
Rated PG-13 - Superhero violence and action
Running Time: 143 Minutes

"We have a Hulk."

There's a reason why that line is featured so prominently in the advertising for Marvel's "The Avengers."  And I'll get to that in a little bit.

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Director of SHIELD, is called to a secret facility where Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) is experimenting on a strange alien energy source known as the Tesseract.  But the Tesseract is acting strangely, and soon enough a portal opens from within it, and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) arrives on Earth.  But Loki is not here by accident.  Using the powers of his special scepter, he begins to turn SHIELD agents into his own brainwashed henchmen, including Selvig and Clint 'Hawkeye' Barton (Jeremy Renner).

Fury sends Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Natasha 'Black Widow' Romanov (Scarlett Johannson) to recruit his special team of super-powered heroes to help him locate Loki and the Tesseract. Romanov convinces Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) to come in and use his special knowledge of gamma radiation to help them find the Tesseract, while Coulson tracks down Tony 'Iron Man' Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve 'Captain America' Rogers (Chris Evans).  Soon enough, Loki and Hawkeye surface in Germany, and Captain America and Iron Man manage to capture him.  On the way back to SHIELD's flying headquarters, however, Loki is broken out of their custody by his brother, Thor (Chris Hemsworth).

After a brief fight, everyone realizes they're all on the same side, and Thor accompanies the others back to SHIELD, where Banner and Stark work on a way to locate the Tesseract while Fury and Black Widow attempt to get information out of Loki.  What they learn distresses them: Loki wanted to be caught.  His army of alien warriors, under the care of the Other (Alexis Denisof) is headed to Earth for the Tesseract, after which Loki will rule the planet as he sees fit.

But Fury knows that the team of heroes he's assembled is anything but.  They can't work together - at all.  Several of them downright don't like each other.  But if the Earth is to have any chance against the invading alien forces, this group of weirdos, gods, geniuses and assassins will have to put aside their differences and work together as one.