Earth's Mightiest Finally Assemble
In 2008, Marvel began their journey to creating a film universe where the stories we have been watching were taking place in one continuity.
They began that year with the films "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk", each providing a minute amount of detail and background to something called "The Avengers Initiative".
These little easter egg's carried on through "Iron Man 2", "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger" and now come to fruition as the ensemble film "The Avengers".
The job was always going to seem large for any director. It is a team film, which already complicates matters, as each character needs to shine rather than one or two leading the way.
But it is also a superhero team film. This is a world filled with things beyond our own, exaggerated characters of man that with the current audience still need to feel "real".
And who better to take the reins on this than Joss Whedon, beloved by fanboys of many mediums, particularly that of the comic book world.
If you look back through his profile, this is a man who has wanted to produce a great comic book adaptation, charged by the vision he has had for many of these (At one stage, he was attatched to a "Wonder Woman" film of which he wanted Cobie Smulders in the lead role).
Joss Whedon brings the majority of the previous actor's back for this film; Chris Evans returns as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
Mark Ruffalo steps in this time as the Hulk, being joined by Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, carrying on from his small cameo in "Thor" and Cobie Smulders joins as Nick Fury's right hand Agent, Maria Hill.
One other character also returns, a small role, but one that has been key to binding the universe together and that is Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, who first joined us in "Iron Man".
As previously said, the scope of this film is large and while the story does as best it can to make these larger than life things seem real, it is the action and set pieces where this film shines. The battles, the fights, the locations are all glorious, superheroic things brought to life.
It is impressive to see, and at no time does it feel too over the top or forced on us in the sense of "LOOK! WE HAVE AWESOME CGI!"
Overall, it does a great job at bringing a team of super powered beings together in a world similar to ours, but the strength of it lies in the way it portrays these individuals and the epic set pieces that really show how super this team is.
Avengers Assemble, indeed.