Spotlight On…The Road to The Avengers

Posted by David On April 22, 2012 ADD COMMENTS

With the upcoming release of the Avengers (only 3 more sleeps!) I thought it appropriate to re-watch the films leading up to this awesome event and judge them as a whole. Enjoy!

Iron Man

Released: 2008

Directed by: Jon Favreau

Starring: Robert Downey Jnr, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow

Plot: Billionaire genius playboy Tony Stark has a life altering experience when he is taken hostage in Afghanistan. He constructs a suit of armour to escape and decides to refine the suit to become a super hero, while fending off an attack on his business by supposed friend Obidiah Stane.

For: Downey was born to play Stark / Armour looks awesome / Great mix of comedy and action

Against: End battle is pretty lame / Howard bad choice for Rhodey

Favourite Scene: Tony is sprayed with the fire retardant foam / Iron Man vs the jets / Tony and Pepper at the party

Link to the Avengers: Nick Fury informs Tony that he isn’t the only super hero in the world, and invites him to join the Avengers Initiative.

Rating: 4 Lukes

The Incredible Hulk

Released: 2008

Directed by: Louis Leterrier

Starring: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, Tim Roth

Plot: Dr Bruce Banner becomes the Hulk after a military scheme to reinvigorate the supersoldier program through gamma radiation goes awry. He goes on the run, and attempts to cure himself of the Hulk before he is captured by General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, but his worst fears are realized when power-hungry soldier Emil Blonsky becomes obsessed with him and uses a serum to become the Abomination.

For: Much better than the Ang Lee version / Hulk vs Abomination is great / Nods to original TV series are cool & the opening sequence is very well done / Always good to see Norton

Against: Liv Tyler can’t act (unless the scene calls for tears then she nails it!) / Some major camerawork issues (ie, when a character leaves frame to the right, they shouldn’t then re-enter frame from the left) / the action is welcome, but we don’t really get a sense of Bruce’s inner struggle

Favourite Scene: The fight in the park / Hulk vs Abomination / Mostly everything in Rio de Janeiro / the jump from the plane

Link to the Avengers: While General Ross is drinking in a bar he is approached by industrialist Tony Stark, who reveals that a “team” is being formed.

Rating: 3 Lukes

Iron Man 2

Released: 2010

Directed by: Jon Favreau

Starring: Robert Downey Jnr, Mickey Rouke, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell

Plot: Stark continues to operate as Iron Man and is suffering from poisoned blood from the reactor in his chest. He is also resisting calls by the United States government to hand over the Iron Man technology. Meanwhile, Ivan Vanko, son of Tony’s father’s former business partner, has developed similar technology and built weapons of his own to become Whiplash. Financed by Stark’s business rival Justin Hammer, Vanko seeks revenge for the disgrace suffered by his father.

For: Downey nails it again as Stark / War Machine! / Rouke is great as Whiplash / Sam Rockwell!

Against: Too much going on. It was cool to see Black Widow, but she was ultimately pointless / End battle against the drone robots is boring

Favourite Scene: Everything with Rockwell, but especially the Senate Hearing

Link to the Avengers: At a debriefing, while news footage of the Hulk’s rampage plays, Fury informs Stark that while Iron Man is a suitable candidate for the ‘Avengers Initiative’, he himself is not. Stark agrees to be a consultant if Senator Stern presents Stark and Rhodes with medals for bravery. Also, S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson reports the discovery of a large hammer at the bottom of a crater in a New Mexico desert

Rating: 3 Lukes


Released: 2011

Directed by: Kenneth Branagh

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Kat Dennings, Idris Elba

Plot: Arrogant prince of Asard, Thor, is banished to Earth after disobeying his father Odin. There he meets Dr Jane Foster and her associates Dr Selvig and Darcy and eventually learns the true value of humility in time to reclaim his powers and thwart a takeover bid of Asgard by his evil brother Loki.

For: Hemsworth is great as Thor / Quite funny / the Destroyer looks great / Elba is awesome as Heimdall

Against: The Destroyer is not as powerful as it should be / the inclusion of Hawkeye is pointless / Loki not as scheming as he should be. He comes across more like a petulant teenager.

Favourite Scene: Thor attempts to reclaim Mjolnir / Thor demands more coffee

Link to the Avengers: Dr Selvig has been taken to a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, where Nick Fury opens a briefcase and asks him to study a mysterious object, the Cosmic Cube, which Fury says may hold untold power. An invisible Loki prompts Selvig to agree.

Rating: 3.5 Lukes

Captain America: The First Avenger

Released: 2011

Directed by: Joe Johnston

Starring: Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell

Plot: Predominantly set during World War II, the film tells the story of Steve Rogers, a sickly man from Brooklyn who is transformed into super-soldier Captain America to aid in the war effort. Rogers must stop the Red Skull – Adolf Hitler’s ruthless head of weaponry, and the leader of an organization that intends to use a device called a “tesseract” as an energy-source for world domination.

For: Australia’s own Hugo Weaving / Tommy Lee Jones is funny / Atwell is great as Peggy Carter

Against: Not exciting

Favourite Scene: Rogers wakes up in modern day New York

Link to the Avengers: Fury approaches a depressed and frustrated Rogers while he is training and proposes a new mission, with worldwide ramifications.

Rating: 2.5 Lukes

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