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The Avengers (film)

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The Avengers
2012 Avengers Poster
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer(s): Joss Whedon
Release Date: Australia:
April 25, 2012
United Kingdom:
April 26, 2012
Worldwide:
May 4, 2012
Running Time: 143 mins
More Information
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The Avengers (also known as Avengers Assemble in the UK and Ireland) is a 2012 superhero film and the sixth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on the superhero team the Avengers created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The film is a crossover of all the films independently produced by Marvel Studios set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, namely Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). In the film, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury assembles Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye to battle Thor's adoptive brother Loki, who attempts to subjugate humanity by leading an invasion by the extraterrestrial race known as the Chitauri.

The Avengers is the first major crossover in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first to be released by Walt Disney Pictures; the previous films were released by Paramount Pictures (apart from The Incredible Hulk which was distributed by Universal Studios) and as part of the deal of transfering the distribution rights from Paramount to Disney, the Paramount logo appears on the film, its promotion and its merchandise, as well as Paramount earning 8% of the films income. The Walt Disney Company is credited at the end of the film, however.

The Avengers was directed by Joss Whedon and stars Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson. The film was successful financially and critically and broke box-office records as the biggest weekend opening for a film and the fastest film to gross $1 billion worldwide. The film is statistically the most successful film released by Walt Disney to date and it regarded by many as one of the greatest superhero films of all time. The film has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Plot

Nick Fury, the director of the espionage agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S., a remote research facility, during an evacuation. His second-in-command, Maria Hill, explains that the Tesseract, an energy source of unknown potential, has activated and opened a portal through space, from which the exiled Asgardian prince Loki, steps through. Loki takes the Tesseract, and uses a sceptre to control the minds of several S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel including Agent Clint Barton, and physicist consultant Dr. Erik Selvig in order to aid in his getaway.

In response, Fury reactivates the Avengers Initiative. Agent Natasha Romanoff recruits Dr. Bruce Banner in India, while Agent Phil Coulson visits Tony Stark and requests that he reviews Selvig's research. Fury himself approaches Steve Rogers with an assignment to retrieve the Tesseract from Loki; Rogers is familiar with the Tesseract as it played a vital role in his World War II exploits.

Romanoff, Coulson, Rogers, and Banner meet on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier before it goes airborne. Dr. Banner is escorted to his lab after a brief meeting with Fury; Banner has been consulted to trace the gamma signature that the Tesseract radiates. After spending some time tracking the whereabouts of the Tesseract on the Helicarrier, a man of Loki's description is located in Europe.

Iron Man, Captain America, and Romanoff travel to Stuttgart, Germany to apprehend Loki, who, with the aid of a mind-controlled Barton, is stealing iridium needed to stabilize the Tesseract and demanding worship. After a battle with the heroes, Loki surrenders and is being returned to the Helicarrier in the Quinjet. Thor, Loki's adoptive brother and the Asgardian god of thunder, attempts to free Loki and reason with him. After a confrontation with Iron Man and Captain America, Thor accompanies them to imprison Loki on the Helicarrier.

After Loki is put into the cell originally intended for the Hulk, Thor reveals to the team that Loki is allied with the Chitauri, a powerful and technologically-advanced extraterrestrial race unknown to both Earth and Asgard. Stark has J.A.R.V.I.S. hack into the S.H.I.E.L.D. database while he works with Dr. Banner. Rogers is less than thrilled at Stark's behavior and tells the two scientists to resume their work and investigates Phase Two, S. H. I. E. L. D.'s top secret weapons program. While all of this is going on, Romanoff speaks one-on-one with Loki, and eventually discovers that he plans on using the Hulk as a means of dismembering the team.

After all of these things come to light, the Avengers are divided over how to deal with Loki and the revelation that S.H.I.E.L.D. plan to harness the Tesseract’s power to develop weapons. Fury admits that the events in New Mexico a year before made S.H.I.E.L.D. aware of other extraterrestrial races that may threaten Earth. Weapons developed from the Tesseract would form a means of deterrence. As the group argues, Barton and Loki’s possessed agents attack the Helicarrier, disabling its engines. As Iron Man and Captain America attempt to restart the damaged engines, Banner transforms into the Hulk, despite Romanoff's efforts to calm him, and runs amok inside the ship, soon battling Thor. During a fight with Barton, Romanoff discovers that knocking him unconscious breaks Loki's mind control. Loki escapes his cell with the help of a possessed agent and traps Thor in the cell. Coulson confronts Loki in an attempt to rescue Thor, and Loki then stabs Coulson through his back with his staff before ejecting Thor from the ship. Fury confronts the expiring Coulson, who hopes his death can be used to motivate the Avengers into working as a team.

Stark and Rogers work out that Loki will orchestrate the alien invasion at Stark's New York-based home, Stark Tower, and that defeating them will not be enough for Loki; he needs to overpower them in a public way so as to validate himself as ruler of Earth. Using a Tesseract-powered interdimensional generator Selvig has built, Loki opens a portal to the Chitauri fleet over Manhattan, summoning an invasion. The Avengers rally in defense of New York, but quickly conclude they will be overwhelmed as wave after wave of Chitauri and Leviathans descend. The Avengers keep their ground to hold off the invasion and evacuate civilians while the Hulk beats Loki into submission. Romanoff makes her way to Selvig's device, where Selvig, freed of Loki's control, reveals that Loki's staff can be used to close the portal.

Meanwhile, Fury's superiors attempt to end the invasion by launching a nuclear missile at Manhattan. Despite Agent Hill and Fury's orders to not fire, a rogue jet launches the missile at Manhattan. Iron Man intercepts it and takes it through the portal toward the Chitauri fleet before running out of power and plummeting back to Earth. The Hulk catches him as he falls. The Avengers then apprehend Loki, who is still weak from his encounter with the Hulk. News channels confirm the legitimacy of the extraterrestrial attack and some Americans regard the Avengers with praise and thanks while others call for their arrests. Thor escorts Loki and the Tesseract back to Asgard to take responsibility for his crimes. Fury notes that the Avengers will go their separate ways until such time as a new world-threatening menace emerges.

In the first post-credits scene, The Other tells his master that humans are not the "cowering wretches" they were promised and that attacking Earth again "would be to court Death". His master, Thanos turns and smiles.

In a second post-credits scene, the Avengers — gathered at a shawarma restaurant and looking a bit worse for the wear — eat in silence.

Cast

Continuity and References to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • Howard Stark found the Tesseract at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, studied it as seen in his notebook in Iron Man 2 and it was in S.H.I.E.L.D's custody ever since as seen at the end of Thor.
  • Erik Selvig is shown to be working on the cosmic cube, trying to find out how to harness its power. This shows that it is a continuation from Thor.
  • In the beginning of the film, Selvig made mention to Fury that the Tesseract was giving off low levels of gamma radiation, nothing harmful to hurt humans. However, Fury reminds him that even low levels of gamma radiation can be harmful, clearly reminding him of what happened to Bruce Banner and how he became the Hulk.
  • Audrey Nathan, the Cellist is mentioned twice.
  • When Tony and Pepper are looking at the files on his teammates from the device that Coulson gave them, the footage is taken directly from The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.
  • Steve Rogers has a number of flashbacks to his time in the war as he punches a boxing bag, many of these are events that occurred in Captain America: The First Avenger. His montage also includes a glimpse of his half-frozen body and a S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist exclaiming that he's alive, a moment that was not seen in the earlier film. Other scenes are taken directly from Captain America: The First Avenger.
  • Steve Rogers discovered that S.H.I.E.L.D. phase 2's contingency plan is to use the Cosmic Cube's energy to make weapons using Arnim Zola's Hydra energy weapons as seen in Captain America: The First Avenger as a reference point to create their own arsenal of weaponry.
  • When Phil Coulson tries to contact Tony Stark in Stark Tower, Stark claims that "This is the Life Model Decoy of Tony Stark." This is a reference to Life Model Decoys (LMDs) that appear in the comics as duplicates for characters.
  • Tony Stark reminds Phil Coulson that he was "unsuitable" for the Avengers Initiative, as stated in Nick Fury's evaluation file on Tony at the end of Iron Man 2. Instead, he remains a consultant.
  • The footage that Steve watches about Bruce Banner when flying on Quinjet with Coulson is a scene taken directly from The Incredible Hulk.
  • When Thor returns to Earth, Loki asks him how much dark energy Odin had to use to send him there, confirming that the Bifrost is still destroyed.
  • Phil Coulson refers to The Destroyer 's attack on New Mexico depicted in Thor and reveals that S.H.I.E.L.D. is developing weapons made from parts of it.
  • Bruce Banner refers to his fight with Abomination in The Incredible Hulk when Stark offers a visit to Stark Tower, saying "Thanks, but last time I was in New York, I kind of broke... Harlem."
  • Bruce Banner is said to have avoided a Hulk incident for over a year, meaning that the events of The Avengers take place over a year after The Incredible Hulk. During this time, he has spent his time travelling Asia to help the sickly.
  • A mid credits scene reveals that Loki's ally and the Other's master was Thanos, setting him up as the villain in later films.
  • Agent Coulson tells Thor that his love interest Jane Foster has been hidden from Loki by S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Nick Fury tells Bruce Banner he has been protecting him from other forces searching for him, meaning General Ross.
  • Pepper Potts' friendship with Phil Coulson echoes (much to Stark's dismay) the extended opening sequence of Iron Man 2 as seen on the Blu-ray.
  • Bruce Banner refers to the alternate opening sequence of The Incredible Hulk where Bruce tried to commit suicide. In the Wishbone lab, Banner tells the rest of the team "I got low. I didn't see an end to it, so I put a bullet in my mouth and the "Other Guy" spat it out."
  • Captain America references either Adolf Hitler or Johann Schmidt when he comes face to face with Loki in Stuttgart, Germany.
  • The song Tony Stark plays from the Quinjet when he makes his grand entrance in Captain America and Loki's fight, Shoot to Thrill by Australian rock band AC/DC,was also played during Tony's arrival at the Stark Expo at the beginning of Iron Man 2.
  • When Rogers talks to Stark about Coulson and why he did what he did, Rogers mentions "sometimes there's no way out." Stark replies he has heard that before, refering back to Yinsen, who saved his life in Iron Man. This makes it the first time in any way that Yinsen is somewhat mentioned since Iron Man.

Title

The film's official title internationally is Marvel's The Avengers. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, Walt Disney Pictures made the decision to reclassify the film as Avengers Assemble to avoid confusion with the popular British 1960s spy television series of the same title. "Avengers Assemble" is a battle cry used in the comic books for decades, first spoken by Thor. The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) officially classifies the film as Marvel Avengers Assemble while the website and DVD release refer to the film as Marvel's Avengers Assemble. Products in the United Kingdom related to the film, such as action figures and comic book tie-ins, remain titled The Avengers. On the British title change, Kevin Feige assured that the decision wasn't made lightly and was done for legal reasons, also joking that the extra word "Assemble" was added as something special for the film's U.K. fans.

Production

  • The film was shot in Cleveland, Ohio, Los Angeles, California, Michigan, Long Island, New York and New Mexico.

Reception

The Avengers set the all-time industry record at the box office, grossing $207.4 million in America and $641.8 million globally, twelve days after its release. It opened internationally on April 25, 2012 and by May 8, 2012, it had already made over $700 million globally. It was also the fastest movie to make $200 million domestically, after only three days. It opened May 3, in Russia, with $17.9 million, made $17.4 million in China, and The Avengers was the Biggest opening weekend of all time in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Central America, Bolivia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Philippines. The film took Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest's record as the highest-grossing Disney film of all time. It also beat Spider-Man 3's record as the highest-grossing Marvel film and beat The Dark Knight's record as the highest-grossing superhero film of all time. The film recived high critical acclaim. It scored a 93% approval rating on Rotton Tomatos. The film was well received for its writing, acting, action, visuals, and music. The film is considered one of the best superhero films ever.

Sequel

Main article: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Gallery

Main article: The Avengers (film)/Gallery

References


External links

Marvel Cinematic Universe
Phase 1 Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk | Iron Man 2 | Thor | Captain America: The First Avenger | The Avengers
Phase 2 Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Phase 3 Ant-Man | Captain America 3
One-Shots The Consultant | A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer | Item 47 | Agent Carter
All Hail the King
TV Shows Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Pre-Production Other

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