Sunday, 6 May 2012

Exploding Helicopter - Avengers Assemble

The geek shall inherit the earth; or so it seems, as these days every other cinematic release seems to be a comic book adaptation. The Avengers Assemble has got the fan-boys salivating due to it containing not one but six superheroes each fighting for the Oscar for “Best Use of Tights in a Movie”

The Avengers have been assembled from around the world as the Earth is threatened by Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the Norse god of campness, who intent on world domination has stolen an energy cube of unlimited power called the Tesseract who he plans to give to the leader of a hostile alien race in exchange for a subservient army he can use to subjugate the citizens of the earth. MWA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAA!!! All complete cobblers of course but hey, what were you expecting? Schindler’s List?

At the start of the film Loki manages to steal the Tesseract from a remote research facility and as he makes his escape triggers a huge implosion that opens up the ground and swallows up the entire army base. Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) escapes the devastation in the nick of time and chases down the power crazed Loki and his brainwashed team in a military chopper.

He catches up with Loki who sends up a plasma shot from his sceptre that whacks into the helicopters tail causing into to lose altitude and spin. It goes down hard with rotors whipping into the mud as it skids to a halt. Despite plenty of flame and loose shrapnel the helicopter's chassis stays in one piece allowing Fury to scramble out looking a bit dustier then before. They obviously make helicopters a bit tougher these days.

Artistic merit

This is a terrible case of director Joss Whedon fluffing his lines by not giving the public what they want i.e a decent helicopter explosion. EHHQ are noticing a worrying trend of helicopters withstanding huge impacts without going up in flames. A salutary lesson that advances in technology do not always benefit us all.

Exploding helicopter innovation

None really, If I had a pound for every helicopter downed by alien hordes with plasma weapons I’d have £6.

Do passengers survive?

Yes, Nick Fury emerges dazed but resolutely alive. Rule 3 of exploding helicopter law. If a major character who is a “good guy” goes down in a chopper he will live to tell the tale.


Whilst I did not enjoy it as much as Iron Man (which stands alone as a cohesive and entertaining film irrespective of superhero fairy dust) The Avengers is a fun movie. With its smart dialogue and galaxy of A-listers it comes across as a comic book Oceans’ Eleven.

Robert Downey Jnr is his usual charismatic self and steals most of his scenes. Mark Ruffalo makes for a likeable and plausible Hulk and brings back the vulnerability and nuances that Ed Norton fought for in the superior sequel to The Hulk.

The action sequences are, as you would expect, retina-searingly superb and the climactic mega battle over the NYC skyline does feel like a high octane rollercoaster ride. Although converted in post production the film it is well worth forking out the extra £2 to watch in 3D.


Whilst a solid movie I felt Avengers Assemble, as is typical with Hollywood these days, was overlong and flabby in places. The story is the typical convoluted fantasy nonsense that you would expect when shoehorning all these great superhero characters into one story for teenage loners to jizz over. But it has got universally good reviews, so what the f*ck do I know.

Chris Hemsworth acting is as wooden as the handle on Thor’s hammer and Scarlett Johansen as Agent Natasha Romanov/Black Widow only special power, as far as I can tell, is the ability to look foxy in a cat suit. She doesn’t even bother with a Russian accent.

Speaking of accents why does Hollywood still insist on making all its sound English? The licence fee is being pretty well spent if Asgardians are able to receive BBC World Service in order to practice their diction before taking over the Earth.

Oh, and Loki is the gayest supervillain since Larry Grayson donned a turban and played Jafar, the evil Sorcerer, in the South Shields season of Aladdin in 1975.

Favorite Quote:

(Tony Stark to Bruce Banner on his ability to keep the Hulk under control):

“You really have got a lid on it, haven't you? What's your secret? Mellow jazz? Bongo drums? Huge bag of weed?”

Interesting Fact :

Ed Norton is known to be a “challenging” actor and it is common knowledge that he made director Louis Leterrier rewrite the script to The Incredible Hulk in order to reduce the action and focus on the emotional elements of the film. He was all set to reprise his role in The Avengers until Marvel got cold feet. Studio head Kevin Feige released this statement.

"We have made the decision to not bring Ed Norton back to portray the title role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers. Our decision is definitely not one based on monetary factors, but instead rooted in the need for an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members.”

Ouch. In effect what he is saying is that Norton is prima donna and they want to work with someone who is cheaper and less hassle. Norton being a class act has resisted the temptation to be dragged into a war of words but his agent came back saying Marvel’s statement was

“Unprofessional, disingenuous and clearly defamatory”.

The lesson here? Don’t p*ss off Ed Norton’s agent. You won’t like him when he’s angry.

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