Its title sounds like a superhero fire drill where caped and helmeted protagonists mingle in a car park and cede authority to a head-counter with a clipboard and a high vis vest.
Avengers Assemble is simply The Avengers in America. It earns its extra A in the UK to avoid confusion with fondly remembered British TV series.
It is a bold movie in that it attempts to unite a band of superpowered brothers (and sister) who are big enough to merit their own franchises.
They include Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), with support from Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).
They are recruited, sorry, assembled, by Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) to battle Thor’s bitter adoptive brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), a demigod intent on enslaving earth.
Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, was the man tasked with wrangling the super-egos onto camera, and he seems to have pulled it off – with glowing reviews flowing like the waterfalls on Asgard.
“It honestly couldn’t have gone any better,” says Robert Downey Jr.
“If this hadn’t worked it would have affected all those franchises extremely adversely. There’s also the potential for additional franchises based upon how strongly people are reacting to Jeremy and Scarlett and Mark.
“I just can’t understand why everything has gone THIS well. But in this one instance in my life, that’s the situation.”
Mark’s performance as the Hulk has been singled out for praise and could even see his franchise revived after the versions starring Eric Bana and Ed Norton met with mixed critical responses.
“As a kid I was a Hulk fan and I was a particular fan of the TV show,” says Mark.
“I was offered Banner/the Hulk and I talked to Joss Whedon about it and he wanted Banner to return to the Bill Bixby world where he has the weary charm of a man on the run but still trying to live his life and have a sense of humour about himself.
“I loved Joss’s take on it but I also loved the idea of getting to bust out into a ‘big green rage machine’.
“I was the first actor to play both Banner AND the Hulk – through the motion capture process
“It was very, very intense and I was by myself most of the time…which was lonely,” he laughs.
“The leotard reduced me to a Chinese checker-board. It makes all the wrong places look big and all the right places look small!”
As the only female “supe” fighting the foe, Scarlett benefitted from Joss’s ability – most obviously realised in Buffy – to write roles where the females are ready, willing and able to rumble with the big boys.