Before Avengers assemble came out, I hadn't seen Captain America but I had seen the rest of the prequel films (Iron Man I and II, Hulk and Thor). I wouldn't say you can't go and see Avengers assemble without having seen the prequels, but I would say that at least some background knowledge of the stories of the characters is necessary.
I am, however, quite glad that I had seen the majority of the prequel films before I first went to see this one, as it made more sense than the standalone film would have- but then again I find it hard to follow storylines at the best of times. The second time I went to see the film, I had seen Captain America and his character definitely appealed to me a lot more, rather than seeming like a bit of a pretentious douchebag.
|The US poster|
Iron man: he seems very self-centred within the Iron Man films, which is pointed out in the Avengers. He becomes less so and ends up saving quite a few lives.
Captain America: he's an interesting character, with a shield made from the toughest metal on Earth as a weapon. His strength causes arguments with Tony Stark, whom he accuses of being nothing without his suit.
The Hulk: in this film, the Hulk appears late (though Banner appears earlier). Banner reveals how he keeps 'the other guy' under control and uses him to help the Avengers.
Thor: the demi-God within this film also appears relatively late, trying to return Loki to Asgard. He fights both the enemy and his allies.
Black widow: this spy is the only female member of the Avengers, and has no weapon other than what she can get her hands on. Before becoming a spy, she worked against S.H.I.E.L.D and got caught by their radar for bad rather than good- I genuinely hope that there is a Black Widow prequel film.
Hawkeye: an agent who specialises in firing long-range weapons- his weapon of choice being a bow and arrows. He ends up being used by the enemy, which leads to him wanting revenge on Loki and his forces. He is another character I hope there to be a prequel film for- possibly along with the Black Widow, as they obviously have history.
Now, any Americans may wonder why I'm calling the film Avengers assemble- it is because there was a TV series in the UK in the 1950s called the Avengers and people thought the English may get them confused; a fairly reasonable point seeing as my grandma genuinely did get them confused, but you would have thought the trailers would have given it away.
The film is quite brilliant. There are points that shock you, make you laugh and also some tense moments- what I would consider as the perfect ingredients for a good film. The special effects are good, but not overdone, and the writing is simply awesome. The casting, too, is flawless and every actor plays their part superbly.
My favourite character of the film is actually Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner. This is mostly because he goes through the dark side and comes back fighting. But it also helps that I rather like the idea of exploding arrows. He is portrayed in a more manly way within the film than in the comics as he wears a navy blue outfit and holds a black bow, rather than the purple outfit he wears in the comics.
|L: comic, R: film|
Overall, I would definitely say that this film exceeded my expectations. I was half expecting it to turn out to be another Spider-man III (yes, I realise that wasn't a Marvel film, but it's still based on a Marvel character) and be one of those films people would rather forget ever existed. As it is, the film is well-executed and truly wonderful.