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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 23.53%
Average: 4.41%
Pretty Bad: 5.88%
Total Crap: 5.88%

4 reviews, 44 user ratings

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Marvel's The Avengers
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by Lybarger

"Could Joss Whedon be Stan Lee’s love child?"
4 stars

It’s too bad there’s only one Joss Whedon. Think of all the cruddy superhero movies we would have missed if he had been available during the making of ‘Daredevil,’ ‘Green Hornet’ or any of a legion of other worthless films that saw their way through fruition even though Warner Bros. found Whedon’s ‘Wonder Woman’ unacceptable. These are the same people who green lit and released “Green Lantern.”

Instead of whining, it’s best to celebrate the fact that Whedon has something new out and that he has managed to treat the delicate property in his care with the right amount of reverence and wit. “Marvel’s The Avengers” works because Whedon remembers the greatest gift that Stan Lee brought to comics: superheroes with real-world neuroses.

In the better movies based on Lee’s co-creations, the stories become more accessible because the heroes involved are wrestling with the same battles with ego, anxiety, loneliness and other afflictions that flesh and blood people face. Many times interpersonal feuds can be as catastrophic as the whims of unchecked super-villains.

Because his TV series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” dealt with real world dilemmas in a fantasy context, Whedon is a nearly ideal person to be bringing some of Marvel’s top characters together and to life. He makes better use of Dr. Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) than the filmmakers who handled their solo movies (and there have been two for the Hulk).

Ruffalo looks suitably tormented about the fact that he could turn into a giant green ball of rage without warning, and Evans now has more to work with and gives Captain America more personality and more emotional weight. He looks understandably pained about having lost everyone he knows because he’s been asleep for seven decades.
Both of them are needed to take on a demigod named Loki (Tom Hiddleston) who has used a shortcoming in a renewable energy source to travel from his home in the realm of Asgard to Earth.

Vain and resentful that his brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is the heir to the throne back home, he thinks that humans, whom he can control simply by touching their chests would be ideal slaves for him. After all because people kill each other randomly, perhaps a worldwide dictator would be a good thing.

Not exactly. Loki is as shortsighted as he is egotistical, and Thor wants to bring him back to Asgard for punishment. That’s a nearly impossible goal.

Superspy Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) realizes that conventional weapons are useless against a deity, and he has the unenviable task of recruiting The Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and playboy weapons contractor Tony “Iron Man” Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). While all have formidable abilities, getting along is a challenge. Dr. Banner is an antisocial recluse, and Stark has ego issues that rival Loki’s.

If it takes a while for Whedon to set up the battles, he knows that without the distinctive personalities Lee gave his creations, “Marvel’s The Avengers” would be a shallow, bloated excuse for people to fly and for exotic machines to explode.

Watching The Avengers learn to trust each other enough to keep Loki from taking over our little planet is as much fun as the action, and there’s a lot of that. Whedon’s typically snappy dialogue turns what could have been dry exposition into genuinely entertaining moments. Watching Stark’s face when he realizes he’s as much of a megalomaniac as Loki is as gratifying as watching the Hulk tear up buildings.

While I am lukewarm on the CGI Hulks that have been in the last two movies, the mean-green version of Ruffalo comes the closest to being convincing. I’d prefer to have another bodybuilder like Lou Ferrigno play the role, but this new version is less annoying than his predecessors.

Here’s hoping that Whedon is available for any follow ups (the post credit sequences indicate some might arise). If he’s not, Disney, who now own Marvel, would be wise to find another filmmaker who can meld the real world and fantasy so effortlessly.

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originally posted: 05/03/12 08:52:30
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2012 Tribeca Film Festival For more in the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

10/12/19 Scuderie Trafficone fa cagare il cazzo 1 stars
6/17/19 Jimmie T. Murakami The most a history astonishingly incredible movie of all-time. 5 stars
10/30/16 morris campbell over stuffed but entertaining & exciting 4 stars
5/12/15 Christian Paulson Winner winner, shawarma dinner! 5 stars
3/11/15 Nik Does anyone remember what those aliens were called? 2 stars
10/02/14 Horror Lover 4.5 stars One of the best comic book and popcorn movies in a long time. 5 stars
9/02/14 Jeff Corny and stupid "fun" 1 stars
7/31/14 turner Whedon is overrated. Terrible TV Director 1 stars
9/19/13 Ionicera standard superhero movie, slightly overrated 3 stars
4/09/13 dr.lao One of the few things in this world that actually lives up to the hype! 5 stars
3/07/13 Kurt It's loud 3 stars
1/31/13 Charles Tatum Often corny, but big and entertaining. 4 stars
12/06/12 Jason Smart, funny, entertaining, and powerfully acted, this movie was a captivating success. 5 stars
12/02/12 Aaron More holes in plot than swiss cheese, even for SH movie 2 stars
9/23/12 D This movie is completely forgettable escapism. 2 stars
9/19/12 Gabrielle Barnard This movie has uncommonly witty dialogue. Everyone in the theater was laughing aloud. 5 stars
9/07/12 Jes Mediocre kids film, good for adults who are at the level of 5 year olds though 2 stars
8/05/12 Billy why superheroes? 1 stars
7/21/12 Sean Harrison The best superhero movie since the Dark Knight. 5 stars
7/01/12 Orlando An fantastic film, The Avengers is the best comic book film i have seen 5 stars
6/20/12 Jordan Kentris Such an amazing mix of talent. This movie was captivating, entertaining and totally rocked! 5 stars
5/28/12 Mattomic Loved it. Fantastic job. Finally, the Hulk done right! 5 stars
5/17/12 Geraldine The perfect summer blockbuster. Exciting and funny with a lot of heart. 5 stars
5/16/12 puddleduck The most fun to hit the screen since Raiders Of The Lost Ark 5 stars
5/16/12 Kimberly Brown The Avengers was amazing, Whedon did a dope job! 5 stars
5/15/12 Marty Big undertaking but fun action w cool heroes all together. not deep tho, just fun. 4 stars
5/10/12 Travis BEST.....MOVIE.....EVER! 5 stars
5/10/12 davofern Absolutely sensational ! 5 stars
5/10/12 Phillip D See it! 5 stars
5/10/12 damalc new favorite superhero movie 5 stars
5/08/12 Jimmy Web Very Cool 5 stars
5/08/12 KingNeutron So many explosions, I thought Michael Bay directed it! +1 :) 5 stars
5/08/12 Toni Peluso Awesome. The dialog made the movie! 5 stars
5/07/12 The Big D Thor's the best character; he saves it from corny jokes, cheesy banter, and overdone SPFX. 3 stars
5/07/12 Koitus Very well done. A notch below "The Dark Knight," though. 5 stars
5/07/12 Adam Myles Can't wait to see this movie! 5 stars
5/07/12 Nate Stalker The perfect mixture of action, humor and interaction, topped off with outstanding CGI. 5 stars
5/07/12 Dan Not typical a friend of pop culture/mass media stuff, but this was just awesome. Good CGI. 5 stars
5/06/12 GLC Excellently done. Great characterizations and interplay. 5 stars
5/06/12 /// one of the best superhero films ever, even better than x-men 5 stars
5/05/12 mr.mike It was good. I did not do handsprings upon leaving the theatre. 4 stars
5/04/12 Darkstar Best comic movie so far. Liked it better than The Dark Knight. 5 stars
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  04-May-2012 (PG-13)
  DVD: 25-Sep-2012


  DVD: 25-Sep-2012

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