Review: The Avengers

 THE SETUP: A monster, an eccentric techie, a WWII soldier, a demi-god and two secret agents are brought together by a one-eyed spy to over throw an alien invasion and a deity with daddy issues. After a build up of five solo movies and four years, the Avengers have assembled to save the planet (and by “planet”, we mean New York)

THE THOUGHTS: I’m a comic book geek so take that into account when you’re reading this but, truthfully, this is a pretty uber-fantastic summer flick. What do you want from a big, popcorn movie?

1)    Action – of the 2 hours and 23 minute running time, I’d say about 120 minutes includes kicking ass. Whether it’s hero on hero, hero on alien or everyone on the structural integrity of the local infrastructure, Avengers didn’t disappoint. If I had any gripes, it might be that there was too much action and not enough character moments…but I’m not fessing up to that.

2)    Fun moments – Whether you’re a comic fanboy or just a fan of good movies, you’ll find some pretty great moments. The movie was as much humour as it was fanboy “holy crap the Hulk just caught Iron Man mid-air” goose bump giddiness. You could tell the actors were having fun and it’s always great seeing Robert Downey Jr. banter with…well, anyone. The nice surprise was Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk. Hell, I’d even argue he may have stolen a lot of the scenes he was in.

3)    Not feeling like you wasted money. And isn’t this what it’s really all about. You drop money for the regular version, more for the IMAX version and even more for the IMAX 3D version so you want to know if it’s worth it. Yes. We all know what to expect when we go to a typical summer blockbuster. The untypical thing about the Avengers? It delivers.

Marvel took a pretty big gamble by committing to a huge (read: expensive) movie with five, individual, none too expensive movies leading up to it. If anyone of those links in the chain failed, it could hugely impact the everyone’s interest in the big pay off. It worked. Director Joss Whedon has delivered probably one of, if not THE, best super hero movie to date.

5 stars – tell everyone you know. A blockbuster with a little something for everyone. Don’t get lost in the whole “super hero” movie thing and figure out if you’re a fan of fun. Are you?

Random Recommendations

The Brothers Bloom (2008) – Thought I’d start with super hero flick didn’t you? Nope, I’m going with the man who really stood out in The Avengers: Mark Ruffalo. Teaming up here with Adrian Brody as two of the greatest con men of all time only to be in the middle of a swindle that really isn’t going the way they want. I’m not giving it justice with this very generic description but it does take a tired genre and make it interesting.


Unbreakable (2000) – Ok, OK, this isn’t an actual “from the comics” super hero movie but if you’re a fan of deconstructing the genre, this is pretty fantastic. Back when M. Night Shyamalan didn’t make crap, he followed up Sixth Sense with this quiet, dark tale of a man (Bruce Willis) who discovers he’s special and the real world approach to the impact that has. Samuel L. Jackson is in there too.


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