Film review: The Avengers

posted at 8:01 am on May 5, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The long-awaited Marvel’s The Avengers hit screens nationwide yesterday.  Most of the characters in the film have already been featured in their own films, such as Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Captain America.  Two more characters made appearances in those films and are included among the Avengers, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow and Clint Barton/Hawkeye.  They must team up to defeat Loki and keep him from opening a portal to another universe, where an army stands ready to help Loki conquer Earth.  Meanwhile, the government agency SHIELD that brought them together has a deep secret that may just make their mission a moot point.  Can the Avengers put aside their personal differences and defeat Loki and his allies?

Frankly, if you don’t know the answer to that question, this may be your first movie ever.  No one goes to these comic-book films to see the villains win, after all.  What counts is whether they make it interesting, stylish, or at least entertaining.  The Avengers mainly succeeds on the latter point, thanks to elaborate effects and primarily the work of Robert Downey Jr, whose Tony Stark is by far the most interesting of the characters in the film, including the antagonist Loki.  Otherwise, the affair seems more like a retread of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, with updated toys and effects.

Downey’s Stark is the only actor to break out of the cliches that rule the plot and most of the characters.  Mark Ruffalo has a couple of interesting moments as Bruce Banner, but the rest of the cast seems satisfied with archetypes.  Stoic determination is in large supply, as are the interpersonal conflicts that will eventually all get resolved.  It’s a remarkably grim affair, made even more so by Samuel L. Jackson’s performance as Nick Fury, who seems less furious and more cheesed off.  Usually in this genre, the villain gives us the most entertainment, but Tom Hiddleston’s Loki isn’t much more interesting or nuanced than his opponents.  The cinematography deepens the grim feel; at least Thor had a visual presentation that was stunning and creative.  With a couple of momentary exceptions — including a very funny one near the end with the Hulk that had me laughing out loud, and a cameo from a veteran character actor that is the slyest of inside jokes — nothing unexpected happens.   At two hours and twenty-two minutes, that’s a long time for grim and predictable.

Still, The Avengers isn’t a bad popcorn film.  Fans of the Marvel series on which the film was based should enjoy themselves, but everyone else had better lower their expectations to that of an average comic-book movie.  Given the talent and the resources behind The Avengers, and especially with Joss Whedon as one of its writers, it should have been something more special.

The Avengers is rated PG-13, but it has a significant amount of screen violence and some mildly gory sequences in the film.  It will be too intense for younger children, but teens shouldn’t have any problems handling the material.

Update: It’s only fair to point out that Rotten Tomatoes has a critic-rating Tomatometer on this film of 93%, so I am in a small minority on this film.  Keep that in mind.  I’m much more excited about The Dark Knight Rises to see whether this comic-book series maintains its ascendancy over the genre.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Nothing hurts a movie worse than mediocre writing.

fossten on May 5, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Personally I really enjoyed Loki, and this was remarkably better than Thor. Stark will always be the most interesting character that is unavoidable. Great movie. Entertaining the entire time.

jusstjones on May 5, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Still, The Avengers isn’t a bad popcorn film. Fans of the Marvel series on which the film was based should enjoy themselves, but everyone else had better lower their expectations to that of an average comic-book movie. Given the talent and the resources behind The Avengers, and especially with Joss Whedon as one of its writers, it should have been something more special.

But did you see it in 3D?

dogsoldier on May 5, 2012 at 8:13 AM

But did you see it in 3D?

dogsoldier on May 5, 2012 at 8:13 AM

No, I skipped the 3D this time. The action sequences are pretty cool, but again pretty predictable, too.

Ed Morrissey on May 5, 2012 at 8:15 AM

This is the kind of movie we have missed in the last few years. I’m actually excited this year…Batman,Prometheus,World War Z.

tomas on May 5, 2012 at 8:20 AM

No, I skipped the 3D this time. The action sequences are pretty cool, but again pretty predictable, too.

Ed Morrissey on May 5, 2012 at 8:15 AM

Predictable isn’t always a bad thing! Is that sky wyrm named Fin Fang Foom by any chance?

dogsoldier on May 5, 2012 at 8:20 AM

Otherwise, the affair seems more like a retread of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Ouch!

I hope you’ll excuse me for ignoring your review. It’s just WAYYY too far an outlier to be taken seriously.

Joss Whedon has two movies out now? Good for him, and good for Hollywood. When you count the number of scripts he has “fixed” without credit, I’d say this guy alone personally accounts for about half of the actual creativity that’s come out of that town in the past couple of decades.

logis on May 5, 2012 at 8:23 AM

I’m still in the throes of an extended nergasm after staying out way too late watching this thing, and I enjoyed the whole two and a half hours of it.

Iron Man/Stark–hilarious. Hiddleston did a good job with Loki switching between a a Machiavellian noble and really psychotic mass murderer. The other characters fit their roles-did you want Captain America to be anything other than the ultimate boy scout?

It’s a popcorn movie. It’s not meant to be art. But as the credits rolled everyone in my theater applauded. That doesn’t happen often…

PetecminMd on May 5, 2012 at 8:25 AM

I hope you’ll excuse me for ignoring your review. It’s just WAYYY too far an outlier to be taken seriously.

Isn’t it too late for that if you’re commenting on it? ;-) Seriously, though, mine is an outlier. Like I said, bear than in mind.

Ed Morrissey on May 5, 2012 at 8:25 AM

Have to admit that I LOVED IT!! Of course, I didn’t go expecting to be surprised, but this iteration of the Hulk made me very happy, and seeing Thanos at the end set my fangyrl heart all aflutter. It’s a good summer to be a comic book fan at the movies. :)

CantCureStupid on May 5, 2012 at 8:27 AM

No, I skipped the 3D this time. The action sequences are pretty cool, but again pretty predictable, too.

Ed Morrissey on May 5, 2012 at 8:15 AM

Predictable isn’t always a bad thing! Is that sky wyrm named Fin Fang Foom by any chance?

dogsoldier on May 5, 2012 at 8:20 AM

Nope, the aliens in the movie are the Chitari from the Ultimate Marvel Universe. The giants worms are like organic ships they use.

As for my take on the movie: I thought it was a good movie but not great. There were lots of action scenes, some good comedy, and some good back and forth between the heroes. However there is almost no actual character development from anyone, Loki is still not written especially well, and Hawkeye felt severely underdeveloped next to the rest of the characters. It’s a great popcorn flick but don’t expect any real depth. Iron Man and Captain America are both better movies than this.

ManFromNowhere on May 5, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Have to admit that I LOVED IT!! Of course, I didn’t go expecting to be surprised, but this iteration of the Hulk made me very happy, and seeing Thanos at the end set my fangyrl heart all aflutter. It’s a good summer to be a comic book fan at the movies. :)

CantCureStupid on May 5, 2012 at 8:27 AM

I have to say that Ruffallo’s performance was a bright spot in the movie. I was pleasantly surprised by him. Now that it is rumored they will go ahead with Hulk 2 with Ruffallo as Banner I’m really psyched.

ManFromNowhere on May 5, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Went to see this with my family and we all enjoyed it. Took note of the picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the beginning of the movie.

red131 on May 5, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Thank you for your honest assessment. I found it boring and tedious. It brought nothing new to the table. It also seemed so very “80′s” in a way I can’t put my finger on.

JohnBrown on May 5, 2012 at 8:32 AM

I look forward to seeing it. If my wife wasn’t away this weekend, I’d be there.

ted c on May 5, 2012 at 8:32 AM

I’m a sucker for superhero movies. Cap’n America I thought was excellent–loved the old school uniform and genre around WWII.

ted c on May 5, 2012 at 8:33 AM

I intend to see this in a week or so when the crowds thin out a bit. I also intend to get the DVD. :)

The first rule of movies like these is: Check your brain at the door, sit back and just have fun.

evilned on May 5, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Other than IronMan 2, I’d not seen any of this comic-super hero- storyline, and I generally dislike 3D movies (those glasses are annoying).

That said, if one knows anything at all about the concept that superheroes are “special” with powers that humans can’t quite get, you can follow the storyline quite easily. Perhaps that means that the story wasn’t well-written; I choose to believe Whedon’s screenplay was just that good.

In particular, I was surprised by Hulk; he seemed darker than the Bill Bixby portrayal I remember from 80s TV. There were some great lines contrasting Loki’s view of gods with the heroes’ views of God. Also, it was nice to see some heroes who had neither superpowers nor special-ops training.

bteacher99 on May 5, 2012 at 8:37 AM

I have to say that Ruffallo’s performance was a bright spot in the movie. I was pleasantly surprised by him. Now that it is rumored they will go ahead with Hulk 2 with Ruffallo as Banner I’m really psyched.

ManFromNowhere on May 5, 2012 at 8:31 AM

I sincerely hope that Joss Whedon writes and directs it. The man is brilliant at finding hidden humor in some pretty scary stuff, and has a history of instilling rooting value in characters that are otherwise repellant. I’ve been a fan of his television and movie work for years.

CantCureStupid on May 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

The movie was GREAT! Go see it! Exciting and funny… everything a movie should be!

BobScuba on May 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Not my cup of tea, but as a Disney stockholder, I’m glad to see it’s doing well at the box office. ;)

AZCoyote on May 5, 2012 at 8:42 AM

ManFromNowhere on May 5, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Thank you! I’m looking forward to seeing this!

dogsoldier on May 5, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Hey Ed, it’s a comic book. You were expecting Shakespeare? I’d defy Tolstoy, Dickins, Twain, and Hemingway to make a compelling story out of this material.

Oh, did I mention: it’s a comic book? Sheesh.

Cleombrotus on May 5, 2012 at 8:44 AM

This is the greatest movie of all time. Hulk stole the show, wrecked everyone, and the action was great. It seems like Thor was written far less powerful than he actually is though, which was crap.

Freeloader on May 5, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Gotta disagree with you huge on this matter. I call this the best movie ever made.

Proof?

My wife is NOT a comic book or super hero movie fan. She enjoyed the movie IMMENSELY. She was not bored at all. As a matter of fact, she is interested in seeing Thor and Capt. America to help fill in some back story.

This was the Best. Movie. Ever.

I will go see it again…and again. And again. It made me feel like I was a kid again. And after 44 years, I certainly needed to feel little again.

:-)

siwrcw03 on May 5, 2012 at 8:56 AM

As Cleombrotus says… it’s a comic book.

With uncommon exception, the heroes always win and neither the good or bad guys die.

The comic books tend to follow a predictable format, which invariably finds its way onto the big screen because it has to. I mean, come on… after over 70 years of comics, it’s inevitable that the genre will recycle it’s foundational plot and format.

As for Samuel Jackson… well, that’s what you get. Why he’s considered such a go-to person by Hollywood, I don’t understand. Personally I think he harms every movie he’s in. All he knows is stereotype cliche’, the angry black man.

Because these are movies based on comic books, I didn’t have a problem with the first Hulk movie.

All these movies however give me impetus to try and sell my old comic books. Though there’s not always a correlation between movie attendance/interest and resurgence in back-issue sales. Anyhoo, anyone in the St. Louis area interested in buying comic books, I have a LOT of old Thor comics I want to sell and probably several dozen Avengers comic books too.

Logus on May 5, 2012 at 8:59 AM

My teenage son went to see it with 5 or 6 of his friends. They thought it was the greatest film they ever saw.

JellyToast on May 5, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Hey Ed,

I would anticipate seeing “The Dark Knight Returns” as well, but it was published in 1986. From what I hear, it was quite good ;-) However, I am very excited for “The Dark Knight Rises”.

Mike Rathbone on May 5, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Can someone please tell me why anyone goes to the movies anymore when there is Netflix?

How do you say, “Going the way of the daily newspaper?”

Or is it time to kick that football one more time, Charlie Brown?

Stepan on May 5, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Wow, Ed.

Did you nick your pinky finger a little hard as you raised it for tea sipping during the movie?

Many, many people are leaving the movie theather not only saying this was a good movie, but one of their favorites of all time. Given the source material, it is hard to imagine the movie being any better than it was. Get some perspective.

JSR08 on May 5, 2012 at 9:04 AM

I would anticipate seeing “The Dark Knight Returns” as well, but it was published in 1986. From what I hear, it was quite good ;-) However, I am very excited for “The Dark Knight Rises”.

Mike Rathbone on May 5, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Fixed!

As to those who asked, “What did you expect from a comic book movie?”, that’s a fair question. I guess I expected something different than formulaic and cliched character interaction from Joss Whedon. He spent most of The Cabin In The Woods poking fun at that very thing. It’s still entertaining action, but the rest of it is unimaginative.

Ed Morrissey on May 5, 2012 at 9:07 AM

I sincerely hope that Joss Whedon writes and directs it. The man is brilliant at finding hidden humor in some pretty scary stuff, and has a history of instilling rooting value in characters that are otherwise repellant. I’ve been a fan of his television and movie work for years.

CantCureStupid on May 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Look, when people are uniformly praising the brilliant talent of Joss Whedon I can not help but join in. He rocks!! But I’m also slightly perplexed. The man is a self described radical feminist whose entire first series was organized around a female empowerment message and whose recent script for Cabin in the Woods denounces the sexist logics of the entire horror genre. Oh also these are things he regularly talks and writes about.

And don’t get me started on Firefly-Serenity. The U.S. and Chine merge into a super imperial power that rules over a set of oppressed colonies on the frontier? Its practically written by Frantz Fanon himself. But yeah, totes, Whedon is the man in all ways and I too adore his work. I’m just…surprised.

libfreeordie on May 5, 2012 at 9:09 AM

If you would like a movie of this type if it was good, go see The Avengers.

I’ll say that again: go see The Avengers.

I’ll certainly see it again.

David Blue on May 5, 2012 at 9:09 AM

As to those who asked, “What did you expect from a comic book movie?”, that’s a fair question. I guess I expected something different than formulaic and cliched character interaction from Joss Whedon. He spent most of The Cabin In The Woods poking fun at that very thing. It’s still entertaining action, but the rest of it is unimaginative.

You may not realize it, but he does a lot of fan service throughout the movie. For example, they do combo moves from Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.

JSR08 on May 5, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Joss Whedon has two movies out now? Good for him, and good for Hollywood. When you count the number of scripts he has “fixed” without credit, I’d say this guy alone personally accounts for about half of the actual creativity that’s come out of that town in the past couple of decades.

logis on May 5, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Wait… actual creativity has come out of Hollywood during the past couple of decades?

Shump on May 5, 2012 at 9:12 AM

I’m much more excited about The Dark Knight Rises to see whether this comic-book series maintains its ascendancy over the genre.

I would be too if it wasn’t for the casting of Cat Woman, what a lost opportunity.

Dr Evil on May 5, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Ed, I don’t think you saw the same movie I saw.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Are you freaking kidding me?

Are you sure you didn’t accidentally walk into a screening of the second Fantastic Four movie?

The movie was a little slow in the middle and I was unhappy with a certain character’s death. But otherwise it rocked. The fact that this movie happened at all is amazing, and the fact that it’s actually really good is a bonus.

And the big fight in NYC at the end demonstrates how those urban warfare scenes in the Bayformers movies should have looked.

Whedon actually made an action movie without using shaky cam. You mean I can actually see the fight scenes for once??? Cool.

And Loki is a pretty darn effective bad guy. He’s not as sympathetic as he was in Thor, but he gets a number of good lines in and convinces the audience that he might actually win against the good guys.

Of course, not everyone’s going to like every movie, but you’re running in an open primary for Mayor of Wrongsville here, Ed.

fiatboomer on May 5, 2012 at 9:13 AM

The man is a self described radical feminist whose …

Creativity? That’s what you call it nowadays?

Cleombrotus on May 5, 2012 at 9:18 AM

I look forward to seeing it. If my wife wasn’t away this weekend, I’d be there.

ted c on May 5, 2012 at 8:32 AM

…my wife hates going to the theatre…she always waits for it to come out so she can get the movies in the mail.

KOOLAID2 on May 5, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Other than IronMan 2, I’d not seen any of this comic-super hero- storyline, and I generally dislike 3D movies (those glasses are annoying).

That said, if one knows anything at all about the concept that superheroes are “special” with powers that humans can’t quite get, you can follow the storyline quite easily. Perhaps that means that the story wasn’t well-written; I choose to believe Whedon’s screenplay was just that good.

In particular, I was surprised by Hulk; he seemed darker than the Bill Bixby portrayal I remember from 80s TV. There were some great lines contrasting Loki’s view of gods with the heroes’ views of God. Also, it was nice to see some heroes who had neither superpowers nor special-ops training.

bteacher99 on May 5, 2012 at 8:37 AM

You really should watch both Iron Man and Captain America if you like this. Both of those movies are fantastic. Iron Man is played regularly on FX and both movies are available for cheap on DVD.

ManFromNowhere on May 5, 2012 at 9:27 AM

libfreeordie on May 5, 2012 at 9:09 AM

And I guess I cannot understand what statist-progressives don’t see in the mirror about the Alliance in Firefly-Serenity …

The concept of a meddling alliance that imposes its will on the independents is ALL about the progressive ideology, with a very healthy dose of anti neo-con foreign policy.

As for the Avengers, maybe I’ll go see it. I find Scarlett Johansen mildly overexposed and annoying though.

Firefly_76 on May 5, 2012 at 9:32 AM

But yeah, totes, Whedon is the man in all ways and I too adore his work. I’m just…surprised.
libfreeordie on May 5, 2012 at 9:09 AM

I’m not. Unless the message is blatantly counterfactual politically, the average moviegoer these days is unaware of how their thinking is being manipulated to accept concepts that run counter to their worldview.

Cleombrotus on May 5, 2012 at 9:34 AM

I thought Mark Ruffalo was all wrong as Bruce Banner. Not that he was a bad actor but Banner is one of those characters where physicality is important. He needs to be the proverbial 90 lb weakling compared to the Hulk’s 800 lb gorilla and you just don’t get that from Ruffalo.

Rip Ford on May 5, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Ed, maybe you’ve seen too many comic book movies and are jaded. The imdb rating is 8.8/10.

Gladtobehere on May 5, 2012 at 9:37 AM

THANK YOU, Ed, for inspiring me !!!

Your film reviews are so pathetically slanted to show that you have no clue about what you write that you have inspired me to start writing film reviews myself … just to make sure there is sommeone competent who uderstands literary expression writing literary reviews …

On the one hand, you should have stuck to politics just as Allahpundit should have stayed a Democrat …

On the other hand, you have awakened a sleeping intellectual giant and filled him with resolve …

… Beware … I LIVE !!!

—Tim D Enchanter

TimLenox on May 5, 2012 at 9:39 AM

sommeone

… will need to check for typos more careffully in the future …

TimLenox on May 5, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Normally, when hubby drags me to these types of movies I take a blanket and surf twitter/internet, or take a nap. But this movie I really enjoyed! The audience reveled in the Hulk/Mark Ruffalo, but for me, IronMan/ Robert Downey,Jr nailed it, a GREAT actor, that one!

Watched in 3D, highly recommend!

TN Mom on May 5, 2012 at 9:42 AM

uderstands

the downside to posting comments is that sometimes you get an extra letter and sometimes you are missing one … frustrating

TimLenox on May 5, 2012 at 9:42 AM

I absolutely loved the movie, it was FAR better than I’d imagined and my expectations were not low.

Cylor on May 5, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I’m much more excited about The Dark Knight Rises to see whether this comic-book series maintains its ascendancy over the genre.

Well you and I part company on that one. Batman has been over-done and I never thought he was the best of the super-heroes any way. As a matter of fact I always wondered why somebody hadn’t sent his a$$ to superhero heaven by now. For a rich guy who’s out to save the world, or at least fight crime, give me Ironman any day.
As for the Avengers series, they stayed true to the comic book concepts which is what I wanted to see. The characters were portrayed accurately and their interaction reminded me of the so-called Silver Age of comics in the late 60s and 70s….tongue in cheek, rivalry, some angst but not over-done, and lots of action. Everyone loved it.

Deanna on May 5, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I was pleasantly surprised about this movie and I surely wasn’t expecting much. The funniest part indeed was the interaction between Loki and the Hulk near the end. Ed doesn’t know what he is talking about

journeymike on May 5, 2012 at 9:51 AM

My twenty-somethings are very excited about the movie. They’ve seen all the pre-movies (whatever) leading up to it, introducing the various actors versions of the characters (comic book people?, again, whatever) with the payoff being this culmination of all the story lines. They really do want heroes.

Fallon on May 5, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Ed, you and I saw two different movies it seems.

The one I saw was the epitome of AWESOME!

Mr. Mike on May 5, 2012 at 10:13 AM

I always thought it was pretty lame for an adult to read comic books. To read comics about, er … super heroes, is doubly lame. But when movies are made about super heroes from comic books, and you pay to go see it – without small children – that is lame squared.

When these people go to the hospital for surgery, does the route 29 Batman visit to cheer them up?

keep the change on May 5, 2012 at 10:14 AM

I’m curious what Ed and critics are saying about Scarlett Johannson’s performance. I adored her in Lost in Translation but, lately, her performances coupled with her Obama love have left me cold.

bobs1196 on May 5, 2012 at 10:22 AM

It’s a remarkably grim affair, made even more so by Samuel L. Jackson’s performance as Nick Fury, who seems less furious and more cheesed off.

But is exactly Nick Fury in a nutshell Ed…..

Seriously, our family has been looking forward to this movie. You have to take the subject matter (a movie based on comic book characters) into account when you walk in. I am not expecting “Evita” or Les Mis….this is a movie based on a comic book story…..

Pass the popcorn please…

LL

Lady Logician on May 5, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Eh. I’ll see it on DVD. Prometheus looks way cool and I’ll go the theater for that.

The idea that people confuse an entertaining movie for the “BEST MOVIE EVER MADE” makes me not want to see it out of principle. A really good entertaining movie doesn’t mean anything more than that. And every year we’re treated to some well-done popcorn movie fawned over by people as the next Lawrence of Arabia. I just find it silly. You liked the movie, good for you. It’s not “the greatest movie evah!” though.

tyketto on May 5, 2012 at 10:29 AM

I don’t know what movie Ed saw, because I don’t think it’s the same one I just saw. It was AMAZING. GO SEE IT. NOW. Seriously, I don’t like movies where the plot is ‘everything explodes’, and I *loved* the Avengers.

…Batman is AWESOME, Deanna. This is a law of the universe. Sorry.

libfreeordie on May 5, 2012 at 9:09 AM

It’s not exactly portrayed as a good thing. Go *watch* firefly.
And who says conservatives can’t believe in a little bit of girl power? I’m not exactly the sort to want to stay in the kitchen.

LunaLovegood on May 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM

I’m much more excited about The Dark Knight Rises to see whether this comic-book series maintains its ascendancy over the genre.

I would be too if it wasn’t for the casting of Cat Woman, what a lost opportunity.

Dr Evil on May 5, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Yep, was Jennifer Garner otherwise occupied? At least she already has the stage martial arts training down. /s

Kate Beckinsale is so obviously Selina Kyle that it hurts to see Anne “cute widdle pwincess” Hathaway in the role. The only thing worse was to see SUPERMAN RETURNS and realize that they already had the PERFECT older Lois Lane, Parker Posey, -already in the picture as comedy relief.- Idiots

ebrown2 on May 5, 2012 at 10:37 AM

This is the SIXTH film in the series, and it’s amazing that people still leave before the credits are over. Every one of these films has a post-credits sequence, and they usually set up the next film.

The post-credits sequence for The Avengers was probably the simplest, and funniest clip of the whole bunch. If you go see it in theaters, don’t be the idiot that races to the parking lot before the ENTIRE movie is over. Waitaminute – - if you’re that kind of idiot, you don’t deserve to see the last bit.

DarthBrooks on May 5, 2012 at 10:37 AM

and a cameo from a veteran character actor that is the slyest of inside jokes — nothing unexpected happens.

I might have stepped out during this part. Who had the cameo?

tdau1997 on May 5, 2012 at 10:59 AM

… will need to check for typos more careffully in the future …

TimLenox on May 5, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Indeed

Rip Ford on May 5, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Enjoyed the hell out of this. Yes, it felt about 30 minutes too long – but I’ll take that too.

Hint with no spoiler….the best two scenes in the movie involved the Hulk. The quick scene with Thor that Ed alludes to….and the scene when Hulk breifly gets his hands on Loki near the end.

Excelsior!

Tim_CA on May 5, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Can someone please tell me why anyone goes to the movies anymore when there is Netflix?

Stepan– I grew up watching movies on the big screen, because that was the only place to see a movie. Back then we could never imagine a “movie” being shown on television. My father and I saw “Alien” in Los Angeles at the enormous, wraparound-screen Cinedome. We came out of the theater, looked at each other, and went back in to see it again. I lost him two years ago at the age of 91 and that is still one of my most prized memories of him.

Xyz22 on May 5, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Xyz22 on May 5, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Part of it’s a fandom thing. Going to the midnight showing, dressed up as your favorite character…

LunaLovegood on May 5, 2012 at 11:09 AM

This is the SIXTH film in the series, and it’s amazing that people still leave before the credits are over. Every one of these films has a post-credits sequence, and they usually set up the next film.

DarthBrooks on May 5, 2012 at 10:37 AM

So true. Always amazing to watch the uninformed still walk out of a “Marvel” movie as the credits begin to roll.

Tim_CA on May 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Deanna on May 5, 2012 at 9:45 AM

The fascination with Batman is that he isn’t superpowered and, if you had time and patience, you can get on that level of a superhero. That has been one of the drawing points for heroes like Green Arrow, Hawkeye, Black Canary, The Question… going back to The Shadow and before him Sherlock Holmes (plus Mycroft). To one degree or another it isn’t about the toys they use, they are a means to get the job done. It is about getting the job done with what you have and then knuckling down and doing it.

What is interesting about Batman is that as Frank Miller indicated in The Dark Knight Returns, he is high on INTEL and preparation. Not just against his enemies/opponents, but his friends, as well. He must prepare for anything when he steps into the fray, including having a friend turn on him… you know, one of those ‘real’ superheroes with extraordinary powers beyond those of mortal men? Superman, The Flash… even Green Lantern and those kinds of super-powered megatoy users. Most of the other sorts of non-powered heroes usually don’t do this. These heroes are also, as a class, prepared for things to go wrong. At some level the super-powered compatriots of Batman understand his viewpoint and respect it: if you ask him to do the job, don’t get in his way because then he has to take you out… and he will as you are in the way.

You can’t really ask yourself ‘What would Superman do?’ when you are in a disaster, because you don’t have his powers and ability. You can, however, reasonably ask ‘What would Batman do?’ and actually find something you might be able to actually achieve. And as our technology gives more and more of the toys that prior incarnations of Batman have used, you can begin to reasonably ask if some of this equipment is something YOU should have around you in case of emergencies because you have seen how it can be used.

That is why the relatively low level heroes can be so interesting: they aren’t depending on their stupendous powers, but on their wits and ability, and pushing those to the max. And sometimes these ones that you should think would be the first to be vaporized in a massive, mega-encounter are the ones to not only get through it, but may prove to have the key to survival for his or her teammates as well… and you can learn from their lessons about how you approach what you can do with what you have around you. Yup its over the top with these characters and situations, but surely you can do better in less over the top situations, no? If you know yourself, trust yourself with your skills and add in determination, then you can get through far less than any hero… and then not understand why it is you are considered heroic: you did what you had to do and did it. Not for glory, but because you had to do it. If you really want a different perspective on Batman, don’t think of what he does as adventure or heroism, but a job that clocks in at around 10pm and goes to 6am with wide variation left for what the job is. Then he stops being Batman and just becomes a job that Bruce Wayne does… and no one is calling him part of the ‘idle rich’ in his day job, either.

ajacksonian on May 5, 2012 at 11:12 AM

My father and I saw “Alien” in Los Angeles at the enormous, wraparound-screen Cinedome. We came out of the theater, looked at each other, and went back in to see it again.

That is a very cute & sweet story.

We got Iron Man on DVD a couple of Christmases ago and we watched it right away. The next day my brother came over and we were all more than willing to watch Iron Man again.

I almost never would do a thing like that, Iron Man was one of the most enjoyable and entertaining movies ever.

And no, I am not any kind of comic book reading person.

Jocon307 on May 5, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Saw it at midnight……..it was Freaking awesome.

I’m guessing that Loki is an Obama supporter by the way. He’s really big on making citizens bow and lose their freedom. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see BHO show up with one of those staffs with the blue sparkly stuff in it pretty soon.

Maybe at the Communist Convention in North Carolina he’ll reveal he really is LOKI?

PappyD61 on May 5, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Nexflix and DVD’s are good options but there is a special experience felt when seeing a movie on opening night, that includes the obnoxious fan here and there. I enjoyed seeing this movie in the Theater

journeymike on May 5, 2012 at 11:30 AM

The movie was a little slow in the middle and I was unhappy with a certain character’s death. But otherwise it rocked. The fact that this movie happened at all is amazing, and the fact that it’s actually really good is a bonus.

fiatboomer on May 5, 2012 at 9:13 AM

That really pissed me off too. It was unnecessary to kill the character off.

The needed “rallying point” could have just as easily been triggered by his wounding, capture, or any of a million other comic-book-plot devices.

Tim_CA on May 5, 2012 at 11:34 AM

ajacksonian on May 5, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Sorry but Batman isn’t Sherlock Holmes and you have way too much time on your hands. Batman was conceived as a detective that used gadgets. Yea I’m old enough to have read the original Kane comics. He isn’t a super-hero I agree. But his personality is tedious, get over himself already. Ironman is much more interesting. It is still just a comic book character that at least doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Deanna on May 5, 2012 at 11:35 AM

“There’s only one God Ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.”—Captain America

“I’m listening”—Loki

“There is no throne, there is no version of this where you come out on top! Maybe your army will come, maybe it’s too much for us, but it’s all on you! Because if we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damn sure we’ll avenge it! —IronMan

“You were made to be ruled.”—-Loki

“He’s my brother.”—Thor

“He’s killed 80 people in two days”—Black Widow /Natasha Romanoff

“He’s adopted”—Thor

Lots of good lines in the movie, there were some of our family favorites.

PappyD61 on May 5, 2012 at 11:43 AM

“We’ve got a Hulk”

Tim_CA on May 5, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I loved it. One of the best comic movies so far. My only qualm with it was that it was kinda cheesy. And it did drag during some parts. But I have had alot less problems with this than some other movies recently.

scrubbiedude on May 5, 2012 at 12:04 PM

“Hulk…smash!”

Rip Ford on May 5, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Unfortunately, I cannot simply go see this movie, I’ll have to wait for a DVD release (no movie theaters where I’m at).

Since I’m not worried about spoilers, I’ve read reviews (this is the second, actually). What is curious to me is that the previous review, taken from an unashamedly liberal review site, is opposite entirely. Not point for point, of course, but close in many ways. Praise for the writing was especially strong, and during Thor at least, praise for Hiddleston’s take on Loki (true, a seperate film with a seperate director and writer) was especially well liked.

Is this a political slant to subtext or simply a wildly divergent point of view?

Curious. Too bad I will have forgotten the question by the time I see the film.

SpikeRHSC on May 5, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Why see a movie like this in a theater rather than wait for Netflix? Because sometimes you need to see something on the biggest screen you can find and even if modern theater screens are tiny compared to what they used to be like, they’re still bigger than my television.

Rip Ford on May 5, 2012 at 12:10 PM

But his personality is tedious, get over himself already. Ironman is much more interesting. It is still just a comic book character that at least doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Yes, we wouldn’t want character development in a comic book, would we?

Cleombrotus on May 5, 2012 at 12:11 PM

The Dark Knight Rises does look excellent. Even more excellent is Ridly Scott’s Prometheus. You looking forward to that one at all Ed?

jawkneemusic on May 5, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Can the Avengers put aside their personal differences and defeat Loki and his allies?

Frankly, if you don’t know the answer to that question, this may be your first movie ever.

That made me laugh. Nice line.

mrflashman on May 5, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Dateline Hollywood reports that The Avengers has received a rare “A+” CinemaScore from American audiences.

Also it is on track to break the record for an opening weekends.

Sorry Ed, but you do seem to be in the minority on this film. It’s a juggernaut and people are going nuts for it.

The Chewbacca Defense on May 5, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Awesome movie I’ve seen it twice already. The first time in 3D the secind in Imax 3D…

See it this weekend the energy from the crowd makes it that much better. There are several moments in which the entire theater will be cheering. It reminds me of why America is awesome. That inexplicable espirit de corps that Americans share. I saw it in The Avengers.

“Isn’t a bad popcorn movie” did someone kick your dog before you saw it Ed.?

Theworldisnotenough on May 5, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Deanna – did you ever keep any of your original Kane comics?

I’m hoping to see this – I loved Iron Man though I felt it dragged in certain spots. Never saw IM 2 though.

Stray Cat on May 5, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Terrific film. No sucker punches of anti-Conservatism despite the admittance of a scene cut of Captain America going on a Liberal rant. It will probably be on the DVD extra scenes section. However, there are two slight sucker punches of anti-Liberalism.

************************
**MINOR SPOILER BEWARE**
************************

Captain America himself makes up for the Liberal rant in one line. When told Thor and Loki are like gods, he responds: “There is only one God, and I doubt He dresses like that.”

At the end of the movie a Senator says the Avengers must be held accountable for all the property damage. The Senator is a Democrat!
I checked. I saw the D.

hadsil on May 5, 2012 at 1:41 PM

It is a comic book movie and it is Shakespeare as well.

One of the best movies of all time. Greatly exceeded my high expectations.

StubbleSpark on May 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM

That really pissed me off too. It was unnecessary to kill the character off.

The needed “rallying point” could have just as easily been triggered by his wounding, capture, or any of a million other comic-book-plot devices.

Tim_CA on May 5, 2012 at 11:34 AM

It’s a Joss Whedon movie. Someone was going to die, rest assured. Plus the stakes had to be raised before the big NYC finale, and honestly was there any other character they could’ve killed off(one who mattered anyway)?

At the end of the movie a Senator says the Avengers must be held accountable for all the property damage. The Senator is a Democrat!
I checked. I saw the D.

hadsil on May 5, 2012 at 1:41 PM

I couldn’t see the “D”, but he was a New York Senator, so I assumed he was a Dem. BTW, the actor playing the Senator was the dad on the original 90210. Dude has hardly aged in 20 years.

Doughboy on May 5, 2012 at 2:54 PM

This is the kind of movie we have missed in the last few years. I’m actually excited this year…Batman,Prometheus,World War Z.

tomas on May 5, 2012 at 8:20 AM

Iron Sky. :) :) :)

Theophile on May 5, 2012 at 3:10 PM

I go to the theater to see a movie only once in a great while. I got tired of being ripped off by way over-hyped movies that suck starring way over-hyped actors that suck. It wasn’t so bad before the price of admission was $12 and a small soda and small popcorn cost $15. However, I watched Avengers with my son and his girlfriend at a pre-noon early showing yesterday. We were trying to beat the crowds but the theater was literally completely filled even for the early show — when everyone else was supposed to be at work and/or school.

Avengers was — okay. Not great. Not the worst I’ve seen. Right in the middle for the most part. I didn’t leave the theater feeling like I was completely ripped off for the price of 3 admissions.

I would have been totally okay with waiting to watch it on the home theater blu-ray player sometime next year. My son and his girlfriend felt pretty much the same way too. But, as is always the case, no matter how mundane it might be — doing anything with my son is a win-win treat to me.

FlatFoot on May 5, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Special shout out to the thoughtful father who brought his 3 year old to the 12:30AM show last night. Poor kid was mostly miserable and restless (who could blame him) and therefore so were most of the rest of us in the front few rows.

Nothing like chillin’ with your baby till the wee hours amIright?

Oy veh.

Twark_Main on May 5, 2012 at 4:11 PM

I have never enjoyed a film more than The Avengers. I saw it twice the same day.

On the one hand, I don’t put much stock in the “professional” movie critics.

On the other hand, as a regular reader of this blog and Ace of Spades, I kind of wish political bloggers would blog even more about politics.

NCC on May 5, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Loved it. Best comic book movie ever.

I don’t pretend that its Shakespeare, but it is one rocking great movie.

And yes, that dialogue scene between Loki and Hulk near the end is priceless. ;-)

itzWicks on May 5, 2012 at 4:58 PM

“I saw the D.”

Good eyes. I couldn’t make it out either time.

NCC on May 5, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Yikes. Some of you conservatives… sheesh.. really giving the fun loving of us a bad name. This movie was a Great, 100% awesome summer roller coaster right blockbuster.

Sorry for my punctuation. Who is the guy writing this review. Are you the one running the site? Might just delete my profile in spite dude. Puke on you. Stay out of theatres. Theatres are for fun loving, kids at heart, kinda people. You are not one. Those others of you panning it. ZZZZZ

When Hulk grabs Loki and rag dolls him. GIVE ME A BREAK. Worth the price of admission.

When Hulk and Thor finish a battle sequence.. and Hulk does something to Thor, then gives a little sniff… TWICE the price of admission.

Joss Whedon. “Cabin in the Woods” and Avengers? THANK YOU!

Now Back to hating Obama. Lets just keep it at this okay guys, cause my god, what a bunch of puckered up old men.

RutRoh on May 5, 2012 at 5:33 PM

The Avengers is a fun and entertaining movie that doesn’t preach or talk down to you.

Given the talent and the resources behind The Avengers, and especially with Joss Whedon as one of its writers, it should have been something more special.

Seeing Cap, Thor, Iron Man, and Hulk team up for the first time in a movie was special.

Ed must have missed the two end credit scenes where in the first one, the villain who gave Loki his army is revealed. His name is Thanos, and he is a (mad) Titan who doesn’t just worship Death, but LOVES Death. (That is why he smiles when his minion says: “To challenge them is to court Death.”)

There is a storyline in the comics called the Infinity Gauntlet where in order to court Death’s favor, Thanos seeks out the six Infinity gems. The blue (MIND) gem on Loki’s staff is one of the six Infinity gems. The Infinity gauntlet is located on Asgard in Odin’s Trophy Room.

RedRobin145 on May 5, 2012 at 5:51 PM

We went with the kids today and even paid for the 3-D. Everyone LOVED it.

I have to say, I loved the line from Caption America (going off of memory), “There is only one God ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that”

JennM111 on May 5, 2012 at 6:20 PM

I saw it friday. It was TREMENDOUS. I was sorry they killed off Agent Coulson who has become my second favorite character after Tony Stark.

All i can say is HULK SMASH!

gerrym51 on May 5, 2012 at 7:17 PM

I’m with Ed. Good, not great. Too much like a fanboy wrote a list of scenes they wanted to see and then pasted it together. Some of it was funny, but it was underdeveloped with nothing to elevate it beyond a popcorn film. I was bored in places, and it was really predictable–either too much foreshadowing, or really poorly-done foreshadowing.

With all the hype about whether this is the best super-hero movie ever, the answer is clearly “no”. Certainly “The Dark Knight” is a much better film.

Still, it’s a good, fun film. I liked it; it just didn’t live up to the hype.

HakerA on May 5, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Is America the bad guy too?

Kaptain Amerika on May 5, 2012 at 7:41 PM

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