The Avengers – 3 stars

With the exception of the upcoming Dark Knight picture, The Avengers is of the same stripe as the films previewed before it (Spiderman, Battleship) – loud, visually thrilling, punctuated by the wisecracks of people in a maelstrom, and loud.  The Avengers includes a slew of Marvel characters, almost all of whom have had their own loud, visually thrilling films: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and The Hulk join The Black Widow, Nick Fury and Hawkeye to fight Thor’s power-hungry brother Loki.  Since they are a varied group of personalities, they bicker, trade philosophy (Fury would be the Dick Cheney of the group; Iron Man the Barack Obama), and crack wise (Robert Downey’s Iron Man/Tony Stark gets almost all the nifty lines).

Loki comes to rule and it takes the Avengers fighting his flying army of space creatures in NYC to demonstrate that Earth is not some defenseless denizen of sheep.

Really though, he is not nearly scary enough (he looks like the second banana in Wham!) and you never get the sense he’s that big a threat.

The picture is dizzying, occasionally funny, well-paced but really, really long and immediately forgettable.

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11 comments
  1. Cal said:

    “With the exception of the upcoming Dark Night picture, the previews to The Avengers (Spiderman, Battleship) look to be of the same stripe. ”

    Does this make sense? Do you mean the previews to the Avenger character films?

      • pinchermartin said:

        “…Dark Night…”

        Dark Knight?

  2. Cal said:

    I am rarely the grammar geek, but you’ve dangled the modifier.

    “With the sole exception of the upcoming Dark Knight sequel, the DC comics films (Spiderman, Battleship, and now the Avengers–are all of the same stripe:” and so on.

  3. Cal said:

    Hey, Catholic schoolboy, do those nuns proud.

  4. pinchermartin said:

    I saw the movie last night. It’s skillfully put together for a juvenile action flick. The difficulty with these ensemble casts is that you have so many characters to work with. The Avengers does an excellent job of fleshing out some detail or two about each one of the seven main characters, and blending them into a single story. Technically, that’s not easy to do.

    I also liked the main villain. He does a fine job of chewing up the scenery when he’s on screen.

    The worst part of this film — which Jeff is right in saying is instantly forgettable — is that its commercial success has already ensured seven or eight sequels and spinoffs will be greenlit over the next decade.

    • i agree. I just found myself overwhelmed. Like a kid who ate too much candy. It may just be that at some point, I can only take so much. My son, who was similarly overwhelmed by Iron Man 2 and Transformers, thought The Avengers was the right amount.

  5. I disagree about the villain. He was kind of a pussy and never scared me at all.

    • pinchermartin said:

      I thought he came across like an oleaginous queen in a gay parade, but that may have been his purpose. Loki is the god of mischief and trickery, preferring misdirection and manipulation to the brawny displays of strength of his brother.

      I liked how he played the clever interrogation scene with the female Russian spy and his banter with Downey Jr. in the Tower.

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