The Avengers (2012)
Reviewed on 2012 May 14
I pondered the scope of this thing when I saw trailers for it, wondering how they’d pull off something of this magnitude. With Whedon’s script and our usual stable of actors for the Marvel superheroes, everything was great.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. team has a new worry. The Tesseract has been compromised by a hostile group, and used to open a portal to our world. Being contacted by other civilizations is always a roll of the dice, and this time we don’t get a wise but stern Klaatu or the benign creatures from Close Encounters. Lucky us, this time we get Loki (Tom Hiddleston), an evil smirk on his pretty face and clutching a weapon any tyrannical despot would kill for. Loki wants to overthrow the puny mortals and rule the earth, and he’s willing to bring in some “friends” to help him do that. Who on this rock can stop him?
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) summons the rest of the Avengers team together, Nick overthrowing the agency protocols when needed and the agents all squabbling amongst themselves initially, but pulling together when they realize we’re at war. The first order of business is to coax Bruce Banner, a.k.a. “The Hulk” (Mark Ruffalo) back to the U.S. and to fight for S.H.I.E.L.D. Even with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans) on the team, they need Hulk’s strength (and temper).
This is less a mish-mosh of things than a skillfully filled batch of death by chocolate, where even if the specific ingredient kind of fades in the background it still adds to the whole. There was lots of ’sploding and smashing and huge roiling green clouds of testosterone over the whole thing, and despite all of that, there was still a tight story supplemented with good acting and some witty dialogue. The humor was a bit more sparse than in Thor, but what there was was even funnier — there was an unexpected bit that set my whole theater off. Trust me, you’ll know it when you see it.
Three chocolate morsels and a little shawarma.