For a few years now, Marvel Studios has been teasing moviegoers and fans of Marvel Comics alike that The Avengers was coming to the silver screen. First it was with hits like Iron Man
in 2008 and Iron Man 2
in 2010, followed by Captain America: The First Avenger
in 2011. All four films have been relatively successful and fun fair for those inclined to spend a couple of hours in the realms of superhero-inspired action dramas.
With the release of The Avengers,director Joss Whedon had his work cut out for him as the film stars an impressive cast of muscle-bound characters in spandex and armor with equally pumped up egos and quick tongues. There is the fast-talking narcissistic genius, Tony Stark (Iron Man) played by Robert Downey, Jr.; the God from another world, Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth; a recently awakened, ever optimistic, battle-hardened Captain America played by Chris Evans; the reclusive Dr. Bruce Banner, alter ego of The Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo; the deadly cunning Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) played by Scarlet Johansson; Academy Award-winner Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye; wait, there’s more; Loki, the scheming brother (adopted) of Thor, played by Tom Hiddleston; Agent Coulson played by Clark Gregg; and finally the cool suedo-leader of the “team” of superheroes, Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Okay, so have you got all that? Surprisingly, Whedon (the Director) managed to keep each of the characters in check just enough so that the film is not about any one of the superheroes and yet each one of the cast of characters gets enough time for their back story to leave the viewers with a connection and appreciation of each one of them without making the running time of the film too long at 143 minutes. Yes, it’s over two hours, but it never felt like it dragged or needed editing.
In between the moments of character development, there are action sequences to delight the senses and a terrific balance with the dialog that moves the story forward but also kept our sample audience of three parents laughing throughout the film; a nice bonus since the film is not a comedy.
All in all, The Avengers is a great popcorn flick and is just the thing for older kids and parents to go see to escape from the realities of life for a couple of hours. The Avengers is rated PG-13 in the United States, but our parents unanimously felt 12 and up would be appropriate, particularly if the children in question have already viewed previous Marvel-based films like Spiderman, Iron Man, or Captain America and especially if they have watched any of the last couple of films from the Harry Potter universe. There is one scene, early on, with some implied gore (nothing is shown on screen), but otherwise it is your typical comic-inspired violence and rarely even showed a drop of blood. The odd bit of humor spattered throughout the dialogue also helped keep the film from taking itself too seriously. Our parents gave it three thumbs up and at least one of them will be seeing it again for sure.
You can see The Avengers at MegaBox
theaters in 3D or 2D and probably any other movie house in town this week. If you do go, be sure to stay for the first minute or two of the credits as, customary in Marvel films, there is a teaser about the next installment in the Avengers series due out in 2013.