While audiences — as judged by the box office — and some critics were thrilled with Marvel's The Avengers, I found the blockbuster only somewhat entertaining, and maybe that was because we have been bludgeoned repeatedly by loud, boring, take-themselves-too-seriously superhero movies.
Credit writer-director Joss Whedon with injecting some wit into the story, which had been teased over and over in earlier Marvel-inspired movies such as Captain America.
What is The Avengers about? It involves a gathering of superheroes — played by Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/The Hulk), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), and Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye). Under the leadership of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), they are battling Loki (Tom Hiddleston), a disgraced half-brother of Thor who somehow survived that earlier movie.
Oh, and there are some extraterrestrials on the way to destroy Earth — or at least New York City — for reasons that escaped me even as I was watching the film. Admittedly, I didn't really care. And when stuff started flying around in the Big Apple, I got distracted in trying to remember how many other films had tried to destroy the city.
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Occasionally, some of these good actors get to interact in an amusing way, but that quickly takes a backseat to all the mayhem.
Partly because Hiddleston is a terrific actor and partly because he is the one real villain, Loki is the only interesting character in The Avengers. Maybe Marvel should make him a hero.
Marvel's The Avengers retails for $29.99 or $39.99 Blu-ray.