Reviewed by Marc Glassman
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (Dr. Bruce Banner/The Hulk), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), Clark Gregg (Agent Phil Coulson), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts)
Massive. Comic-book fandom and superhero worshippers worldwide have been eagerly anticipating this new addition to the Marvel Cinematic University. What’s that, you ask?
Marvel Comics, the creators of Spiderman and The Fantastic Four, has created a cinematic universe, where all of their superheroes dwell. They’ve set up a nine-film series for their lesser—but still very popular—heroes. So far five films have been released and each has been a financial success: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: the First Avenger and Thor. All of those characters plus The Black Widow, Hawkeye and super-agent Nick Fury are in this, the sixth part of the series: The Avengers.
Superhero action adventure flick. ‘Nuff said.
The Norse god Loki, half brother of Thor, steals the Tesseract, and with it, a scientist who is an expert on the powers of the glowing cube and the supreme Avengers’ archer Hawkeye. A mysterious and powerful crystal, the Tesseract possesses extreme force and can open up black holes allowing creatures from other dimensions and universes—like Loki’s reptilian henchmen the Chitauri—to enter Earth.
Nick Fury, super agent working with SHIELD, a secret global peacekeeping force, is charged with getting the Tesseract back and capturing Loki. He decides to bring together a group of misfits with special powers, The Avengers, to accomplish the task.
Trouble is, they don’t get along well together—and have problems of their own. When scientist Bruce Banner gets angry, for example, he turns into a huge, unstoppable green monster called The Hulk. Steve Rogers is a lab experiment, too—only he’s from World War Two, when the world needed a super-strong champion, Captain America. Now he’s an anachronism, and not happy about it.
And so it goes with the rest of the Avengers: the haunted, manipulative former Russian spy, The Black Widow; the bow & arrow man, Hawkeye; the Norse god, Thor and the wisecracking millionaire inventor Tony Stark, whose heart condition doesn’t disguise his identity as the super-mechanical Iron Man.
After a surprising amount of character development, a huge battle erupts in Manhattan when Loki’s horrifying troops entering through skies parted by the Tesseract attack humanity. Which brings the quarreling superheroes together to fight united as The Avengers.
Who will win? Need you ask?