cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

amazon.gif
Top Selling DVD     Books

BLU-RAY DVDs:
50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Selma
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
Akira
Avatar
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Bambi
A Bug's Life
Cars
Chronicles of Narnia set
Coraline
Ghostbusters
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Ratatouille
Rio
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
combo
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

OFCS

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

 DISNEY PIXAR DVDs
Alice in Wonderland
Bambi
Beauty and the Beast
Bolt
Cinderella
Coraline
E.T.
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Pinocchio
Princess Mononoke
Ratatouille
Rio 
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

avengers
Click for full sized poster

The Avengers

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston, with Gwyneth Paltrow, Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
Screenplay by Joss Whedon; Story by Zak Penn and Joss Whedon,
Directed by Joss Whedon
website: http://marvel.com/avengers_movie

Marvel Comics' The Avengers was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. A detailed and chronologically correct layout of the Marvel Movie Universe, if you don't wish to have a second look at the various Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America movie(s) can be found here. Onwards....

Given the plethora of movies set in the Marvel Universe that have been released in the past five or six years, it would almost be silly to enforce this site's Primary Rule ("you shouldn't have to know the Source material to enjoy what you're about to see). Props, then, to director Joss Whedon and his writing partner Zak Penn for providing just enough recap to cover all the bases and unleashing a juggernaut of a comic book based movie.

Juggernaut. Sorry, that's an X-Men villain. Wrong series. Those that do know the various Marvel comics will see on screen many elements introduced over the last fifty years which (you) will understand and everyone else will just think (is) just a lot of fun.

We'll get right to the point and say that the buy-the new-comics-on Wednesday fanboys will easily rate The Avengers at a perfect $10 on Cranky's scale of doing things. As for everybody else . . .

IN SHORT: Sibling rivalry on a planetary scale ... well, planet New York <g> [Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference. 142 minutes]

Those who have been reading Marvel comics for far too many years can recite the company story template by heart:

Begin with an item, perhaps a glowing blue cube stuffed with cosmic-ish power; something that can be used for either good or evil. Open it or unleash it or reveal it and let havoc ensue. Gather a team of heroes to Save the Earth . . . but first let them bash each other'sw brains out because no super-being knows who is truly good and who is truly evil. Once that is out of the way, have at the true bad guy and (maybe) hide the fact that nothing is truly as it seems.

Of course, what is template to us is relatively new to most of y'all in movieland. Let us just say that, now that you know most of the individual players -- because you have seen the earlier Marvel movies, we have no doubt about that -- now you get to see them try to play nicely together.

It's Marvel. That never happens either. And while The Avengers could easily be nothing more than 2+ hours of good guy beating up on good guy or good guy beating up on bad or any combination or set of betrayals, as we wrote above Whedon and Zak have delivered an accessible, action packed battle-fest with plenty of moments that will have fanboys giggling like little girls -- and the uninitiated will also be laughing at virtually all of those moments, because that's how much work has been put into this script.

The Avengers opens with the Tesseract, introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger, a glowing blue "cosmic" (-ish) cube. While earnest scientists do their research -- here, it is Thor's Professor Eric Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård), a scientist of S.H.I.E.L.D. -- the (Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement Logistics Division) -- super-powered bad guys attack and steal said item.

Those bad guys wouls be led by the Norse god Loki (Tom Hiddleston) Loki wants a world of his own to Rule, like any god should. His brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has got one. His adopted father (Odin) has/had one. His biological father (don't worry about it) had one. Loki wants to be King. He decides that Earth shall be his kingdom and sides with an alien army of beings called Chitauri to pull it all off.

Sensing the coming attack, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) assembles a team to protect the planet. He's been showing up at the end of all the earlier Marvel movies to clue in the newfound heroes that "something" is coming, so there's a fairly deep roster to call from: Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) -- who will all do battle in Germany -- and two master assassins, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). The latter is sent to corral the only missing super powered entity on the planet, a Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), hiding in a leper colony in India, where misery helps him deal with his "anger issues".

Sure, some of the good guys have to beat each other senseless before playing nice. It is the way of all things Marvel.

Once gathered on the SHIELD "helicarrier," a vessel that can fly or sail or submerge, the script lets the human "identities" play off each other; scientists Banner and Stark talk gobbledygook; Hawkeye and the Black Widow let us infer that some of their spy-days missions were a lot more than get in-kill-get out affairs. Emphasis on "affairs". And while the big guns are doing whatever they need to do, all us reg'lar folk are repped by Agents Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) of SHIELD, and a taste of Stark's girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).

And then all hell breaks loose.

More than that we're just not going to tell you. Battles will be fought. Heroes will die. New York will get the junk beat out of it. Our audience, granted there were more than enough fanboys in the seats, broke into spontaneous applause at least twice during the film. They roared at Mark Ruffalo's Banner/Hulk whose character has, at least for now, seemed to find a purpose.

If you absolutely detest actionflicks, then you have no reason to see this movie. Everybody else, pile on!

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Avengers, he would have paid . . .

$9/ $8

The former 'cuz I'm a former blubbering fanboy and the latter for all the dates that may be dragged in kicking and screaming -- though we couldn't guess why <vbg> -- to see the movie.

As for those legendary Marvel surprises always held for the very end of the earlier films? Now that The Avengers has paid off, don't think they're going to stop. As always, bring a fanboy to translate what it is you see. We'll hint: the age of Lee and Kirby is about to end.

 click for Avengers wallpaper downloads     click for Avengers movie posters

amazon com link

 

Click to buy films by Joss Whedon
Click to buy films starring Robert Downey Jr.
Click to buy films starring Samuel L. Jackson
Click to buy films starring Chris Evans
Click to buy films starring Gwyneth Paltrow
Click to buy films starring Scarlett Johansson
Click to buy films starring Mark Ruffalo
Click to buy TED as a DVD / Blu-Ray combo pack

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.