(Spoiler Free)

I am not a movie critic.  I am not a ‘professional’ writer.  I am just a guy who really likes Marvel, comic books, and a bunch of other stuff that is related.  I don’t pretend to understand set design, camera angles, or how a scene is properly directed vs. not.  Hot dang I loves me a great movie though!

The Avengers managed to take 4 monster characters and stuff them into 2.5 hours together without making me feel like any one of the Marvel favorites on screen got cheated out of screen time.  I went into the movie fully expecting Robert Downey Jr. to steal the show.  To my surprise, I found myself engaged and even laughing as much when Chris Hemsworth fired off zingers as I did when Tony Stark was being Tony Stark.

 

The movie did an outstanding job of balancing action and interaction from start to finish….yes, right up till the very credit roll end where you get your second post film clip.  I can’t recommend enough, sticking around till the very last name is shown to see the short clip that follows.  I did so and by that time it was about 2:50 after a full days work that started at 7AM the previous day and I still don’t regret it even now.

The big 4 and the smaller 2 worked well together throughout the movie (Iron Man, Cap, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow) dialogue wise.  I didn’t have any problem believing their feelings towards each other or towards what was going on around them.

Top notch performances were turned in by all of the key actors.  Tom Hiddleston did an outstanding job of making me want to stab him by the end of the movie, and I feel like, in Mark Ruffalo we have the first believable ‘live-action’ Hulk since the small screen in the 70’s.  I guess CGI is really finally getting that good.  I was utterly convinced that the CGI Hulk and real world Banner were the same guy, and I wouldn’t want to make either of them angry.

Through the movie just about every plot point raised was explained.  With two exceptions (in my mind), everything paid off and was tied up.  One of the exceptions was the obvious ‘cliff hanger’ mid-credits, so stick around for that.  The other I felt was much more gray and I found myself wondering why they didn’t go back to say for sure yes or no.  Maybe you will pick up on it, maybe you won’t…(highlight for not really a spoiler) but it has to do with a deck of Cap trading cards (saying that spoils nothing).

The Avengers was epic on all scales.  It was well paced, well acted, enjoyable, and I laughed about 3x as much as I thought I might going in.  If you ever wondered what watching a comic book play out in front of you might look like, go see The Avengers.  I watched Iron Man this past weekend in prep with my son.  I really didn’t know if Marvel could top the first Iron Man, but Whedon and crew laid down the Gauntlet for 2012 block busters, the Gauntlet for team movies, and the Gauntlet for super hero movies for years to come.  It’ll go down to date as my favorite super hero movie and run away, my favorite Marvel movie until something tops it, which will be a challenge.  Remember kids, stay till the very end!

Grade: A+ (That totally doesn’t even mean anything, just go see it, it was a fantastic movie and a great time!).

 

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