Movie poster from "The Avengers" from Marvel Studios and Disney.

Movie poster from “The Avengers” from Marvel Studios and Disney.

For decades superhero movies have been hit or miss and always disconnected from each other. The rights to each character were sold separately to different movie studios, and the comic book companies had little say over the final output. Some movies were gems, and most of them were duds. This problem has plagued both major comic book companies, Marvel & DC. Then Marvel found a home over at Disney.

What started with Iron Man, spread to Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man 2. Each movie stood on it’s own, but hints to the Marvel Universe were sprinkled through the movies, and at the end of the credits was a teaser: A much larger story was going on. Marvel called it Stage One. This phase culminated in something old hat to comic book fans but brand new to modern movie audiences: the crossover.

With The Avengers Marvel brought all their movie comic book heroes into the same world, linked masterfully in one continuity. There were inside jokes, superhero brawls, arguments, ego clashes, and united action against a common enemy. This was the formula that put Marvel on the map in the 60s.

But was the movie any good?

I do know some people who did not like the movie. They found it loud, confusing, and boring. Even silly. I know one person who fell asleep during the movie. It is my opinion that those people are abnormal in some way. I worry for them, I really do.

The Avengers was a rocket ride of fun and a perfect summer movie. It takes our disparate heroes (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, the Black Widow, and Hawkeye) and throws them together under the same roof with S.H.I.E.L.D.—a secret government agency answering to a shadow council. Good thing they’re on our side. Or are they?

Thor’s brother, Loki, has returned and stolen the mystical power source of Hydra (as seen in Captain America). With his brainwashed minions he is trying to open a portal in New York City to allow an invading alien force to subjugate the earth. What a time for our heroes to get on each others nerves and bicker.

In what is not likely a spoiler, they pull together despite their differences and save the day. What may be a surprise is the clever dialog, snappy pacing, jaw dropping special effects, and over all fun of the movie as they propel the plot to the end. Joss Whedon fans will love the gunshot dialog and witty one-liners that never fall flat due to the actors who brought their characters to life.

With Stage Two now underway (starting with Iron Man 3), Marvel fans are in a state of euphoria because Stage One was a comic book lovers’ dream come true. However, lovers of action movies will find a lot to enjoy in this production as well. The Avengers is a solid film and likely a new action classic.

Release Date: May 4, 2012 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13

MySF Rating: Five point zero stars
Family Friendliness: 80%

Content:

Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (Tony Stark had a drink and offered one to Loki)
Language: 2 (squeaky clean until the end battle where TV swears were peppered here and there)
Nudity: 0 (but Scarlett Johansson was still hot)
Sexuality: 1 (a mild double entendre or two)
Violence: 4 (CG violence, hand to hand combat, coerced interrogation, gun shots, impalement, death, explosions, and Hulk smashed)