The Avengers: A Spoiler-Free Review

Joss Whedon understands what we want out of the Avengers, which is not to see Thor and Iron Man teaming up.

No, what we want is to see Thor kicking Iron Man’s ass.

Thankfully, this is what the Avengers delivers: lots of hot hero-on-hero action. Who cares about the villains? We’re not nearly as invested. What we need to see is our favorite hero battling our other favorite hero to a standstill.

And ho, there is lots of that. Delivered for competent reasons – the Avengers have very good reason to be hostile to each other. And the fight scenes are pants-wettingly cool, in that sort of musky good-fluid kind of way.

The Avengers is stuffed with so many characters that character development practically has to happen via pithy quotes, which is why it’s a good thing that the King of One-Liners, Joss Whedon, wrote it. The plot generally keeps moving, and the Big Bad is helpfully played by Loki, who is played so wonderfully that you barely notice he has practically no character development or motivation at all.

Frankly, the least interesting character on the team is The Hulk, and Whedon seems to have made up for that by giving the Hulk all the best… well, you can’t really say “lines,” but let’s go “moments.”

There are a couple of minor issues I have: Captain America becomes a tactical genius at the end not by dint of anything he did in either of the two movies, but because he’s a military guy. And the final battle consists of just a shade too many generic mooks getting pounded, leading to a hair of tedium.

But overall? What you’re looking for, it delivers. Big, splashy superhero battles done with coolness. Jaw-dropping fight scenes. Laughs. As far as a tentpole movie to kick off the summer season (sort of…) it works, and as such I can tell you that if you had the urge to see this movie you’re almost guaranteed to be correct in your assessment.

Not that this was going to stop you from seeing it this weekend anyway. But let me reassure you that the money you spent on the ticket already is certainly worth it.

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