Marvel’s “The Avengers” is too much and too many.
Not that you shouldn’t see it. You should. Just prepare yourself to be stuffed. Like a huge holiday meal, “The Avengers” will leave you totally sated.
It’s also analogous to a sports All-Star game. Sure, it’s great to see all the Marvel heroes together. But as an All-Star game is not always an entertaining game, so does “The Avengers” fail to deliver a truly great movie.
The interaction—including verbal and physical battles—among the characters is fun and often funny to watch. It’s amusing as Captain America (Chris Evans) tries to assimilate into the 21st century world, after awakening from a 70-year nap.
Thankfully, the film’s writers and director give the biggest chunk of screen time to Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man/Tony Stark. This is good because Downey is a much better actor than the rest of the cast. Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk/Bruce Banner is also excellent in his Marvel debut.
The other main players: Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Tom Hiddleston as the villain Loki.
The movie’s pacing brings to mind the latter Star Wars movies with long periods of exposition between the action scenes. The film’s final battle is spectacularly good, but overlong—not unlike having three pieces of pumpkin pie at the end of a holiday feast.
Clocking in at 2:20 or so, it’s a long movie. But with so many characters to feature and so much action to fit in, it has to be.
“The Avengers,” like a Transformers film, is critic-proof. Even if every reviewer in America from Ebert on down said the film sucked, it would still gross $100 million plus this weekend.
It doesn’t suck. But it’s not as good a movie as one might have hoped for.