With all the hyperbole and associated hoo-hah, I decided to go see “The Avengers.” Sure, it’s a kid’s movie. However, The Hulk, Iron Man and Hellboy were also gleaned from the pages of comics and they were great. Avengers, though, fell flat. It’s mostly just a bore. One explosion after another with the inexplicable introduction of characters from Viking mythology, one of whom, Loki, experiences wrenching ongoing psychotic episodes as he attempts to conquer the Earth while being opposed by his half-brother Thor and his big hammer. Never explained, is why the mighty Thor, son of Odin and a major mythological badass, has so much trouble dealing with his half-brother Loki. Thor, should be able to kick his psycho-butt back into Valhalla, with ease. But he just can’t, because…….he’s conflicted? Big hammer, little brain? Give me a break. Then, in the middle of it all, they drop in some guy with a bow and arrow. Where the hell did he come from? And why and how can the bow and arrow guy be expected to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Hulk and Iron Man? Am I taking this too seriously? Of course I am.
I suppose it really doesn’t matter. It’s only a movie. Throw in another explosion here and some automatic gunfire there. Overwhelm the senses with enough ear-splitting noise and pretty colors and the kids will love it. Or maybe it doesn’t work for anyone who hasn’t seen every superhero movie that’s come out over the past ten or twelve years and read all the comics? I’m sure they were pitching the bow and arrow guy and the Thor/Loki duo to a different demographic. Nevertheless, this film feels like a bunch of ideas thrown together in an attempt to come up with a viable plot, and it’s just not there. It’s silly and mostly boring. With a runtime of 2 hours and 22 minutes, it’s way too long. The movie’s only saving grace is the one-two punch of Robert Downey Jr., as Iron Man and Mark Ruffalo, as The Hulk. Their acting ability and character development so outpaces their fellow superheroes as to give them the appearance of two master thespians who somehow stumbled into a high school acting class.
Why so many critics are buying into this explosion of noise, color and nonsense in need of a viable plot is an absolute mystery to me. They would have been better off doing another Iron Man.
I’m looking forward to seeing “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” with the great Judi Dench to help regain my demographic balance. “Dark Shadows” is also in the pipeline. It’s being panned by many of the same critics who loved “Avengers,” so it’s probably very good. For me it’ll be worth the price of admission just to watch Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer on the same screen, with or without a single explosion and nary a shot being fired.