Avengers, The (2012)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson. Action-Adventure. Written & directed by Joss Whedon.

FILM SYNOPSIS: When an unexpected enemy from outer space threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., pulls together a reluctant team to save the world. Marvel Studios presents the Super Hero team up of a lifetime - Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The problem for a guy who is not so much into comic books (I used to be, I swear, but then I turned 15), the exploits of costumed superheroes and their foes begin to diminish after the first half hour. That first quarter of the film you study the filmmaker’s prowess and you get caught up in the sometimes witty banter and the story’s outlandishness, which always happens to entail a megomaniac from another planet who wants to rule Earth. And I admit, the first battle sequence is usually arm-grippingly exciting. Lots of money goes into these productions and even though the characters are usually one-dimensional, when you have actors like Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, and Scarlett Johansson, suddenly the caped and non-caped crusaders become fully realized. But then comes the rest of the film (ZAP! – POW!! – SMASH!!! – KABOOM!!!)

It’s another hour and a half of battles where one really strong guy throws another strong guy through countless doors, walls or trees. It shakes him up for a moment, but then he gets up and continues the battle. And the few brief moments between these herculean skirmishes are taken up with faux scientific discussions about how to put the world back in orbit or some such implausibility. The proposal would make a scientist laugh, while the rest of us have to zone out.

In order to take our minds off faux scientific discussions, the filmmakers give us guys Scarlett Johansson in tight leather, and that big guy playing Thor for the ladies. (I think Robert Downey’s Tony Stark is for those who have yet decided if they would prefer to zone out with Scarlett Johansson or that big guy playing Thor.)

Conclusion: For those who love the superhero genre, be ye 14 or one of those guys who goes to Star Trek conventions, Marvel’s The Avengers should satisfy. It’s expensive looking, action-packed, and contains some funny lines. For those of us who prefer dramas or social satires, or anything where the lead characters don't wear capes, Marvel’s The Avengers is too loud, too violent and too long.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: One obscenity – S.O.B

Profanity: None

Violence: From beginning to end, the violent imagery bombards us, with explosions, shootings, beatings martial arts battles, etc. Some blood.

Sex: None

Nudity: None, though Scarlett Johansson’s tight outfit leaves little to the imagination – hubba-hubba.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 142 minutes
Intended Audience: Superhero genre fans

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