|year: 2012 cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson rating: ***|
With only two days in theaters, this is already regarded as the best superhero blockbuster ever made – yet it takes a while to resemble any such thing.
After a long brooding buildup where each individual… Tony Stark’s Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Dr. Bruce Banner… bicker like students in detention class, we realize why no one’s getting along. Our derisive cerebral antagonist villain, Loki, the skinny conceited brother of Thor, wants to rule the world – and is counting on the Avengers to fight amongst themselves, after which formidable aliens will wreak havoc on New York City.
When this attack occurs, an epic showdown… the entire third act… has terrific moments, most having to do with Banner’s alter ego The Hulk who, throughout the film, provides the most suspense – each character (and the audience) anticipates the inevitable transformation.
Forget about the plot device: a box emulating power that will, in the hands of Loki, cause bad things to happen. Because after the aliens, liken to a gang of hopped-up Predator clones, fly into the city with giant slug creatures, nothing else matters. It’s all about destroying impenetrable foes with tons of strength and, of course, teamwork: which comes a little too late to make this a worthy superhero collective.
Other than a neat fight between Iron Man and a reluctant Thor, it’s all about that finale. As for being one of the best superhero movies ever: with the time and energy of the characters not getting along and over-explaining the reasons why, in years to come even the biggest fans might have their thumbs pressed on the fast-forward button.
Yet the stuff that pays off does so in silver dollars. But with all the hype and potential, this reviewer expected gold.