THE AVENGERS is setting box office records and many critics are praising it, but I can give it only a mixed review.
If you're a fan of superhero movies, you'll no doubt enjoy watching the six Marvel Comics superheroes brought together in THE AVENGERS, but as someone who appreciates only the best super hero movies, I was disappointed.
What I liked is the witty dialogue.
What I disliked is the forty minute long final battle that felt like an assault on my brain.
The six superheroes are called together by Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury, the man in charge of defending the world from Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the villain from outer space who will unleash all manner of mechanical monsters onto the earth. Loki rebukes Nick when he learns of his plan: "How desperate are you that you call on such lost creatures to defend you?"
As I expected, the best lines come from Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man (aka Tony Stark). "I thought I didn't qualify," he says to another superhero. "Apparently, I'm--what is it?--volatile, self obsessed and don't play well with others."
I enjoyed the conflicts and the banter among the super six. Iron Man and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) really go at each other. And Captain America (Chris Evans) has no use for Tony Stark.
Captain America: "Big man in a suit of armor. Take that away and what are you?"
Iron Man: "Genius, billionaire playboy, philanthropist."
For the first time The Hulk is played by the always interesting Mark Ruffalo.
Iron Man to The Hulk: "Dr. Banner, your work is unparalleled, and I'm a huge fan of the way you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage monster."
Unfortunately, only one fight scene stands out in THE AVENGERS and that's when Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow beats up on several bad guys with her arms handcuffed behind her on a chair.
And as I mentioned, the endless climactic battle in the streets of Manhattan and the skies overhead feels like an assault.
What's worse is that several shots reminded me of what most people saw on television during the 9/11 terrorists attacks on New York City. I'm sure the filmmakers didn't do that intentionally, but it further soured me on this overly long, way over-the-top summer movie.