By Scott Tibbs, May 11, 2012
The Avengers is the culmination of several Marvel films to bring these characters together in one big fight. Several Marvel movies have been building toward this since 2008: Thor, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Captain America. The movie was not perfect, but it did not disappoint. I will not spoil the movie here. Any information in this review is already in the trailers.
Here is one problem: Where is War Machine? James Rhodes was given the War Machine armor in Iron Man 2, which ties directly into The Avengers. So why did he not show up to fight the alien invasion in the movie's climax? Considering Iron Man and Pepper Potts are already in the movie and Rhodes' military career, it is logical that Rhodes would show up to help his friend and fight the alien army laying waste to New York City.
It is not explained how Bruce Banner manages to get control of The Hulk. In footage and in one scene, he is an out of control rage monster, and then is under control for the big fight against the aliens. How did this happen? Under what circumstances does he have control, and under what circumstances can he not control the monster? This is not a glaring error, but a little more explanation would be nice. Perhaps the special features on the DVD can explain it.
The Avengers does have a structural problem, in that Hawkeye and Black Widow - two normal humans with some sci-fi weapons on the level of James Bond - really do not belong on the team next to incredibly powerful characters like Iron Man, Thor and The Hulk. When your teammates can bench press 100 tons and shrug off conventional weapons with ease, what is the point of including human beings, even the best fighters in the world? Even Captain America, while significantly less powerful than the three big guns, has been enhanced to superhuman levels.
This problem is handled well, with the two humans appearing to be valuable members of the team instead of characters who were added to fill roster spots. They are believable when fighting next to the others.
The final after-credits scene reveals the big bad for the next movie, which should be awesome.
Final grade: A