The Avengers

By Paul Hurst

Larger-than-life superhero action flick remains true to its comic roots

The Avengers is a 20-course meal at a five star restaurant of action and adventure with action as the main course and spiced up by credible acting. It’s paced just right, alternating furiously funny “high camp” and brief seriousness. After the events of Thor, The Avengers are brought into the picture to defeat Thor’s adoptive brother, Loki, who comes to Earth to enslave all humans. He’s backed up with the requisite army of ugly, evil alien invaders.

Intense cartoon conflict and the latest in computer-generated special effects on a vast scale are the stars here, with the plot receding into the background. The Avengers is WWE done superhero large. Much of the humour in the movie is physical slapstick akin to professional wrestling, and the comic violence elicited rounds of laughter from the audience. Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr., provides most of the bon mots that give a semi-intellectual balance to the visceral funnies — at one point the Hulk grabs Loki by the legs and beats him repeatedly against the ground, like a child with a doll. Loki is left lying in a divot in the concrete floor and making squeaking sounds.

The special effects and sets are up to the latest standards, if not pushing the envelope. One expects the latest in gigantic space ships and evil CG monsters, and The Avengers is more than happy to avenge your need for them.

The movie comes to a satisfying conclusion, with the obvious, wanton, necessary destruction of New York City. Everyone loves it when NYC gets blowed up real good.