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Thursday August 30, 2012 5:20 pm

The Avengers: I Finally Catch Up

Avengers PosterYeah, my bad. I finally got around to seeing The Avengers on the big screen with my old pal Dave Olbrich (he was seeing it for the third time).

I'll echo what is probably the view of 99% of the super-hero movie audience: (1) I loved it and (2) where was this movie when I was 13?

Afterwards, I had a few thoughts.

I was surprised by the sudden death of what I thought was a fairly major character in the continuity. I know Joss Whedon always likes to kill off someone in his movies – I'm sure the first draft of Toy Story had a sacrifice from Mr. Potato Head – so I should've been better prepared. But I wasn't. Sad to lose the character and sadder that the actor has lost a pretty good gig.

Tom Hiddleston was riveting as Loki, an excellent performance capturing the character's grandiose plans and his petty humanness. Here's hoping he gets as good a role in subsequent years and doesn't end up playing a Russian mobster on Person of Interest, or the put-upon dad in some lame sitcom.

This is my favorite Scarlett Johansson movie. And yes, I've seen more than one. Including that one. And that one too.

Loved seeing the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. It kicks ass over the one from Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow.

 Great dialogue, especially for the human characters who usually end up as Mr. and Mrs. Exposition in super-hero movies.

 The Thor/Iron Man fight was classic; right out of a Stan Lee/Jack Kirby comic. Loved it.

Mark Ruffalo gets the win for best portrayal of the big guy. Because as everyone knows, it's not how you play the guy when he's in costume, it's how you play it in just a shirt and Dockers.

Aside from Downey's excellent work as Tony Stark, which probably makes him the best of the super-hero actors working in the last 20+ years, I think it's great that the issue of secret identity doesn't bog down the storyline.

I like that Whedon resisted bringing in tons of costumed villains – going the exact opposite route of the Batman movies which always seem to overstack their villains.

Speaking of stack, I want that pile of Captain America trading cards. Did anyone license those yet?

I'm really looking forward to seeing what comes next not just for The Avengers, but for the rest of the super-hero movies as well. Whedon and the Marvel team have created something that's going to be hard to top.

And finally: as always, DC, it's your move.

Just like it's been for at least 10 years.

[Artwork: The Avengers]

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