avengersThe Avengers is a super heroes movie. And that is exactly what it needs to be; the plural not the singular.

We didn’t need another Iron Man or Thor movie with a supporting cast. We needed a well-balanced, equal opportunity hero fest. And that is exactly what Joss Whedon (story/director) gives us. Oh, and it has a Hulk.

In this outing Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) calls upon The Avengers to help fight off Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his army as they try and take over Earth. If you remember from the origin film, Loki is the misguided brother of Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Nick is a member of an organization called S.H.I.E.L.D.  Along with Thor you have Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Unlike the Fantastic Four or the X-men, these heroes know a little about each other but rarely if ever work together. So a lot of the depth of the film is them getting to know each other more. But fear not, that only takes up about one act of the film and the rest is full force action and excitement!

Whedon masterfully handles all of these personalities and backstories so that everyone has time to shine without the story bogging down or losing focus. It never feels disjointed or manipulated. It would be easy for RDJ to steal the show or run over some of the more subdued characters like Black Widow or Hawkeye. But even these two, with no origin movie, are introduced and utilized seamlessly. If you aren’t familiar with Whedon’s writing style he has a tremendous wit and tongue-and-cheek approach to situations. Just when you think you know where he is going with a line or scene he transforms it into something even greater. This adds a lot of solid comedy and personality to the action sequences.

Having the origins movies gives us a familiarity to the bulk of the characters. The only odd man out really was the addition of Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / The Hulk. Mark is exceptional in this role. His demeanor and approach to playing Banner is spot on. You understand right away that this is a man living with an out of control beast just below the surface. Unlike the others who embrace their powers and abilities, Banner is always trying to keep his at bay. This makes The Hulk a fearsome force and not just a loud angry ogre. Even the other Avengers are skittish of having him on board.

This film is non-stop action and excitement. From beginning to end you are in for some serious entertainment. Even if you haven’t seen any of the origin films you will be in the loop in no time. Fans of the characters will be hard pressed to find anything wrong with this movie. It is as well crafted, solidly written, and perfectly balanced as any I have seen. It is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference. There is very little in the way of “offensive” material in this. If your young ones have seen any of the super hero movies there is nothing in this one to give you pause. Easily safe for your younger teens and older tweens. I give it 5 out of 5 smashes. It is hard to find anything to dislike in this one.

 Review copyright 2012 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.