Only would a complete churl, after reading Alan’s rave review and acknowledging the 93% (at this writing) Rotten Tomatoes rating and the enthusiasm of the much-much-larger-than-usual Saturday matinee audience, dump on this movie. First of all, you can’t spend 220-million bucks and not get a lot of spectacular. The budget is the point; the stars are the effects. But after X-Men and X2 and Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer and the individual Irons and Captains and Hulks, the characters, the team concept, the explosions and fights and flying things and mythologies and MacGuffins are, hate to say it, been there, seen that. Yes, all of them have the FX wow-factor for which
Lucas and Spielberg changed Hollywood forever. But is there a sequence in this one so eye-popping you just have to go back and see it again?
A nice town collapse at the beginning, yes, but watching it, I
thought, oh, that effect is in the trailer for the next Batman, too.
Toward the end, there are gigantic airborne undulating metal lizard
troop carriers that impress. But otherwise, it’s standard-issue, A-
list pyrotechnics. The screenplay has been lauded for its humor, and
there are funny lines, but not enough. Many scenes are long and talky,
especially one between Thor and Loki just made for a popcorn run.
Speaking of those two, Chris Hemsworth isn’t up to the part, and was
there ever a more anemic villain than Tom Hiddleston? This little
twirp is gonna take over the world? Scarlett Johansson is colorless
(her pale personality so wrong for such a vivid genre), And Samuel L.
Jackson’s performance is a one-note samba in which he pretty much just
stands and snarls. All that said, the movie does have two standouts:
wisecracking Robert Downey, Jr. and earnest (but funny) Chris Evans.
They find real character to stuff into their Superhero drag, and
they’re the most watchable part of the 2 hour and 22 minute
production. — Jeff Schultz

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