Well, here we are at last. Years of movies with tag scenes promising the arrival of an Avengers movie have finally delivered on that promise — and this is it. Was it worth the wait or the build-up? This is not the greatest movie ever made, nor does it reinvent cinema, but it’s solid entertainment and much better than I’d expected from the maestro-of-midcult Joss Whedon. The film’s story is about as substantial as all the tissue wadding in a box concealing a small treasure at its center. What else could it be? All that matters, of course, is that the earth has a problem that calls for amassing a large array of superheroes to save our hash. The issue is the evil Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is preparing the way for an invasion of creatures from another dimension that will leave him (he thinks) ruler of a subjugated earth. Such a thing requires the combined forces of a superhero push. As an excuse for cramming one movie with Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) it’s as good as any other. Just think of it as the Contadina Tomato Paste of film — or Grand Hotel in tights — and don’t ask too many questions. Take it for what it is: a big, splashy, largely transitory entertainment.
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