MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Avengers’ a triumph of action, humor, storytelling

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

A packed, all-star cast of heroes gets the 2012 summer movie season off to a fantastic start with “The Avengers.”
Earth is under extraterrestrial threat, and it’ll take a special group to save humanity. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has been preparing for this day in secret for years.
Now, he must convince superheroes to work together to fight Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who’s planning to bring an invading force from outer space.
The problem is superheroes aren’t all selfless beings who put their egos aside at the first sign of trouble.
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is a pompous and flippant billionaire who doesn’t take orders easily. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is a demi-god and notoriously hard to boss around. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) is a brainy scientist who’d rather keep a lid on his brutish alter ego, The Hulk. Captain America (Chris Evans) is a good soldier, but he’s not happy with the attitudes surrounding him.
As a viewer, you know these guys will eventually join Fury and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to do what’s right, but part of the beauty of “The Avengers” is watching how these guys work through their differences. They’re a newly formed stepfamily dosed up on radioactive steroids with extra bursts of gamma rays for good measure.
The script from writer and director Joss Whedon somehow manages to give all of the characters their own story arcs. It’s an amazing juggling act, but Whedon and his editor pull it off.
Credit also goes to the cast, who flesh out these characters in wonderful ways. Ruffalo’s Banner is the most human of the superhero team. He’s meek and quiet but no pushover, and you always sense he’s keeping the lid on something mean and destructive. It’s immensely satisfying when The Hulk finally breaks loose on the bad guys.
The Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America and Thor have all had their own movies in the past decade, but it’s not necessary to see those movies in order to enjoy “The Avengers.” The storytelling is exceptional, and it’s surprisingly funny. A few scenes might stick in memory and cause you to laugh hours or days after leaving the theater.
I give “The Avengers” an A plus.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.

Kelli Karlson Wizard 106.7. She gives ‘The Avengers’ an A. “I didn’t see the earlier movies, but I loved it.”

Roadkill Bill Wizard 106.7. He gives ‘The Avengers’ an A plus. “It’s the best comic-book movie ever. I loved it.”