Movie Review: Marvel’s The Avengers

Well, it’s official. I am no longer the target audience for Hollywood movies. Of course, I’m not sure that I ever was. I think women stopped being the target audience for major Hollywood movies as soon as, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” scrolled across a darkened screen. It was never a huge problem for me because I like a wide variety of movies and even the most testosterone laden movies would throw in a little femininity, usually in the form of a beautiful woman as love interest to the strapping man. It was lame, a bit misogynistic, but it was something. And, one of the best things about having kids was to be able to shamelessly go to animated movies as an adult. Unfortunately, my kids have outgrown animated movies and prefer to go to movies that I, at 42 years old, have outgrown.

I debated on seeing The Avengers (★★) at all. One part of me wanted to see it because sometimes I just want to enjoy a good popcorn movie. The other part of me that is irritated with the preponderance of comic book movies wanted to hold my $12 out of the billion dollars The Avengers will make world-wide and show those producers we aren’t going to take it anymore! But, like last year with Captain America, I got suckered by the Rotten Tomatoes score and went. And, like last year, I was disappointed.

Why didn’t I like The Avengers? One, it was too long. Two, any superhero movie that gives me the time to think, “This is so unrealistic” is not telling a good story. Three, all characters, good and evil, lack any unique or even discernible motivation for what they do; the evil character wants to rule the world just because; the heroes want to save it because its what they do. Four, when a character – who is dying to motivate the heroes – has to tell he’s dying to bring them together, you aren’t telling a good story. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t complete the sentence. Five, and most importantly, you gave Captain America’s Star Spangled Super Suit a hoodie. Edna Mode would not be amused.

I have always said that life is too short to read bad books. I used to give movies a pass because it was only two hours of my time. As I inch into middle age and enjoy the movies less and less, I’ve decided that life is too short to see movies that don’t interest me. To that end, I am grading all superhero movies on a curve. Using the theory that many of the movie reviewers are fanboys, all comic book movies start at 80% and I will adjust their Rotten Tomatoes score from there. At the very least, that will temper my expectations if I decide to give one a try. Luckily, my kids are old enough they can go to movies by themselves, which means I will either be spending lots of time at the Barnes and Noble by the theater or trusting Hollywood to counter-program for people less interested in explosions and more interested in story.

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