Never underestimate the entertainment value of the Hulk Smash.
If you are a Marvel fan, then The Avengers will feel like Christmas. Thanks to the merry doings of the director, Joss Whedon, all your favorite characters are here, as shiny and as tempting as presents under the tree.
A movie that yells at you and geeks out in equal measures.
Ultimately, it all comes back to Whedon: His clear vision for each character and how they might be profitably intermingled; his unexpected knack for action choreography; his funny, tender, immaculately constructed script.
A spectacle in the grandest sense of the word ...
Whedon, a pop-genre magician best known for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is a master of viewer manipulation - because he never gives up his own seat in the crowd.
The performances are so well-pitched in The Avengers, meshing with such vividness and ease, that it's tempting to overpraise the good but not great movie that surrounds them.
The film is good enough to keep all the Marvel Comics crazed audiences out there deliriously happy while keeping the rest of us earthbound types in moderate thralldom.
It's two-plus hours of visual brawn, unexpected heartbeats and welcome humor.