tek's rating:

The Avengers (PG-13)
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Aka "Marvel's The Avengers"

Iron Man (1 & 2). The Incredible Hulk. Thor. Captain America. It's all been leading up to this, kiddies. As for the plot... I'm not sure how much I want to say. Um... Loki was cast out of Asgard at the end of "Thor." But now he's in the service of some alien who controls an army of other aliens called the Chitauri. (I'm vaguely aware of them from the animated Ultimate Avengers movies.) Loki is supposed to go to Earth and obtain the Tesseract (an unlimited power source), which is currently in the possession of SHIELD. Later, the Chitauri would invade Earth. Loki accomplishes his part pretty well, and in the process takes control of the minds of SHIELD agent Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye, Jeremy Renner) and Dr. Erik Selvig. They hook up with some of SHIELD's enemies (I have no idea who, but it's not really important). SHIELD's director, Nick Fury, subsequently assembles a team of superheroes, to combat the alien threat. He already has an agent, Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson), who gets Bruce Banner on the team. (Banner is played now by Mark Ruffalo, whereas he was played by Edward Norton in the Hulk movie. This bothers me somewhat, since I'm a fan of consistency. Still, Ruffalo did a decent job. But I'm not sure how many other characters in the movie for whom it would have been acceptable to change actors. You damn well couldn't change Nick Fury, or Tony Stark.)

What to say next? Um... Fury basically just wanted Banner to try to track the Tesseract (and pointedly not to become his alter ego, the Hulk; good luck with that). Agent Phil Coulson was sent to get Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) to help with this (though he could also serve as Iron Man, not just as a scientist). Of course, Fury himself got Captain America to serve as team leader. They had no idea how to contact Thor, so they weren't counting on his help, but he would eventually get involved. And together, all the disparate heroes formed the team known as the Avengers. (Though there was some clandestine committee who were ostensibly in charge of SHIELD, who weren't big fans of the Avengers Initiative, but whom Fury more or less ignored.) I also feel obliged to mention Fury's lieutenant, Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), was in the movie. She was okay, but her role wasn't exactly vital to the story, and I'm afraid I couldn't help thinking every time I saw her, "Hey, it's Robin from How I Met Your Mother." (But she later appears in other movies and things in the MCU, so I got more used to thinking of her as Maria Hill, during those appearances.) More importantly, Coulson had a bigger role in this movie than he's had before.

Um... so... hmmm. Loki is a pretty decent villain. But everyone is awesome in this movie. Fury is awesome. Stark is awesome. Black Widow is awesome. Barton is awesome. Captain America is awesome. Bruce Banner is awesome. Thor is awesome. Coulson is awesome. Pepper Potts, in her all too brief appearance, is awesome. Most importantly, the writing is awesome. The characters are all so... them. Which leads to great interaction. Oh, btw, the Helicarrier? Awesome. Also the humor... OMG, so much humor, and so awesome. And it pretty much serves the story and the characters; it's not just funny for the sake of funny. And the action? So bad-ass. The drama was decent, too.

Anyway. I don't know what else to say. Obviously, the good guys save the day, in the end. And there are a couple of bonus scenes. In the middle of the credits, we see the alien who had been commanding Loki, but more importantly, we see that he's talking to... I won't say who, but it makes me desperately anxious to see him in a forthcoming Marvel movie. At the very end of the credits, we see... something of no importance whatever, but it's still kind of amusing. I feel kind of bad that I've said rather little about the plot, other than using the word "awesome" more often than Dean Winchester. But seriously... the movie is so freaking awesome! Because the characters are all so well-drawn. (The secondary ones probably more so than the primary ones, which in itself is awesome.) I guess I should stop talking now. I don't want to, but I should.

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Marvel Cinematic Universe
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Phase One: Iron Man * The Incredible Hulk * Iron Man 2 * Thor * Captain America * The Avengers
Phase Two: Iron Man 3 * Thor: The Dark World * Captain America: The Winter Soldier * Guardians of the Galaxy * Avengers: Age of Ultron * Ant-Man
Phase Three: Captain America: Civil War * Doctor Strange * Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 * Spider-Man: Homecoming * Thor: Ragnarok *
Black Panther * Avengers: Infinity War * Ant-Man and the Wasp * Captain Marvel * Avengers: Endgame * Spider-Man: Far from Home
Phase Four: Black Widow * Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings * Eternals * Spider-Man: No Way Home *
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness * Thor: Love and Thunder * Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Phase Five: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania * Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 * The Marvels
short films: Marvel One-Shots
TV: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. * Agent Carter * Inhumans * Cloak & Dagger
Netflix: Daredevil * Jessica Jones * Luke Cage * Iron Fist * The Defenders * The Punisher
Hulu: Runaways * Helstrom
Disney+ (P4): WandaVision * The Falcon and the Winter Soldier * Loki * What If...? * Hawkeye * Moon Knight * Ms. Marvel * I Am Groot *
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law * Werewolf by Night * Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Disney+ (P5): Secret Invasion * Loki s2 * Echo