The Avengers will melt your face with awesome

So I saw The Avengers and it was pretty much the most awesome movie I’ve seen in ages. And I’m not exactly sure how to review it because a lot of the joy of watching is just being amazed by the various things happening on screen and going, “Oh my gosh that! And THAT!” So I’ve decided to do two reviews and you can choose your own adventure, basically. This is the short-form, spoiler-free review, and later in the week I’ll do a proper analysis. Yes/yes?

For discussion re: Joss Whedon is our Nerd King, please go here.

Yes, it’s good. Really good. As good as advertised. The Avengers is two hours and twenty minutes of straight ass kicking. Remember the Tesseract, that glowy cube from Captain America? Yeah, everyone in the universe wants it, literally. That and ass kicking, more ASS KICKING and then forty-five minutes of ASS KICKING is pretty much the plot. Everyone is good. Each Avenger is perfectly realized, everyone gets a good line and everyone has a moment with Loki, who is off the chain. Tom Hiddleston (War Horse, Thor) isn’t chewing scenery so much as devouring it whole. He’s having a grand old time and you can tell and it makes him enormously fun to watch. Whedon’s direction is confident and assured, and he frames his actions sequences so well that no matter how crazy things get, you can track what’s happening and who is beating whose ass at any given moment. Mark Ruffalo takes over as Bruce Banner/The Hulk and he knocks it out of the park—this is easily the best iteration of the Hulk yet. And the writing is deft and funny and The Avengers earns its humor honestly. You will laugh, a lot.

So that’s the spoiler-free rundown on The Avengers, which is a great start to summer movie season 2012. You don’t have to be a comic book nerd to enjoy it—this is classic summer popcorn fare at its best. And now here is a gallery of out-of-context quotes that are still making me laugh.

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