THE AVENGERS; This is the first tent pole movie of the summer, and it’s got Captain America, it’s got Thor, it’s got Iron Man, it’s got the Hulk, it’s got Black Widow, so it’s got everybody. It’s also got Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk as a new addition and he’s very good in this. He’s just the right combination of deferential and truly scary. Jeremy Renner plays Hawkeye, who’s very good as well and Samuel L. Jackson plays Fury. The movie is almost two and a half hours long, so it’s a little long. The first half-hour is nearly impenetrable. So the idea is that we’ve got some kind of threat to earth because Loki, who is Thor’s half brother, is going to destroy Earth and turns out this goon called Tessteract or something, who knows, which looks like a blue mad scientist with the little veins pulsating at you. Who knows? I mean, it’s a comic book for heaven’s sake. But once it really gets going — as I said, the first half hour is impenetrable — then the setup wasn’t needed, we don’t really care about the blue goo except that it’s dangerous and will control the world and it’s been stolen, baby baby, but we could have done it that quickly. We didn’t, we did it in a half-hour. Then the next hour is basically the rivalry between the super heroes and that’s pretty much fun, with Robert Downey Jr. probably getting the most licks in, and I mean my favorite line was probably that somebody was talking about Loki, and Thor says that’s my brother, and he said he killed 80 people, and he said he was adopted. Okay, you don’t think that’s funny. I thought that was funny. And then the last 45 minutes is the Armageddon with all the creatures and the guys. It’s intense and things blow up and get smashed, and it turns out Captain America, while the most naive and the oldest technically because he was frozen during World War II and then defrosted, turns out to be the tactician of the group. And it’s fun. I mean, it’s silly fun and noisy and things get smashed. So, three and a half stars.