In all honesty, you probably already seen or have plans to see "The Avengers." You've watched the each one of the Marvel movies and waited around until after the credits, maybe not understanding the references, but always looking them up on Wikipedia to learn more. All of this has led up to the day when these heroes would cross paths and make one hell of a movie.
That day is today, and boy, does the film live up to everything you hoped it would be. It's exciting, funny and pitch-perfect, a combination most summer blockbuster struggle to get right. Director Joss Whedon took on an enormous responsibility and delivered like few other filmmakers could.
These are our five reasons to see "The Avengers."
Because Sometimes A Movie Lives Up to the Hype
With the internet, it's impossible for a movie to just come out anymore. There has to be "Anticipation." With "The Avengers," that Anticipation meant five previous movies, trailers, a Super Bowl commercial, international trailers, TV spots, posters, character posters and clips that could be edited into roughly 25 percent of the finished film. With a media overload like that, it can be hard to view the finished product as anything but an extended version of the marketing. "The Avengers" avoids all of that by delivering a film so entertaining that the jokes and action beats that you know are coming still work because of how well they're set up and folded into the story. We had to wait four years since the first "Iron Man" announced the Avenger Initiative. If we had known good "Avengers" would be, we probably would have been willing to wait a few more.
Because The Action Does. Not. Stop.
"Avengers" clocks in at a solid two hours and twenty minutes, but it feels like an exercise in time travel. After waiting as long as we have for this film, once the movie starts, you're not going to want it to stop, especially after the enormous conclusion in the heart of New York City. Unlike the endless explosion diarrhea of the "Transformers" series, a big action finale might seem like the cause of a massive headache. Instead, director Joss Whedon fashioned an always thrilling, occasionally beautiful action extravaganza that never overstays its welcome. In a sequence filled with classic cinematic moments, one tracking shot, which travels from Avenger to Avenger in one fluid movement, quickly reminds you why we're all in the theater.
Because of Mark Hulkalo
After two standalone films, Marvel finally figured out that in the case of Dr. Bruce Banner, less is more. And when you cast a great actor like Mark Ruffalo, it can be a whole lot more. Ruffalo extracts a likeability buried deep inside the most inaccessible member of the group and makes for the movies biggest surprise. The secret was self-acceptance and a sense of humor. Banner is tired, but he's finally found a secret to controlling "the other guy." And that secret just happens to be one of the best parts of the movie.
Because You Owe Joss Whedon
You may not know it, but so much of what pop culture, both geek and mainstream, is today owes a lot to Joss Whedon. He was the first showrunner that fans of a series knew by name. Every fifth television pilot rips something off from his resume. He wrote the dialogue for "Speed" for Keanu's sake! "The Avengers" is Whedon's biggest break to date, and as a culture, we kind of owe the guy. Putting our obligation aside, Whedon has done what many said was impossible. Not only is "The Avengers" a satisfying topper to the Marvel movies, there's an added layer of charm that doesn't come with your run-of-the-mill blockbuster director. It's all Whedon.
Because You Owe Yourself
Chances are that you saw some or all five of the previous Marvel Studios movies. It's likely that you saw them on the premise that eventually your due diligence would pay off in one epic crossover movie. This is at that movie, and it's better than it ever needed to be thanks in large part to director Joss Whedon and the actors who were expertly cast in their roles along the way. "The Avengers" is satisfying in a way that most movies could never dream of being simply because the buildup was so protracted. It may have seemed like a lot of homework at the time, but "The Avengers" handsomely rewards those who stuck with the films along the way and patiently waited for this day.
Are you going to see "The Avengers" this weekend? (Of course, you are.) Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!