Review by Pete Mason
There could not have been a better way to start off the 2012 summer movie season than with a powerhouse film like “The Avengers,” the long-awaited assemblage of comic book heroes and misfits Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye. Their individual movies (all but the latter two), reboots (“The Hulk”) and sequels (“Iron Man 2”) have been a billion dollar-plus franchise, and this movie looks to blow them out of the water. Combining four of the greatest comic book characters of all time in one movie is not an easy feat. The personalities should clash, overshadow each other, and someone would surely hog the screen – but not in this movie. Well balanced between characters, it would be hard to say who had the most screentime among all, thanks to director Joss Whedon who completely blew away even the highest of expectations with a non-stop film that sets the bar very, very high for the rest of the summer.
I caught the very first public screening of the film at Crossgates in IMAX 3D at 12:01am on Friday, May 4. Arriving early, JC from Earth World Comics in Albany brought out a pair of gorgeous girls dressed as Black Widow and Ms. Marvel to give the fan boys and girls a little something extra, plus some swag and photo ops, as well as to promote Free Comic Book Day on Saturday (May 5). Fans dressed accordingly, with Hulks, Nick Furys, Tony Starks and one solid Thor in the audience. This was Christmas and New Year’s for the geeks, and not a moment was lost in the theater. Regular viewing of the film may not have such a vibrant audience, but this was certainly a special occasion. When the biggest movie of a franchise – or really, a long-awaited combination of multiple franchises – starts the summer, a celebration is in order.