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By David AdamsThe story‚??'The Avengers,'‚?Ě says Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). ‚??It's what we call ourselves. We're kind of a team.‚?Ě He's challenging Loki (Tom Hiddleston), demi-god from Asgard who has stolen a cube of dark matter that emits incredible energy, enough to open portals in space through which Loki and his army plan to invade and conquer Earth. That's the setup for this sci-fi action comic-book flick.Can Iron Man and his teammates ‚?? Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Natasha Romanov/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) ‚?? learn to work together to save Earth? Where is the cube? What is Bruce Banner's secret? See ‚??Marvel's The Avengers‚?Ě for answers, action and laughs. Have a good time. The actorsTwo characters ‚?? one live-action, one CGI ‚?? are the most fun. Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark/Iron Man. He's smart and quick. ‚??Does mom know you're wearing her drapes?‚?Ě he asks red-caped demi-god Thor. Mark Ruffalo's alter ego The Hulk ‚?? a CGI creation ‚?? has the best sight gags and gets the biggest laughs. Skillful actors, like Downey, Ruffalo and the others, are among the pleasures of this film. Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner create distinctive super-hero characters ‚?? likable, straight-arrow Captain America, hammer-loving Thor, resilient Black Widow, low-key Hawkeye. Their testy encounters with one another add humor but undercut group cohesion. ‚??We're not a team,‚?Ě says Bruce Banner, ‚??we're a time-bomb.‚?ĚOthers in the cast include Samuel L. Jackson as S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury, Tom Hiddleston as unrepentant bad demi-god Loki, Gwyneth Paltrow as plucky Pepper Potts, and Clark Gregg as reliable Agent Phil Coulson. Paul Bettany, Stellan Skarsgaard, Harry Dean Stanton and Stan Lee have cameos.Other comments‚??Marvel's The Avengers‚?Ě is a sci-fi, comic-book action flick that lives up to its hype. It's engrossing, smart and funny, thanks to Joss Whedon's direction and his and Zac Penn's script. Previous films introduced Iron Man, The Hulk and Thor, but having seen them is not required to enjoy this one which stands on its own. ‚??This film,‚?Ě says executive producer Jon Favreau, ‚??shows what people can expect from franchises if enough thought goes into it ahead of time.‚?ĚRated PG-13 for intense sci-fi violence and drug references, the film runs 142 minutes but, even so, wait through the credits for a charming visual joke at the end. I saw it in 3-D which added modestly to the movie's pleasures. Final words‚??Marvel's The Avengers‚?Ě ‚??Iron Man, Hawkeye, Thor,Loki and the others ‚??All action, humor, war!


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