Tomatometer Watch: The Avengers

Will Marvel's superhero tag-team assemble a Certified Fresh?

The Avengers

92%

For many, it's one of the year's most anticipated movies: Marvel's superhero epic The Avengers, the culmination of a relentless franchise building campaign that laid the groundwork with Hulk, Iron Man and last year's Thor and Captain America. Will the Joss Whedon-scripted team-up prove to be Marvel's victory lap?
While the film doesn't open 'til May 4 in the US, international Avengers fans get to see their heroes a week earlier -- and there are plenty of reviews coming in. If early buzz is any indication, this one's likely to go down as one of the best critically-reviewed comic book films ever.

Empire magazine's James White calls it "A joyous blend of heroism and humour that raises the stakes even as it maintains a firm grip on what makes the individual heroes tick," while for Leigh Paatsch, writing at Australia's Daily Telegraph, it's a "truly epic action picture [that] positively pulses with panache, wit and excitement throughout."

The Guardian's Henry Barnes is also impressed, noting -- for the non-fanboy element -- that the movie "carries the mark of a piece of expensively assembled fan fiction, albeit stitched together with a lightness and wit that will just about carry the casual viewer through two-and-a-half-hours of comic geek nirvana."

Todd McCarthy concurs over at The Hollywood Reporter: "Whedon pulls off a stunning feat in bringing balance to this superhuman circus, engineered to charm the geek core and non-fans alike." Meanwhile, Variety's Justin Chang writes: "Like a superior, state-of-the-art model built from reconstituted parts, Joss Whedon's buoyant, witty and robustly entertaining superhero smash-up is escapism of a sophisticated order."

Not everyone will succumb to Marvel's juggernaut, however, as Amy Nicholson illustrates at Box Office Magazine. "The Avengers needs more ambition," she writes. "Prehistoric metal monsters smashing up skyscrapers? We've seen that before. For Avengers 2 (because there will inevitably be an Avengers 2) ask not what Michael Bay would do to New York -- ask what Hieronymus Bosch would do to anywhere he damn well pleased." A Bosch-fueled epic? Genius. That we'd definitely pay to see.

The Avengers is out in theaters on May 4.

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