Director: Joss Whedon

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett JohanssonChris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo

b! Says: ****



Saving the world is serious business, but it sure looks a lot of fun if you're an Avenger. If you're not chuckling at Tony Stark aka Iron Man's devil-may-care attitude, you're doubling up when Captain America turns to Dr Bruce Banner in the middle of doling out battle orders and says, "Hulk? Smash." Meet the Avengers, the superhero team of unlikely allies, who'll have you rooting for them like cheerleaders at an IPL game, only minus the pom-poms and short skirts.

Banished god Loki (Tom Hiddleston) teams up with an alien race, the Chitauri, to steal an energy-emitting cube called the Teseract. The power from the cube will help open a portal between space and earth and the world stands at risk of an alien invasion. Nick Fury, the commander of intelligence agency S.H.I.E.L.D., therefore assembles a team of superheroes who will counter Loki's attack, that consists of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Loki's brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).

RDJ as Iron Man delivers all the goods, but it's Ruffalo as Hulk who is the nicest surprise. Hemsworth as Thor, dressed like a swoon-worthy Spartan, is also fun to watch and his noble act is far more preferable than Evan's righteousness. The 3D also works, enhancing your viewing experience instead of just leaving you with a massive migraine.

We can already hear the critics saying, 'But, but, but, there's no character arc! The villian's not twisted enough and everyone looks like they're having too much fun!' Christopher Nolan's Batman reboot certainly set new benchmarks, but there's nothing writ in stone that the superhero must have an epiphany or else the movie's bound to be an epic fail. Marvel's 'The Avengers' is a worthy up yours to DC and a fun ride of the kinds you're going to want to line up for again. And oh, did we mention there's a sequel?

But there are minor gripes. For starters, it's a tad long (135 minutes) and only franchise fanatics would disagree that the movie could have been better after a chop or two on the edit table. It's also funny to watch Johannson take on metal armoured Chitauri soldiers with only a couple of handguns and Renner as Hawkeye, is perhaps the weakest link in the Avengers team.

You want dark, brooding and twisted? Cool your heels and wait for 'The Dark Knight Rises'. But if you're smarter than that, get rid of the stick up your bum and watch 'The Avengers', the superhero movie that's superbly fun.