I watched this film a couple of days ago. I am frankly not a big fan of action films in general and the super-hero genre in particular and this film has both in abundance. Furthermore, growing up in Sri Lanka we had limited access to American comic books and I don’t recall any other than Superman and Batman. The entire stable of Marvel comics superheroes that appear in this film (Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Incredible Hulk, Thor) were almost all foreign to me, so there was no nostalgic tug either. The only Hawkeye I had heard of previously was Chingachgook’s buddy and this was clearly not him.
The one exception to my general ignorance was the Hulk, since the original TV series starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno was broadcast during my first period in the US as a graduate student and I developed quite a fondness for the character.
So why did I watch this film at all? One reason was curiosity and a vague sense of needing to fill in gaps in my knowledge of American pop culture, to see who these comic book characters were that people were talking about. By watching this one film I hoped I could get a crash course on all that I missed in my boyhood years. Another was that the film got quite good reviews and a colleague in my office said that it was not a mere action slug-fest. And the third was that although the climactic action scene was supposed to take place in Manhattan, it was filmed on location in downtown Cleveland that had been dressed up to look like New York. So I was curious to see if I could identify local landmarks. (The answer is no.)
The plot is absurd but that has to be taken as a given in a film whose premise features superheroes battling quasi-gods. There was quite a bit of interesting dialogue among the characters, with some interesting philosophical asides about the nature of human beings. Robert Downey Jr. showed once again what a fine actor he is. Given that the only superhero I knew and liked was the Hulk, and that I also think the Mark Ruffalo is another excellent actor with an appealing on-screen personality, I particularly enjoyed the scenes in which he appeared. Tom Hiddleston made a good villain, suitably sinister and diabolical, but not going over the top with malevolence.
So I quite enjoyed the film. Given my general antipathy to the entire genre, that should be considered a rave review by those who like such films. Here’s the trailer.