Director: Joss Whedon
Year Released: 2012
Plot-wise, this bloated popcorn movie is easily understandable for any non-comic fans: there are aliens from another planet who want to take over Earth (with the use of a powerful glowing blue cube called The Tesseract), and only a group of elite superheroes can stop them (including Robert Downey, Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth). Once again, this strikes me as a prime example of what the late, great David Foster Wallace referred to as "F/X Porn" (D.F.W. used it in reference to Terminator 2), and those explosions and that heap of CGI and those endless explosions are in place to guide this along to the end (instead of character development, storyline complexity, riveting dialogue, etc.). The final Siege of New York (echoing the attempted Siege of Chicago in Transformers 2) is fun and brainless, but as far as the characters are concerned, only Robert Downey, Jr. really stands out (the way he does in the Iron Man series), mostly because his Tony Stark is equipped with the most zingers and the most loveably snide personality. My favorite nerd moment: the Galaga reference.