"The Avengers"

Where do you find a director when you want to make a movie? You want someone who knows what he is doing and is a proven commodity, especially if you are going to spend a large amount of money on a film. Marvel on the other hand decided to hire a director who is not known for making big action films to make the long-awaited The Avengers.”

They chose Joss Whedon, creator of the TV series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel” and “Firefly.” He has worked on films such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Toy Story” and “Speed,” but mostly as a writer.

So how does this guy score such a big job? He’s a comic book geek, plain and simple. He knows the backstory of every character and how they should intertwine. He knows the history of how this group came together and how they stay together. He also knew that this group of characters should never have been put together.

Did Marvel make the right choice? Let the Avengers assemble and we will find out.

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., a super-secret organization that protects the earth from all threats. While investigating a new energy source, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) comes to claim it for his needs. Loki is bringing a battle to earth that will see him remain as king once it is done.

Fury realizes he needs a team, a team that will have the fortitude to battle this threat. He brings together earth’s mightiest heroes, starting with the best soldier he knows, Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans). Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner/the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) are brought in to track down the energy source. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is recruited since Loki is his brother. Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. already, but she also has a connection with Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who is being used by Loki.

The group fails miserably at the first attempt to stop Loki. The superheroes experience a terrible loss, and it seems they will never get everything working the way it should. In many ways, this film is mirroring the reality of making it. Who would have thought there could be a story written that would allow this many characters to share time on a screen, let alone the actors playing them? Whedon did, and he accomplished that goal with a film that gives the audience more than what they had hoped for.

Each of the main characters gets to connect with the audience and no one is shortchanged. The action sequences are fantastic, and when the tempo slows the story keeps going. “The Avengers” is more than two hours in length, but you never will look at your watch for fear of missing something on screen. The comedy is very well-timed. Whedon placed zingers at the best possible moments.

Parents, this film is rated PG-13 mostly for the stylized comic book violence. There is also some coarse language, though not a lot. There is hardly any nudity in the film, though one character is naked but hidden by objects in the scene. Some low- cut outfits are worn by the women and there is one scene of drinking. There are some intense moments as well as a death to consider.

There have been many movies made about comic book heroes. Some good, some bad. And then there are some that are iconic. This is one that belongs on the list. Audiences are already assembling for this film, as it has broken records in Europe.

You don’t need to see this film because you are interested in the comic book characters; you need to see this film because it is good. It tells a story and tells it so well that many people will enjoy it whether they be fanboys or not. You may want to stay for the credits, by the way.

Shawn O'Neill is the Family Man Movie Reviewer on BYU Radio. His reviews can be heard on and on SiriusXM Channel 143.