Oscar® Nominee for Best Visual Effects
Marvel's The Avengers
Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
Better than Average
Sci-Fi Action Adventure Superhero 3D Sequel
2 hr. 22 min.
Year of Release:
May 4, 2012 (wide—4,000+ theaters)
DVD: September 25, 2012
lightning in the Bible
alien invasion of Earth
What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer
Are we alone in the universe? Answer
Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer
about the mythology of Loki, Wikipedia concludes: Loki’s origins and role in Norse mythology have been much debated by scholars. In 1835, Jacob Grimm was first to produce a major theory about Loki, in which he advanced the notion of Loki as a “god of fire”. In 1889, Sophus Bugge theorized Loki to be variant of Lucifer of Christian mythology, an element of Bugge’s larger effort to find a basis of Christianity in Norse mythology. After World War II, four scholarly theories dominated. The first of the four theories is that of Folke Ström, who in 1956 concluded that Loki is a hypostasis of the god Odin. In 1959, Jan de Vries theorized that Loki is a typical example of a trickster figure. In 1961, by way of excluding all non-Scandinavian mythological parallels in her analysis, Anna Birgitta Rooth concluded that Loki was originally a spider. Anne Holtsmark, writing in 1962, concluded that no conclusion could be made about Loki.
“Some assembly required.”
A Cosmic Cube or Tesseract with incalculable power in the hands of SHIELD scientists has caught the attention of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his new mysterious benefactor, who has given him even more power, in order to go to Earth and use it to bring an armada of aliens to conquer our world.
Upon arrival, Loki turns or possesses the will of scientist Dr. Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård ) and agent Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), code name Hawkeye, before killing most of the guards and stealing the Cube. This sudden turn of events forces Director of SHIELD Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to assemble Earth’s mightiest heroes to its defense.
This is the film comic book many movie fans have been anticipating for years. The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), the beautiful, but deadly, spy the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the World War II Super Soldier Captain America (Chris Evans), The Mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the unparalleled archer Hawkeye are gathered together to find the Cube and stop Loki, before he rains death upon this world and others.
Language. Mild. The Disney influence on the latest Marvel feature is apparent, as the language has been toned down from recent entries. A** and Pi** were used twice each, but “hell,” bast***d and son of a b**** all appeared but once. The Lord’s name likewise was used but once, as in “Good God, this man’s still alive.” Sexual innuendo was kept to a minimum by having Tony Stark’s girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) whisper something in his ear, but too low for us to overhear. Later Stark mentions something about “performance issues,” but the reference will be missed by younger viewers.
Violence: Moderate—What once was the minimum standard for “R” rated violence has now become the norm for PG-13 films, even by Disney. Daggers, arrows and bullets are all seen hitting people’s heads from a short distance. Explosions, overturning cars, debris and entire buildings and ships crash down on innocent victims throughout. Loki uses his new scepter of power to impale one, and blood is seen as it exits the other side, and though this is one of the few scenes that show blood, it is the most graphic. Equally disturbing is a scene where Loki appears to be extracting someone’s eye. Though bloodless, the victim’s screams, and the crowd’s reaction leave no doubt as to what’s happening. One character goes through withdrawal, and though it’s not from drugs, it is equally wrenching to see.
Sex/Nudity: Minor—Pepper Potts walks around Stark’s penthouse barefoot and in shorts, suggesting they may be living together. Bruce Banner, after reverting from the Hulk back to human form, is naked but obscured by wreckage.
Spiritual—Aside from the references to Thor and Loki being gods, Thor references Darwinist theory when he says, “I thought humans were more evolved than this.” Politically correct themes such as “clean energy” and “torture” are briefly mentioned.
While Loki holds a crowd hostage, he tells his “subjects,” “I am Loki of Asgard, and I am burdened with glorious purpose. I come with glad tidings…” a clear biblical reference to a very different kingdom that Jesus spoke of.
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor, “All this will I give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me” (Matthew 4:8-9).
One old man refuses to stay down, which recalls to us our Lord’s response to Satan.
Loki’s benefactor reminds him that he gave him “…ancient knowledge and new purpose, when you were cast out!” This is very reminiscent of the Word of God, which tells of his downfall and how we must be wary.
A lesson on both mercy and forgiveness comes from Thor, when he pleads with Loki to “Give up this poisonous dream and come home.” After all Loki had done, forgiveness was still within reach. Our Lord spoke clearly on this subject when speaking to the apostle Peter.
The Black Widow makes the apparent mistake of going to talk to Loki. During their conversation, it becomes clear that Loki knows all about the Widow’s past, when he tells her, “Your ledger is dripping with red. You lie and kill in the service of liars and killers.” This is a tactic the devil often uses to keep us from God, namely our own sinful past. Unfortunately, many fall for this, but the Word of God tells us we don’t have to, no matter what our past holds!
He hath not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us (Psalms 103:10-12).
Easily the best line of the movie, for me, came from Captain America. Thor arrives to get Loki, and a battle is about to begin when the Widow warns him not to get involved, saying, “These guys come from legend, they’re basically gods!” And Cap replies, “There’s only one God ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that!”
I can’t stress enough that parents need to be extra wary for the violent content which, while partially acceptable in its comic incarnation, is definitely over the top in live action, let alone 3D, which added much during the action scenes.
“The Avengers” lives up to its namesake, and the movie unfolds at an even pace, keeping audiences interested every step of the way. Though made up of disparate characters, all with their own personalities and powers, it was great seeing them begin to work together as a team and under the natural leadership of its only combat veteran, Captain America. An exciting and fun film, marred by a few words and excessive violence, that I am sure will extend the franchise and thrill age-appropriate audiences around the world.
Violence: Heavy to extreme / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
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