‘The Avengers’: +7 Cannarfs

First of all, it’s been awhile, so let’s get the obvious question out of the way… What the heck is a cannarf, anyways? That link will give you more details, but the short version is that it’s a totally subjective rating scale based on how a movie (or book, or TV show…) performed compared to your expectations going in.

Here’s my cannarf review of The Avengers. I’m going to do my best not to spoil anything for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, but no promises.

The Good:

Where do I even start with the good…? The casting was great. The script was great. The pacing was great. The action was great. The character development was great (I think I’m really going to like Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk). The set up for the sequel was great as well. In particular, I loved that The Avengers was able to find that just-right mix between carrying a sense of weight and imperative without taking itself too seriously. (Seriously, though, the laughs in this movie are incredible.)

Maybe the best thing about The Avengers, though, is the way that all of the heroes have a fully-developed personality. Even Thor, who isn’t actually a human, feels like a real person. Every character has their own flaws and strengths, biases and convictions, spotted pasts and motivations. The real story of The Avengers is the story of these amazing individuals recognizing the need to fight for something bigger than themselves, to band together as one to become stronger than they could otherwise. It’s truly a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.

The Bad:

Okay. For real. I’m not a professional movie critic, but I really didn’t think there was anything to complain about with The Avengers. There aren’t any parts that feel draggy or boring, there wasn’t anything that was totally incomprehensible, and there wasn’t anything that was simply unbelievable (after the customary suspension of disbelief for movies, of course).

The Bottom Line:

Joss Whedon (the writer/director/producer) is the man. I expected The Avengers to be a great super hero movie; instead it’s just a great movie, period. I expected to love it; I loved it even more than I thought I would. I expected The Avengers to be a big, dumb, fun summer action movie; instead I found it to be a big, smart, intelligent, funny, surprisingly deep, fun summer action movie. Those added dimensions were enough to make me give The Avengers +7 cannarfs.

Have you seen The Avengers? What did you think?



  1. First, glad to see you back blogging. Second, loved Avengers. Going again this week and next it will be the first Theater Thursday for the youth group. I knew all along Whedon would nail the team thing. It is what he does.
    So, what is next on your must see list? You risking “Battleship”?


    • Battleship? Not a chance. No matter how good the rest of that movie is, Rihanna will probably destroy it. My next must-see theater movie is the new Batman.


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