I'll admit I give Rotten Tomatoes too much credit. Movie reviewers have probably come to loathe the site's existence. I may read a reviewer's overwrought and tedious evaluation of how "overwrought" and "tedious" the film is. But ultimately, I skip over to Rotten Tomatoes, see the 25% rating and avoid the film like the plague. I've replaced your wordy work with a number. Sorry. A review serves two purposes (1) to let me know if I should see the movie and (2) to give me further insight on the good and bad qualities of the work.
With the first purpose, Rotten Tomatoes wins hands down. I refuse to watch a bad movie. If it looks bad, why would I do that to myself? I have not seen Elektra (10%). I have not see Catwoman (10%). I did not see Frank Miller's The Spirit (14%). Why? Because they looked terrible and they were terrible. Sometimes a movie will trick me, and in those instances, I find it hard to forgive. I'm looking at you Spider-Man 3 (63%). For the most part, the Rotten Tomato method is simple and brutal.
With the second purpose, the reviewer is still king. If I really enjoyed the movie, I want to read something that agrees with me. "Yes! Roger Ebert, I also appreciated the third act of 50/50." Or if I hated the movie, I need someone to help me channel my rage. After I endured half of Sex & the City 2, I desperately searched the Internet for negative reviews. (There was no shortage of negative reviews.)
However, I still come back to that number. Rotten Tomatoes and I don't always agree. How did one of my all-time favorite movies, Royal Tenenbaums, get only 80%? And yet, a high rating also helps to build my sense of anticipation.
Avengers. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 97%. And my expectations are already sky high. Iron Man, Thor, Iron Man II, Captain America, and even Hulk all worked to set up this movie. All of those movies have been good-to-great. I have no reason to think Avengers will be any less than resplendent. My favorite all-time movie (yes, even moreso than Tenenbaums) is Seven Samurai, with a respectable 100% RT rating. Seven Samurai is the ideal "hero team-up" movie. A diverse group of warriors, with different motivations and temperaments, must learn to work together in order to survive and save the day. What's not to love? Heck, even Tenenbaums is a "team-up" movie of sorts. Now, Avengers offers a team-up dream for people who geek out on super heroes. Add to that, Joss Whedon as writer and director.
May 4th cannot come soon enough.
Here's my review of Avengers before I actually see it: It's awesome. The trailer doesn't even do it credit. Best Hulk ever. I laughed. I cried. I was on the edge of my seat for two hours and twenty-two minutes. Whedon will rule over Hollywood with power and grace. It will be the first superhero movie to get the Best Picture Oscar. Avengers will prevent the 2012 end of the world and bring about a new age of peace. Watching Avengers will have unexplainable magic healing properties. Mothers will bring their sick children to the movie and leave forever changed. Theaters will run Avengers nonstop for ten years. It will gross 3.3 trillion dollars in a week.
My expectations aren't too high, are they?