Droll and Spectacular . . .

Movies: ‘The Avengers’
Chris Evans, left, Robert Downey Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson in “The Avengers.”

But Wait, No Character Development?

Director Joss Whedon, who combines cerebral humor (“Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”) with a broad sentimental streak (“Toy Story 1”) and even a sense of parody (“Cabin in the Woods”), was not the first to come to mind for “The Avengers.” Yet in a logistical triumph, he has woven together a hectic story from a wide selection of Marvel Comics superheroes. The movie is like a bag of miniature chocolate bars: Your favorites are mingled with ones you don’t like so much, but you buy the bag anyway for the ones you like.

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