I am sitting in a theater, about to see The Avengers. I don’t want this. I didn’t like the first one, but it’s family night, so I have to see the second.

Why do we, mild mannered middle and working class folk, willingly give all of our money to one percent of the population, for two hours of explosions, and Robert Downey Jr. being a wiseass? The theater is packed, half the patrons have children under the age of five on their laps, and through an overheard conversation, I find out Hollywood is rebooting Spider-Man again. It could be worse, I could be seeing the fifth Transformers movie.

It does get worse. Before the film, there is a four minute a capella rendition of “Bang Bang” performed by a group of toned women. But all of the lyrics have been changed, and the already problematic song is now about the importance of shaving your legs. It’s an ad for the new Pitch Perfect, one of my least favorite film franchises of all time. (Behind Transformers of course.)

What do I have to gain here? I’m not a film elitist, or at least I hope I’m not, but The Avengers is certainly no example of fine artistry. Everyone knows that, but it’s so popular. Studio executives must severely underestimate the capacity of their audience. This is why we are given this, or something just like it, at least three times every summer. I guess we all just want to have fun, but why is this our idea of fun?

The film starts, and an unnamed African metropolis that I, along with the majority of the audience, am too ignorant to recognize, is annihilated. Along with Seoul, and an entire country called “Sokovia”. (Which rhymes with Genovia, and leads my me on a ten minute thought-tangent recalling the slumber party scene in The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement.) Between each action sequence are dialogue-driven displays of bro-ish camaraderie. The audience laughs along, and a few times, I am touched.

In the end, this movie is perfect in a way. Besides the Lindsay Weir cameo, I feel connected to the world-renowned, well meaning but often destructive, sexually perverse group on screen (do Natasha and the Hulk do things when he is green?). There is also the added visual bonus of their collective attractiveness. Most importantly, they care about saving people. Is there anything brain-rotting in that? I shouldn’t have whined. This film represents a moment in my culture. I participated. I can talk about this in school on Monday. Plus, since my mom bought the tickets, it was free. Is there anything better than free? There is. A third Avengers movie, slated for release in 2018. ♦