Actually, Avengers is goddamn great. It's not perfect, but it's pretty close, and it's easily my favorite Marvel movie so far. It's well-written, well-acted, and well-directed, the superheroes are consistent with all their individual Marvel movies, and yet the film hangs together remarkably well. I could bitch that I don't like Cap's new uniform, or that the movie takes a while to get going, but those are incredibly small nitpicks against what is overall a tremendously good movie. Plus, the last battle -- which lasts a good 30-40 minutes -- is, in my opinion, the greatest comic book movie ever filmed. Now, I'll admit there are comic book movies that are better movies, but as a translation of superhero comics to cinema, as a realization what superhero comics can do and why people enjoy them, the action, the scale, the pure awesome of the last 1/4 of the Avengers movie is pretty much perfection. It is also one of the most insanely badass things I have ever seen.
Now, as I've previously admitted, I was an Avengers fan growing up, so I'm probably a bit biased here; just seeing Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and Hulk together on the screen blows my mind with awesomeness. But that doesn't take away from the fact that Avengers is a tremendous achievement. Honestly, there's no way this film should have been made this way -- it should have been a mediocre one-off from Fox or Universal. Hell, even after Marvel started making their own movies, the fact that they had the patience to introduce all the characters in their own movies first, and that all those movies were good, that the actors were well-cast is just incredible. This incredibly farsighted approach makes Avengers as big as it should be, that these heroes we've all seen individually have come together makes the movie truly epic. And so much had to go exactly right to get us here! It's kind of miracle.
And even then, it should have been practically impossible to make this work. To make all these oversized characters work together, to write a script that would do them all justice, to have a movie that lives up to the expectations and the hype -- and yet this movie does. I know the joke in the comments is that I love Joss Whedon carnally, and I always protest with all the things of his I truly dislike, but I would pleasure Joss Whedon now without any hesitation. As the guy who co-wrote the story, wrote the screenplay and directed the thing, Avengers is 100% his miracle. I think it's the greatest thing he's ever made, in large part because he didn't put too much of himself in the movie (mostly). I was fully expecting a point -- well, several points -- where I'd think Joss Whedon was being too Joss Whedon-y, but I never did.
Honestly, I can't recommend it enough. I'm already planning my third trip to go see it, and I've only watched it once. The fact that an Avengers movie even exists is crazy. The fact that it's so damn good is a miracle.
MORE SPOILER-Y REVIEW AFTER THE JUMP.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT.
Everyone told me it was good, and I'm still bewildered about how awesome that movie was. Honestly, I can barely sit here to type I'm so fucking excited about this movie, so here are just some thought.
• Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth are just as good as they were in their individual films.
• Scarlett Johansson? Pretty fucking badass as Black Widow. She's infinitely more awesome than she was in Iron Man 2, which admittedly isn't saying much.
• Jeremy Renner? Also totally fucking badass as Hawkeye, at least once he breaks out of Loki's control. People joke about why the Avengers need a guy who shoots arrows, but in that final fight, he's just as unstoppably awesome as everybody else (minus the Hulk, of course). More importantly, he looks like he belongs.
• Obviously, the Hulk steals the goddamn movie, but Mark Ruffalo comes in a close second. His Bruce Banner certainly gets the best lines. I think Ed Norton was probably a better Banner, or at least more comics accurate. However, I think Mark Ruffalo was a better Hulk for the Avengers. Does that make sense? I just think Ruffalo's performance fit in with the others more than Norton's would have.
• I knew the Helicarrier scene was coming and I still fucking gasped. There are so few movies that can make you feel awe at the things it wants you to be awed at, but the Helicarrier scene pulled it off.
• They were Chitauri, but there was no shape-shifting. I'm genuinely annoyed they made this a big mystery because honestly it's not that interesting an answer. I'm fine with them using the Chitauri, I'm just annoyed they made such a big deal of keeping it a secret.
• I truly expected to be pissed off at Coulson's death, but honestly, it worked far better than I anticipated. It was actually an integral part of the story and not just to fuck with the fans, which is Whedon's worst habit as a writer/director. I was certain this was going to be the same bullshit, but no, Coulson went out like a champ and his death genuinely galvanized the team because the Avengers thought he was just as integral to the team as we fans did.
• I didn't see any hints of the Vision stuff some people are saying. Honestly, if Clark Gregg doesn't come back as Coulson, I'm not sure I want him. It would just make me miss Agent Coulson too much.
• Seriously, I can't say enough about how tremendously awesome that final fight scene was. Once the Hulk shows up? It's non-stop badassery. Seriously, the best comic book movie ever.
• "I'm always angry." Guhhhhh.
• It's amazing to me how badass every single Avenger is in the fight. They all kick untold amounts of ass, they all are totally awesome and kill a zillion bad guys, but the odds are just overwhelming. There's no bullshit where Thor gets knocked out and the team struggles and then Thor wakes up and saves the day. No, everyone is fucking owning every Chitauri/Norse god of mischief they can get their hands on, and the drama comes from tgeir being waaaaay too many Chitauri for all of them to deal with. That's exactly what I want out of my Avengers.
• The "puny god" scene was one of the most satisfying sexual experiences I've ever had.
• I can't believe I didn't see the "A" in Stark Tower becoming the "A" for Avengers earlier, but I'm glad I didn't. That final shot actually made me do a fist-pump.
• If I have one regret about all the spoilers that came out, it's the Thanos scene. I can't imagine how insane I would have gone if I'd seen it and didn't know the reveal, but it would have been wonderful.
• The Joss Whedoniest moment in the movie is the post-credits sequence where they all eat shwarama in silence, which is exactly where it belonged.