Let me start off by saying that aside from Marvel taking the initiative to make their own films in-house, I thought their decade long plan was insane. I liked Iron-Man 1 for the most part, I disliked Iron-Man 2’s foolishness, I thought Thor was lame, Captain America was cheesy, and I didn’t even bother watching the new Incredible Hulk film. With that being said, coupled with the failure of other superhero team movies, a la X-Men, I certainly had my doubts about The Avengers.
Nonetheless, despite my fears, I actually loved the film. It was extremely exciting and succeeded in delivering a great superhero story. What I feared would be a rushed and individualized character film was not so. Joss Whedon did well to take his time in drawing out and developing the characters even though they all had their own respective movies. It was good that we were reintroduced to each character, being shown what they were up to in the interim, and allowing us to see their internal struggles. Instead of just assuming that Captain America, Iron-Man, Thor, and The Hulk were all good-natured heroes who would save Earth without a second thought, watching them hesitate and battle each other, although cliche and expected, was needed for the characters to grow and trust each other.
The story was simplistic and the villain was not as invincible or powerful as he needed to be in order to take on The Avengers, but there was enough impending doom to justify the formation of the team. Of course it’s not nearly as perfect or refined as Nolan’s Batman trilogy, but it trumps the X-Men films in being a true superhero team working and fighting together instead of each character going off and battling villains in lame one-on-one standoffs. It bests all of the Transformers films because the story doesn’t follow a normal person, but it delivers in bringing the four heavy hitters to the foreground of nearly every scene. Seriously, why does Optimus Prime take a back seat to Shia Labeouf? And lastly, it was a pretty hilarious film with all four major characters cracking on each other.
In the end, it was a film done correctly that was just fun to watch. Of course, it’s not going to win any oscars or reveal some heart-warming message that’s supposed to change your life. It’s just a really fun movie. I give this a 9.5 out of 10.
*MINOR SPOILER BELOW