My original plan was to see The Avengers on Sunday. However, after sitting in front of my computer at work all day Friday and reading the multitude of comments on Twitter about how good the movie was, I decided that I needed to see it Friday night. Then, because it was SO GOOD, I saw it again on Sunday :o)
Don't worry, I will warn you before I get to the spoilery bits.....
When Loki teams up with an unexpected army, Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D) Director Nick Fury must bring together a group of super humans to defend the Earth. This team consists of Tony Stark/Iron Man, Steve Rogers/Captain America, Thor, Dr. Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow and Clint Barton/Hawkeye. After working out their differences with each other first, they then have to figure out how to defeat Loki.
The acting in this movie was all-around fantastic. There was not a weak link in the group, but it was really the supporting roles that stood out to me the most. We know from previous Marvel films that Clark Gregg is a great Agent Phil Coulson, but he was especially fantastic in The Avengers. Although he was not in a majority of scenes, he had his share of hilarious lines. I was also especially impressed with Cobie Smulders, who plays Agent Maria Hill. I love her on How I Met Your Mother, but she kicked a lot of ass in this movie...literally. I was also excited to see other Whedonverse actors Alexis Denisof, Ashley Johnson and Enver Gjokaj.
Of course, it would not be The Avengers without the Avengers themselves. We have seen Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston in their roles as Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and Loki respectively and they all continue to be fantastic. However, this is the first time Mark Ruffalo played the role of The Hulk. I did not actually see the previous Hulk movies (mostly because they did not get very good reviews) but I thought Ruffalo was a welcome addition to the team.
And now on to the more spoilery parts of my review. If you do not want anything ruined then I suggest you STOP READING IMMEDIATELY.
For those that have already seen the movie, please continue....
I do not pretend to know anything about comic books, my interest in these characters is purely cinematic. I had no idea who the Chitauri were before Friday or who the villian was that they revealed in one of the final scenes. You could tell me his name and I would still have no idea what that means for future movies. All of that aside, I think this had a great story with interesting plot points and engaging dialogue. With a cast and expectations as big as they were for this movie, of course there will be inconsistencies here and there, but overall I think it was cohesive and highly entertaining.
For those of us with an attuned ear, the writing is completely Joss. From Stark's pop-culture quips to The Hulk tossing Loki around like a ragdoll. It is smart and funny and had perfect comedic timing. It is everything we Whedonites love about Joss's work and what hopefully the rest of the world is finally recognizing as genius. If they make another Avengers movie, and I cannot imagine that they would not (especially after this one destroyed the opening weekend box office record), I sincerely hope they keep Joss on as writer and director.
However, I will admit I am sad that, in true Whedon fashion, he killed off another beloved character. Like I said above, Agent Coulson had some of the best lines in every one of his scenes over the course of four movies and I will miss him and the actor who portrayed him in future films.
In conclusion, if you were one of the few who did not see this movie opening weekend, I highly recommend that you go as soon as possible. I may even go see it a third time, although I will probably wait at least another week :o)
This is definitely my favorite movie of 2012 so far. It will be interesting to see if any of the other big summer blockbusters can beat it.