Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference
The Avengers was a fun, action-packed film that didn't break any new ground in the Super Hero genre, but did a good job with the old standards.
Loki, Thor's adopted little brother, is on a mission to steal the Tesseract, which S.H.I.E.L.D. had been using to try and created an unlimited amount of energy for the world to use. When Loki succeeds, Nick Fury must put together a team to get it back, and the now dormant Avengers Initiative is put back on track. Combining the forces of Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow and Hawkeye, the team must not only retrieve the Tesseract, but also stop an alien invasion into New York. But can these massive egos co-exist as a single group? Or will their games of one-upmanship destroy them all?
The Avengers is the movie people have been waiting years for. Marvel has done a great job slowly introducing us to the characters through their own movies before unleashing the team in one giant film. Based on the movie popularity, there was always a fear that this would turn into Iron Man & Friends, but writer/director Joss Whedon did a good job in letting all the major characters get equal screen time. If I had to, I'm not sure I could pick a 'star' of the film because no one character really drove the story - it truly was a combination of all of them. What I found most interesting is that if you has asked me who I thought the biggest bad-ass would be, I would have gone with Thor. But to the characters in the film, the one that was head and shoulders above the rest was The Hulk. Everyone in the movie was terrified of him and his ability to destroy everything in his path. And that led to two of the funniest scenes in the film towards the end of the movie with The Hulk/Thor and The Hulk/Loki. It made me realize though that The Hulk is a great supporting character, but putting an entire movie around him would be difficult - as evidenced by the two not-so-stellar films already attempted. In fact, I came to the conclusion that the only character who really should carry their own film is Iron Man. While I liked the other characters, whether it's their character description or the actor playing them, none of them had enough personality for me to be interested in seeing them for two hours on their own. But put them in pairs, and I'd enjoy it. A Hawkeye/Black Widow movie would be fantastic. Or Thor and Captain America teaming up.
The plot of the movie is kept relatively simple to allow for the characters to shine. It takes a good amount of time to even reintroduce all the characters, before the plot really gets going. There are a couple of twists and turns along the way, but nothing outrageous. There are a couple of times the movie starts to feel a little slow, but I mean c'mon... these are super heroes just hanging around together. The action sequences are tremendous. I'm not sure this movie has to be seen in 3D in order to enjoy it, but the 3D didn't hurt the film like it has with others. The battle sequence that takes over the last 30-40 minutes of the film was truly tremendous and worth the price of admission. Let's face it, there's something really cool about watching Iron Man battle aliens, then having the camera move to The Hulk destroying things, then move to Thor and Captain America and Black Widow and Hawkeye. Imagine if DC ever gets its act together and we can see the same thing with Batman, Superman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman. And then we can have the ultimate showdown of the Justice League vs. The Avengers. I know, it'll never happen, but someone somewhere has already put together that script, just in case. No, this movie won't go down in history as a movie that redefined what it is to be a super hero film, like The Dark Knight, but it's the exact kind of popcorn entertainment people are looking for. I can't imagine anyone being really disappointed in the movie. It might not blow you away, but I guarantee you'll come out happier than when you went in.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I liked The Avengers. There wasn't anything new about it, but combining a lot of super heroes into one movie was always destined to be fun.