Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johnasson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard, Clark Gregg, Colbie Smulders, Powers Boothe and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Directed by Joss Whedon.
Sometimes I marvel (waka-waka) at what build-up this movie had. It's had Iron Man 1 & 2, Captain America, Thor, and The Incredible Hulk, and those movies have all, in a way, served as prequels for this movie. This is supposed to be the awesomest superhero gathering ever. There is no way this movie could live up to the hype and build-up.
Well, sure it could.
This movie takes the best qualities of all those flawed heroes and meshes them together nicely. We have egotistical billionaire Tony Stark, the WWII-era noble-hearted Steve Rogers, the cautious genius Bruce Banner, the demi-god Thor, the super-spy Natasha Romanoff, and the super-sniper Clint Barton, all under the watch of the one-eyed S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury. How will they ever mesh?
In fittingly prickly fashion, turns out.
I heap praise upon the script by Whedon & Zak Penn. Everyone gets their moments to shine, their one-liners for laughs, and no one feels short-changed. After all, if they can't do justice to bringing them together, why bring them together?
Heroes need a villain to fight, and Thor's brother Loki, also a demi-god, does just fine, taking the Tessaract (seen in Captain America), an ultimate power source, to fuel a portal that'll bring an alien army down on Earth so he can rule it.
Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow is actually a better part here than it was in Iron Man 2. Robert Downey Jr. is his usual quippy self, but I really liked Mark Ruffalo's take on Bruce Banner. And Thor has one of the best laugh lines in the movie. And Captain America has a couple too.
And there's more, and more...
I'm one of the last people in the country to see this movie, so I'm just reinforcing what you already know. The Avengers was a blast, and I'm really glad with what Joss Whedon was able to do.