After four years, five lead in films and the weight of just how the Marvel Cinematic Universe would all be pulled together into one single film.............Joss Whedon came along and delivered The Avengers..........and made it look like making it work was the easiest thing in the world!!
Now I have very mixed opinions on the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first phase of films introducing each main character, as some have been better than others, and I confess that because of that I did not have the highest of expectations when I went in to see that..............nothwithstanding that I know Joss Whedon has talent and love his TV series.
Even at that, I was massively and purely entertained by this blast of pop summer Blockbuster perfection. THIS is what so many other summer films have aspired to in recent years, where characters and a story come first and then the spectacle comes second. In the order that it should be! Whedon does make a few stumbles in the first half hour or so as he weaves together the introduction of the film's familiar villain, then Tony Stark (with a nice cameo from an Iron Man co-star), and the others. Once he's done that, however and he has every character together comes what is actually my favourite segment of the film as each character is allowed to meet, appraise and THEN call out each other on their natures. It's also laugh out loud in places thanks to Whedon's trademark quips and the delivery of some the cast (Chris Hemsworth gets a perfect line to deliver at one point and does it hilariously!) before the action packed finale sets off and while it may be fair to say that parts of the extended action finale in New York may echo Micheal Bay and Transformers, you'll find that while the action is just as spectacular you'll care a bit more about who is in the middle of it all.
All in, this is by far the summer blockbuster of the year, light in tone, but with everything that a FUN summer film should have in abundance! It's almost a shame that Whedon can't get involved in more of the films but if anything is certain, it's that he's GOT to be locked down to write and direct The Avengers sequel, because it's his work that made this film the delight it was!