Watched May 04, 2012
I won't beat around the bush here. The beginning of the movie up until Thor is introduced was like everything I have hated about Marvel films since Iron Man 1 which I still say was the last good Marvel movie. It feels lifeless, artificial, and generally not fun. While it did have its moments, the rest of it feels incredibly phoned in.
With that being said, once Thor is introduced the The Avengers becomes fun, exciting, funny, and the pacing is just flat out great. I have been waiting for an exciting Marvel flick like this for 4 years now. I definitely wasn't that excited about this going in, but Joss Whedon gave me hope. For the most part, he does deliver the goods.
Every character is given either a bad ass or funny character moment, and I truly mean that. They all get their chance to shine, and that was one of the few things that I knew Whedon would be able to get right. However, I don't think he really puts much of stamp on the film with his writing. The writing feels like every other Marvel film, but I know that he was the one that gave it the moments of comedy that it needed.
The biggest and most welcome surprise was the direction on Whedon's part. It feels like it has been forever since I last saw a big budget action movie where I could clearly see and tell what the hell was going on in a fight. It's just directed so fluidly and creatively for that matter (even in scenes with just dialogue) that it was like a breath of fresh air. There was one shot in the final battle that felt like it was a one take shot even though it wasn't, but it looked great nonetheless.
This was the refresher that I needed and what Marvel needed in their super hero films. It's not without its flaws, but for those that have been following these movies for the past 4 years or have wanted a change-up in the staleness of them, this certainly delivers.