Wow, Joss Wheadon! This was supposed to be the culmination of Thor, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk and the Iron Man movies. All in all a pretty impressive roster. You had one job, Joss; bring them together, with your usual kick-ass script, make it appear as effortless and seamless as water flowing down hill. In short, make it AWESOME!
What happened, Joss?
The Avengers come off as a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces (i.e. the previous movies) don't really fit together. Some of them leave gaps, where others are forced into places they don't fit at all. Yes, I'm talking about plotholes, and backstories that are retrofitted with a sledgehammer.
Take Thor, for instance. In the final scene of Thor, the Bifrost is destroyed, and he is virtually stranded in Asgard with no way to reach Earth. In this movie he suddenly appears, and a simple line from Loki is supposed to explain it: «With the Bifrost gone how much dark energy did the Allfather have to muster to conjure you here?» Please!
And Hulk? A raging tornado of anger, who has no distinction between friend or foe. This pickle is given much attention in the first half of the movie: How to control the Hulk! Then, when the enemy appears, Dr. Banner turns green at will, and – with no explanation given – is suddenly able to be a team player (more or less).
But my biggest complaint is this: With all these awesome, practically invincible, superheroes gathered as a single team, who will be a worthy opponent? Well, duh – aliens, of course! So, instead of some kick-ass human supervillain, we get … the Decepticons? Now we only need Optimus Prime, and The Avengers will be complete.
Okay, that was my Epic Rant of Disappointment. There is, granted, some good stuff here too. The final epic battle was pretty damn awesome, and, yes, the flying alien dragons were awe-inspiring (even though the aliens-as-nemesis was a bad choice). And, of course, any movie that namedrops my hometown («Tromsø … it's very remote!») gets an extra half-star, just for the kick.
But, dammit Joss, you can do better than this! I know it, you know it!