At first you might expect that a movie trying to pack so much into itself would come down to the most mediocre parts of each character. Fortunately, this movie managed to become much bigger than the pieces it was put together with.
The Avengers is the coming together of Marvel’s superheros. This particular vision of them centers on Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Captain America. Their unlikely alliance is forged as Thor’s brother Loki has stolen the Tesseract from Nick Fury and his S.H.I.E.L.D agency. The team is not anywhere near a team when they first meet up but through trials and sacrifice they unite to face the alien war force Loki has summoned.
If you like, you can ooh and aah at the special effects in the movie. They were quite good and deserve it. How the writers were able to bring this band of heros together without stagnating the movie was far more impressive. The movie clocks in with a total run time of almost two and a half hours and could have easily ran much longer. The writers did an amazing job to not only keep things moving but to cover all the points that needed to be. The only thing that made the movie uncomfortable to watch was those awful movie theater seats that haven’t been replaced since the seventies. Hopefully you did not suffer from that fate as well.
Bottom line, this was a very ambitious endeavor. Marvel and Paramount banked on people being willing to come see a movie with characters from movies that had not necessarily done well. Think about the lack luster reviews that the previous Thor and Captain America movies received. I dare not mention the two Hulk movies and their woes(although I really thought the second was much better than the first). Perhaps The Avengers was a total gamble on the over the top popularity of Robert Downey Jr. and his portrayal of Iron Man. Look at the rest of the talent they brought in on this as well – Samuel Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, etc. Consider changing the actor of The Hulk to Mark Ruffalo and making the character an integral part of the story. Don’t forget the risk taken when the director was chosen. Joss Whedon was best known for his work on the small screen(Firefly and Doll House). In fact his only real big screen credits was Serenity and I don’t think that was anything near as big. Still, looking at what it did and how well it did doing it, it deserves its praise.
Catch this while you can on Netflix. My guess is that it won’t be a permanent fixture. If you feel the need to have it always on the ready then Amazon asks for $33.96(per the time of this writing) but you get multiple formats to view it on. That should keep your one friend happy that just refuses to invest in a blu-ray player.