After a failed first attempt, I finally saw Marvel's Avengers today.
If you don't want to read what is sure to be a long rant about character development, tasteful explosions, and Bruce Banner/Mark Ruffalo, here's the short answer: It was totally amazing and I loved ever minute of it.
Here's the long version.
Oh my gosh. The Avengers is everything you could possible want in a summer block buster... AND MORE. I'm not even kidding, I was in nerd heaven the entire time. I'm still trying really hard to form complete sentences about it. If I were a lesser blogger, the review would be something like this:
asdfioasjgklangwbetjiaoejgoHOHMYGODTHOR'SHAIRISLUSCIOUS.aagihawdgnakldgnadAnd BRUCE BANNERrouguiagdhgopkasodhusgdfhhsdogjasiodhhgdojgposjuiGHOCOULSONarhiohgdnglangkjweeiejtihhitheiehndnndnLOKIMYBABY
You get the picture.
So anyway, let's go by categories or I'm going to get off track reeeeally quick.
1. Character building
It should also be noted that I've seen all of the prequels, so I might refer to things not in The Avengers that happened.
I love how the cast approaches the Avengers almost like a comedy ensemble. Everyone really plays off their characters personality. There's an exchange between Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America in a forest that cracked me up. There's a lot of humor that you wouldn't expect. Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man is funny as ever. The scenes with Tony Stark and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) are especially awesome.
2. Tastefully done explosions and action sequences.
I love a well choreographed chase scene. The opening sequence is Loki breaking into S.H.I.E.L.D. and the chaos that follows. That's when you know you're in for a great ride. The last half hour of battling in Manhattan is also done just so. There's lots of action and explosions, but not in obnoxious way a la Transformers.
3. I especially enjoyed the time given to characters that didn't have prequels. Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johanson (not sure if I spelled that right) play Hawkeye and Black Widow respectively. They get great fight scenes and as much backstory as is possible. But the real star here is Mark Ruffalo playing Bruce Banner/The Hulk. I never liked the Hulk all that much, but after seeing The Avengers, my mind was definitely changed. Joss packs an emotional punch in the character of Bruce Banner (and Captain America for that matter). Kudos. And Mark Ruffalo is adorable.
4 TOM FLADOODLING HIDDLESTON! Never could there ever be a more perfect Loki. You can see he's totally evil, but you still feel for him, especially if you've seen the Thor prequel. Also, I don't think I've seen someone who is so grateful to their fans than Tom. Seriously, follow him on twitter, he is so sweet to everyone.
5. Everyone hanging out at S.H.I.E.L.D. is pretty cool too. You've got Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Phil Coulson. They really lay down the canvas for the characters to paint on, adding some color of their own too.
I just love how everything in The Avengers just really comes together and feel cohesive. Despite the two Iron Man sequels, Thor, Captain America, and the one Hulk movie (the one from 2008 does not count), it all becomes whole and works really well together in the film. That's no walk in the park, and I'm so thankful to Joss and the cast for working so hard on something so great. Don't miss it.