In each of the singular films, S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has appeared at the end of said films approaching each Super Hero with what turns into the Avengers initiative. What an initiative it is too with all the super powers on hand to fight Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Thor's brother and his attempt to wreak havoc upon mankind.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the rest must put aside the differences they may have with each other and form a union to save the world from destruction. They'll save it or at least avenge it and the characters and actors who portray them do just that.
The Avengers is a non-stop dance of pairing off super hero against super hero in unbelievable fight sequences that surpass anything that has gone before. Watching Captain America (Chris Evans) fighting Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Stark's Iron Man or the incredibly buffed up Academy Award™ nominated Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye against one of his peers (Don't want to ruin a single moment of exhilarating story-telling by saying too much) reminds me of how skilled Whedon was as a force on set, getting this massive undertaking done in a final product that showcases all the stars in equal light.
If I had to play Devil's Advocate and say something slightly negative, and slightly is the optimum word, I felt Mark Ruffalo's portrayal of Bruce Banner was too laid back and on the edge of being almost horizontal. Acting in the motion-capture suit as The Hulk, Ruffalo turns in the best of The Hulks, he being the third actor to take on the role. Like I said, nit-picking on an out of this world action movie.
Everyone, including Ruffalo, (who, by the way is the most charming over breakfast in a great scene at very end of credits. Stay till the final frame and pass this review onto your friends so you or they don't miss this hilarious gag scene) from Scarlett Johansson reprising her role as femme fatale Black Widow to Gwyneth Paltrow, coming back in an extremely small part as Stark's love interest Pepper Potts should be applauded for letting go of ego and working together for the good of all.
What could have been a mess of a movie, they collectively turned it into the must see film of the year. I can't wait for the next Avengers but hoping it happens at all. If said egos do arise and each actor wants another solo piece before committing to another joint venture as this, these super heroes, or at least the actors who play them, might just be a little long in the tooth to do a sequel.
But till that perilous time comes, grab your 3-D glasses, and run to the nearest IMAX to marvel at these super heroes. Help them save us from what so far has been a year of mediocrity in the world of film. Enjoy yourselves like its the end of the world, watching them avenge their way into film history and into our hearts.
Rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference.
Running time: 142 minutes