Synopsis: SHIELD Director Nick Fury recruits an unlikely group of superheroes to save the Earth from Thor’s brother Loki and future otherworldly threats.
A well written, well acted, unprecedented ensemble film. A lot happens, but it all holds together well enough. The self-aware, Whedon-esque dialogue is always a pleasure, and meshes well with a team filled with egos and head-shakers. Ruffalo, who is great in the role, plays both Banner and Hulk, a first in live action appearances. First appearance of Thanos, albeit with a different actor than later appearances.
Might not be that easy to follow if prior films weren’t viewed. Though largely negated by Ruffalo’s performance, recasting of The Hulk/Banner is noticeable.
Even though the comics have done this multiple times, an ensemble of superheroes on this scale of theatrical crossover was largely unprecedented. Superhero crossovers have certainly appeared outside comic books before and since, but never on the scale of 2012’s Avengers. I remember the old marvel cartoons, particularly Spider-Man and X-Men, doing crossovers, but don’t remember liking those stories at the time. I wanted it to be clear whose show it actually was, while singular characters like Spider-Man almost seemed lost among already present teams (X-Men). While I am certainly no longer as particular on how Superhero stories should go, the underpinnings of the MCU have fixed the issues my pre-teen mind perceived. The majority of the characters in Avengers were able to stand out in a story that could have muddled them, and that was not just the fact that most exist in their own sub-franchises. The story is written in a way that makes the characters be themselves as they come together to fight Loki.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rotten Tomatoes — 92%