Marvel's The Avengers Review
The story here is absolutely big enough to justify the gathering of the team and manages to keep you engaged the whole time as it takes elements from both the classic Avengers stories and the second volume of Mark Millar's The Ultimates. The mischievous Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is looking to conquer Earth, and to do so, he's aligned himself with an alien army (I won't spoil who they are). With the tesseract (cosmic cube), Thor's "brother" is a cosmic force that would require a miracle to stop. Luckily for us humans, Nick Fury (Sam Jackson) has this little thing called The Avengers Initiative on file. And yes, this movie positively lays out the groundwork for a follow-up.
Regarding the rest of the talent, no one really falls short. We've already seen most of these actors in their respective roles before and they do every bit as well, if not slightly better due to the sharp writing giving them more to work with. Robert Downey Jr. continues to bring the laughs as the sarcastic Tony Stark, Chris Evans pulls off the confidence Captain America requires, Tom Hiddleston continues to make Loki the most interesting Marvel Studios villain to date, so on and so on. If they're not exactly like their comic book counter-part, then they're certainly close enough to make you feel as though they've been stripped from the panels.
The action in this movie will make you feel like a kid again and leave you completely in awe. We get just about every hero versus hero combination we've been dying to see and the final act is absolute perfection. War breaks out in New York and every Avenger is right in the middle of it. This battle has a beautifully organic flow, moving from one character to the next as they continue to amaze us with what I can firmly call the best action sequence I've seen in a long time. It has too many top-notch crowd-pleasing moments to count.
Hulk is without question the highlight of this movie. He's the physical powerhouse he needs to be, and Mark Ruffalo does a fine job as Banner. The CGI holds up the entire ride and it's amazing how this literally looks like a 'roided-out Ruffalo. To go into detail would totally spoil his moments, but let's just say there's plenty of smashing and even more laughs to be had. Hulk gets the amount of battles he deserves, and I can confidently say these will be the scenes you'll be talking about when you walk out of the theater. It would be madness to not give this version of Hulk a solo movie, so they better make that happen in 2015.
Marvel's The Avengers will be heavily debated as the best comic book movie, but it's definitely not perfect (then again, what movie truly is?). The first few acts are the low points as they go through the mandatory steps of establishing the overall plot and bringing the characters together. It simply didn't feel as big or superb as the movie needs to be. The resolution also felt pretty standard and wrapped up a little too easily. That said, these are minor criticisms and ultimately won't matter all that much because the rest will blow you away.
Marvel's The Avengers is sporting Hulk's strength and raised the bar for comic book movies. So, unless you severely loathe the genre, there is no reason at all to not rush out and see it as soon as possible. When the movie comes to end (sit through the credits for two extra scenes!), you'll want to go through the must-see experience all over again.