This movie is amazing. For a gal who has never read any of the comics it was still surprisingly easy to follow along and understand what was happening. And while the plot is a bit sparse (Loki, still ticked off at Thor and how he's no longer King of Asgard decides to take over Earth to rule here) the humor and verbal sparring found in Joss Whedon's works certainly makes up for it, as well as a lot of action to keep you entertained for the movie's long length (2 hours and 22 minutes). A funny moment between Thor and Hulk had me in stitches, but don't worry, you'll know it when you see it.
We jump right into the heart of things at the start of the film with the arrival of Loki and the introduction of each Avenger in turn. Look for some nice cameos by our heroes' ancillary characters, Pepper Potts from Iron Man, Stellan Skarsgard's Selvig from Thor plays an important part, and Agent Phil Coulson is finally given a large role (hooray!) rather than the mostly cameos we've seen up until now.
If nothing else gals, the movie is full of eye candy... and every one of them is pretty much packing more abs and pecs than seems physically possible. And guys, there is plenty of Scarlet Johansson in tight leather to keep your eyes on the screen. I honestly did not expect to like her as Black Widow, since I didn't care for her in Iron Man 2, but she is a surprisingly likable character here. Mark Ruffalo's take on mild-mannered Bruce Banner is understated, but really good (listen for an uncredited cameo of Lou Ferrigno as the voice of the hulk). The only superhero that is fairly new to us is Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner, who had a brief cameo in Thor, working for S.H.I.E.L.D. and wielding his amazing trademark bow and arrows... fleshed out now as a real character, you can see how he does fit in with our more "super" heroes.
I don't want to give things away, but the movie is about how these individual characters go from outright animosity towards one another to pull together as a cohesive and working team. Stay through the end credits... at the start there is an segment that introduces us to the next Avenger bad guy (who I didn't recognize but Richard says is Thanos, who in the comic book world is a seriously nasty piece of work). I was personally hoping that we'd get Red Skull (from Captain America) as I would love to see more Hugo Weaving, and he obviously wasn't killed at the end of that film (the tesseract just translated him somewhere else) but I guess he just isn't tough enough for the writers to consider.
Stick around through the rest of the credits though, as there is a moment where we get to see the unknown side of the superhero world... what do weary superheroes do after saving the day? Well, now you'll know.
The best part of the film is, of course, our bad guy, Loki, played wonderfully by Tom Hiddleston. He steals every scene of the film that he is in, and while I admit I have a bit of a crush on the guy (sorry Richard, guess I have a thing for demigod supervillans!) he really does the character justice... not many guys can pull off a character with horns that big attached to their costume! You believe that he really could take on all of our heroes all on his own. Too many films lose it with a wimpy bad guy, so its nice to see one that can stand on his own two feet.
Can we say hello handsome?
The only recommendation I have is see it in standard 2D... we went to a late showing last night in 3D and we both left with a headache. There is just too much going on in the end action sequence and the 3D gets a bit muddled. I promised Richard we will go see it again and this time in just the standard format.