I'm finally getting around to reviewing this movie. It's the reason I watched the others: The Incredible Hulk, THOR, Iron Man 2, (but not the original) and Captain America. The first time I watched it it was my birthday back in July. Now, in November, I'm finally reviewing it. I will consider the points of 1.) Epic 2.) Humor. 3). Character and 4). Plot.
The very first live action super hero team movie. No one else has tried to make individual superhero movies and then bring them all together into one adventure. This film is action packed coolness from the time Loki zaps into Earth through Iron Man's trademark big entrances to HULK SMASH and the big alien invasion and how the avengers counter it.
More than eye candy; Joss Whedon made sure there were personal conflicts underlying the undeniably awesome battles. Loki and Thor as the classic Cain and Abel but also the conflicts between avengers like Iron Man vs Thor and other philosophical conflicts involving SHIELD and other people and/or groups.
There are multiple kinds of humor. First of all there's pop culture jokes but what makes them funny is how Captain America, being a freshly thawed WWII veteran, doesn't get them. Coulson's fanboying him is also funny; a stoic and professional MiB with vintage trading cards. Robert Downey Jr truly does a terrific job playing Tony Stark; his smug sarcasm and odd behavior is always fun to watch.
The characters do a fantastic job playing off each other. Tony rubs everyone wrong and is delightfully arrogant and hammy. Fury stays on the border of morality in his manipulation. Coulson has met everyone except Banner; there's great history there. Tom Hiddleston had way too much fun playing Loki but also shows the depth of the character. Mark Ruffalo is my favorite actor for Bruce Banner so far; angsts about the Hulk but not to the point of wangst and with a dry sense of (often self deprecating) humor.
One would think with a plot centered on a powerful item like the Tesseract it would follow a basic maguffin hunt, right? Wrong! Loki acquires the Tesseract in the first act. He's captured in the third out of five. It's a dynamic plot structure. I don't detect idiot balls or anything of the sort which makes the plot so much better. One of my favorite instances comes just before the climax. I won't spoil it (though anyone reading this likely already knows) but it involves Stark and it's something the audience can figure out at the same time he does.
I can't think of anything bad to say about it.
Trickster Eric Novels gives "The Avengers" an A+
Review for Age of Ultron can be found here.