This week I went to the Marvel Marathon in a lead up to The Avengers. I know a lot of you where doing a similar thing. It was my first theater movie marathon and it was a real good time. They showed the 5 superhero movies that lead up to The Avengers in order; Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America. If you skipped some on these, I would probably suggest seeing them before you see The Avengers.
This movie was a lot of fun! The action was great, but with Joss Whedon (Serenity, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Dr. Horrible) at the director's helm the story in between is just as entertaining. Although there isn't much character development since that growth took place in the lead up movies, the chemistry evolution of the teammates in captivating. Tony Stark/Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr., does seem to have most of the spotlight, but the ensemble cast balance is done very well. Even Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson, and Hawkeye, Jeremy Renner, get a good share of screen time.
When I was a kid we had premium channels on our cable and usually that resulted in me and my sister watching hours of the same movies over and over each summer. One of those movies was My Giant. One of my movie quality markers come from that movie, "The size of the Villain determines the size of the Hero." Loki is played very well. He is conniving, clever, persuasive, and bit mad. As for the army he brings in, they are pretty faceless. We really don't get much of an understanding of them and who they are. They have the personality of the Battle Droids of Star Wars, but don't talk.
Although it is an action movie, it has a lot of lighthearted moments of humor. One of my favorites comes from Captain America, Chris Evans. When warned that Thor, Chris Hemsworth, and Loki are Gods Captain America responds, "There's only one God ma'am, and he doesn't dress like that."
I was pleased with the way this movie is appropriate for a younger audience. There was some mild language including the first half of Sh-, but it doesn't get finished. As an action film there was a lot of violence. Although our heroes seem pretty indestructible, a lot of civilians are not as lucky as New York become ground zero for the invasion.
The Avengers is a non-stop adventure. It has themes of loyalty, redemption, hope, and patriotism. Just writing this review makes me want to go see it again!