I liked The Avengers a lot too (as did most of the world it seems), though it didn’t quite cross the line from very good to great for me — aside from one of two scenes where it really used the ensemble like the one on the carrier where they’re at each other’s throats, and that really impressive tracking shot which follows each of the characters in turn.
Maybe it’s a great achievement rather than a great film: structurally it’s superb after the problematic but necessary “bringing the team together” opening act, and manages to balance the cast by giving them all both screen time and crucially a dynamic with all of the other characters (including the Loki). This may seem an obvious thing, but even other succesful blockbusters with big ensembles have either struggled or not really attempted to do this (LotR springs to mind; great films but half of the Fellowship barely say a word to each other).
But by the end I didn’t have quite that fist pumping “that was awesome” reaction that the rest of the film would indicate – maybe it just could have done a bit more visual flair or something like that. You guys made a comment about the music being completely unnoticeable, that could be a big factor too. Of course, I do think it’ll have terrific rewatch value because it’s got a lot of laughs and the pacing is really brisk without ever feeling rushed.
Martin- I think I went away from the film with the same feeling you had. I completely agree that there were some fantastic moments, but overall the movie did not leap into the “amazing” category. Great point about the character balance and interaction!
I count The Avengers as the #1 superhero movie in my book because no other superhero movie has left me feeling as good and happy afterward as The Avengers did. Notice, it’s weeks later and I’m *desperate* to see it again.
When I think about Superman: The Movie, which I saw when I was 10 in a gigantic Chicago theater, I remember being scared and upset when Lois was buried. Seeing STM many times since then, it’s clearly a master work in the superhero genre, but…it didn’t jazz me up. The action wasn’t all that action-y, the dialog not all that funny. It took itself fairly seriously, which is fine, but that doesn’t leave me with the buzz that TA has given me. Obviously, the same with The Dark Knight movies. And even the original Batman from Tim Burton, whom I love – can’t wait to hear you guys rip Dark Shadows – didn’t manage to put characterization, dialog, humor, and action together in the same harmonious way that TA did. I acknowledge the classic superhero movies, I honor them, but they don’t make me happy like TA does. #1 4evah!!!!!! ~_^