...or Marvel's Avengers Assemble, as it's called over here in the UK - and as stated by the brief, and somewhat tacky-looking, title sequence at the beginning of this highly-anticipated summer movie. And, for me, the levels of anticipation were perhaps a little too high for this film to meet. My excitement over this movie had been dialled up to 11 so that when I went to see this last night I was slightly underwhelmed.
Now, I should be clear here, I liked the movie a lot. There was plenty of action, some witty one-liners and visual humour, great effects and a decent story that showcased every member of this superhero extravaganza. It's just that it didn't really make me want to punch the air and yell, "F*$# Yeah!" Perhaps a more stirring score would've helped? Certainly, I felt that Iron Man was a better movie (though the Avengers did have a more impressive final fight scene).
I also had to put up with watching this in 3D - the 2D version was shown either too early or far too late in the day at the cinema I went to. Still, at least the 3D effect was reasonably subtle. And, as is always my experience with 3D films, by about halfway through the film my brain had adapted so that I no longer noticed the effect (I was just left with the uncomfortable feeling from wearing the plastic glasses!).
There were some wonderful moments in the film - seeing Captain America leaping from car to car down mainstreet USA whilst explosions erupted around him, Hulk showing Loki who's boss ("Puny god!"), Black Widow 'questioning' Loki in his cell - and lots of gloriously over-the-top action. It was just what a summer action movie should be.
Pretty much everyone was given a chance to shine. For me, Tom Hiddleston did a fantastic job as Loki and I'm still impressed with Chris Hemsworth's portrayal of Thor (I love how he twirls Mjolnir around just before he flies away). RDJ is still the best man for the role of acid-tongued Tony Stark and Mark Ruffalo's fidgety, nervous Bruce Banner was probably the best version of the Hulk's pre-shirt-ripping alter ego to date.
Regarding the ending, I can see why some folk wouldn't have had a clue who the Big Bad shown post-credits was. He's only briefly shown - and he looks red as well, for some reason. No, he is not Hellboy nor Red Hulk. It's quite a bold move and Avengers 2 should be quite spectacular if this villain is involved (especially if he gains a certain golden gauntlet).
So, overall, a very enjoyable movie just not as incredible as I thought it would be. Still, it's a very impressive - and highly successful - act in emulating the comicbooks and bringing us this superhero movie crossover.