By no means am I offering up any kind of comprehensive review, which I actually caught at the drive-in lately, but I did want to offer some quick thoughts on each of the above ingredients.
• Cap’s first costumed appearance. It wasn’t the costume, per se, but there was something really hokey about him popping in the way that he did, coupled with some sub par dialog. The movie didn’t take too long to get into other things, so it wasn’t a big problem.
• Thor threatening Loki to either turn off the tesseract or he would destroy it. Uh, an invasion is going on and people are dying – if you can destroy that thing, you just go ahead and do it, and not worry about the posturing.
• The “character development” scene between Hawkeye and Black Widow in the middle. I spent the whole time assuming that Hawkeye was going to turn out to still be evil, and then was wondering why Black Widow was still going on about “red in her ledger”? Was she saying that if she didn’t feel guilty about her past, she would have just left and not bothered to fight the world-destroying aliens? This was pretty much Hawkeye’s only character scene in the movie, so it would have been nice to have gotten a bit more.
• The dialog between Nick Fury and Maria Hill at the end. “What will we do if we need them again?” “They’ll come back”. “Why?” “Because we’ll need them to…or something.” Huh? Couple of lines too long.
• Thor and Iron Man fighting it out upon first meeting. Pretty standard comic book trope that I remember reading Stan Lee or someone saying once that Marvel tries to avoid the standard tropes. Not today, it seems.
• Loki allows himself to be captured to stir up trouble, even going so far as grinning wickedly at Bruce Banner as he walks by. He even just sits there while the cliche from the above bullet point takes place. Didn’t this seem obvious to everyone?
• The bickering between everyone on board the heli-carrier. Was it supposed to be that the scepter was causing them all to go a bit crazy, a la Lord of the Rings? That would justify it a bit but that was never explained or developed.
• Hulk rescuing Iron Man at the end. Actually, this was awesome, but somewhat ruined by its inclusion in the trailer.
Most everything else! I love comics and superheros, but I’m not the biggest fan of most of these characters. Nonetheless, it was great watching all these guys on the screen. Some defining moments:
• Tony Stark threatening Loki while he pours him a drink – perfectly capturing his arrogance and courage.
• Captain America calling the shots in the early stages of the alien invasion battle – summing up the character as a blend of hero, soldier, and symbol.
• Black Widow’s interrogation scenes – both of them really. It’s great to see a supposed super-spy demonstrating genuine spying skills, in addition to the hand-to-hand combat stuff. I love the revelation of her intents in the bit with Loki, as it turns a moment that was about to go on the “Dopey” list and puts it square in the “Awesome” category. Too bad it was undermined a bit by 1) the fact that these guys should have already figured out that Loki was messing with them and 2) the information proves useless as nobody can get Banner out of the room.
• The Hulk jumping on that fighter jet. You’re just never out of that guy’s range.
• Thor waiting for an extended time for his hammer to smash his way through the helicarrier during his fight with the Hulk.
• The best moment of all: Hulk showing just how “weak and helpless” they all are before Loki’s mighty power. Like an angry child with a rag doll.
• And though I’m no particular fan of the post-credit character, his appearance bodes well for the future of this franchise!
All in all, it’s hard to imagine having a more entertaining time at the movies.