It had been a long time to wait for Marvel fans, but The Avengers finally got their own big silver screen picture film. The concept of the original comic was for Earth to face a threat too large for just one superhero to face. Instead of making one movie series based on the super team, they made their own stand-alone films which should be watched before you see this one.
Especially since the movie picks up directly after Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger. The film opens up directly after Loki's defeat in Asgard, and he attempts to the steal the Tesseract (also known as the cosmic cube) which had been used by Captain America's fallen nemesis Red Skull and later ended up in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s custody. Loki manages to wreak havoc upon the Earth causing a crisis that calls upon Earth's mightiest heroes to resolve.
I say the first half of The Avengers takes off a little slow. They try to cover all the back-stories, and reunions which does take some time. It also has a lot of the Avengers fighting their own mini-civil war between themselves. While it features some neat battles, I started to get a little tired of them acting like a dysfunctional family.
But after a personal tragedy befalls upon the avengers, they let go of their differences and the movie begins to rock. While the forces they eventually face seem a bit too epic for some to handle (e.g. Black Widow and Hawkeye have no real superpowers), but everyone is given a role and they execute it quite well.
Besides a slow start and some one-liners that fell flat, I can't really say anything negative about The Avengers. While I feared they might of crammed too much story and characters for one film, it came out surprisingly smooth. I can't imagine any fan of the previous movies being disappointed, and I can't wait for the next batch of Avengers-related films to hit in the years to come. While it might not meet the ridiculous level of hype it's garnered, it's going to be hard for any film this year to top it in my books.