Like Chris, I'm still trying to get my head around what I'm feeling. I know there's no reason that I personally should feel validated by this movie's awesomeness, or the fact that it's getting universally loved, but I do. This movie proves what I/we here have always known: it's cool to love these characters, and they can speak to EVERYBODY, male female old young geek jock and everyone in between, if they're just treated respectfully and allowed to shine. And mah gawd, did they shine.
Whedon did it, he absolutely did. He brought great dialogue, great action set pieces, and gave everybody, and I mean everybody, from Nick to Hill to Coulson (:( ) to each costumed hero from Cap to Hawkeye (the one place I disagree with most reviews, I really didn't feel he got all that short-changed, they showed just enough character to be Clint, and showed more than enough physical badassery, his parts in the big final battle were great) room to shine. And what he did for the green Goliath...man, Hulk was the absolute show-stopper to a movie that was already cranked to 11. Hulk...smash. Saving Tony and waking him up. The side punch (my theater rolled). One-punching the first giant sky-eel thingie (the theater cheered). Rag-dolling Loki (the place fucking erupted). All topped by Loki waking up to see 6 pissed off heroes staring him down....awesome. Just awesome.
If I could possibly find anything to complain about, anything at all, it would be the simple fact that, no matter how cheesy it would've been (and I know it would've been and Whedon was most assuredly right not to include it), the fanboy in me just wanted to hear Cap say it, just once damn it. But even that omission I can live with because somehow, some way, everyone involved gave me exactly the movie I've been dreaming of and hoping for for over 30 years. It was everything I ever wanted and then some.
6 Captain Americas out of 5. That's right, it was that fucking great.