Are you people joking?! Did you watch the same movie I did? Avengers was underwhelming...at best.
It was just empty fight scene after empty fight scene with some corny one liners in between (which shouldn't be surprising I guess since Whedon was responsible for that awful Toad/lightning "joke" in the first X-Men film). There was no real depth...no real character growth.
And I can't believe all the praise the Hulk's getting! CG Hulk was TERRIBLE! He looked like a cartoon! Whenever the Hulk interacted with real people it was like something out of Who Framed Roger Rabbit!
I'm just not getting all the love that's being heaped on this thing! I'm not gonna say this movie was League of Extraordinary Gentlemen bad, but it was leaning dangerously close to it.
Kidding! This movie was fucking AWESOME!!! I'll admit, I had my reservations when I first heard about the Avengers movie. I figured the whole thing would basically be Tony Stark & Pals with the main focus being on Iron Man while everyone else was relegated to the background. Kind of like how Wolverine was the main guy in the X-Men movies and the rest of the team was just window dressing. But no, everyone got their moment in the sun.
Other than some nitpicky shit this is everything I ever wanted in a comic book movie! There was action (The Hulk/Thor fight was insane), there were laughs (Galaga), it had a *GREAT* villain, and there was even some quiet moments like how Hawkeye was obviously sick with grief over all the SHIELD agents he'd killed. This film had it all! As soon as I walked out of the theater, I immediately wanted to go see it again.
The first two paragraphs are almost word-for-word my co-worker's criticism of the movie. I don't think he and I watched the same film. While the film was certainly light on character development in some instances (Thor in particular), Whedon still managed to cram in some character growth for Iron Man (embracing his status as a hero), Cap (getting more comfortable in the modern world and embracing his leadership role), Hulk (Banner reconnecting with other people), and even Black Widow and Hawkeye to a lesser extent (their discomfort with being assassins).
The action sequences were well done, although the finale could have used a bit more tension. I never felt like there was any possiblity that the heroes would lose in the end. The council's decision to launch the nuke seemed utterly baffling given how the Avengers were presented as handling the situation. Sure, maybe they would have been overwhelmed eventually, but it never seemed like that was a possibility, especially with the Hulk on their side.
I think these are minor quibbles at best, but those folks that dislike the film seem to be glomming onto them as if it ruined their entire moviegoing experience.
A.O. Scott is the exception. He openly stated that he did not like the film because he hates superhero movies.