Yes.... this is it, the event of a lifetime. Seeing Sean Connery as the bad guy wearing a huge Teddy Bear costume as a disguise. Oh wait, wrong Avengers... silly me. No this is the Avengers where Earth's (And...um... Not of Earth) mightiest heroes assemble and fight evil, and in cooler costumes.
In the lead up from the previous 5 films, the film starts in a remote S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, with Dr. Selvig experimenting with the Tesseract, and in the process opens up a wormhole that unleashes Loki, who was last seen in Thor letting go of his grip and encountering The Other, leader of the Chitauri. Loki promises The Other to conquer Earth and enslaves Dr. Selvig and Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) in the process. Nick Fury reinstates the dead Avengers Initiative, and orders Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) and Agent Coulson to find Bruce Banner (To use his extensive gamma radiation research to find the Tesseract) and Tony Stark (To figure out everything about Selvig's research). Fury himself recruits Captain America to spearhead efforts to retrieve the Tesseract.
Locating Loki in Stuttgart, Germany, Loki is creating a diversion while Hawkeye steals iridium to contain the Tesseract's power, when Rogers, Stark and Romanoff manage to subdue and capture Loki. While transporting him to the Helicarrier, Thor arrives from Asgard to retrieve Loki (But how since Thor destroyed the BiFrost in his standalone film...?) hoping to stop Loki and return him back home. Iron Man and Captain America catch up to Thor and after a sweet fight that ends in quite a stalemate, they agree to return Loki to the Helicarrier to be held while Banner and Stark try to find the Tesseract.
On suspicion of S.H.I.E.L.D.S. motives along with division amongst the group on how to approach Loki, The Avengers begin to fight, realizing that this is what Loki wants and at the same time, Hawkeye manages to invade the Helicarrier and retrieve the God of Mischief and invade Earth. They put their fight on the backburner and try to stabalize the ship, stop the Hulk's rampage and find the Tesseract. Unfortunately, the Tesseract is atop Stark Tower, with Selvig opening up a wormhole and unleashing the Chitauri on Manhattan and on all of humanity. Now its up to the Avengers to save the world despite their differences and stop Loki.
Wow, this is a film I have been waiting ages for, the ultimate team up of superheroes tackling evil. While I wish Batman vs. Superman was first, this film more than makes up for it with a hugely entertaining film overall. I was afraid that since there would be a huge amount of characters, four of which having solo movies beforehand, how would the cast interact and would they have chemistry. To my surprise, every cast member gels extremely well with each other with ease, bouncing off like this wasn't their first film together. Joss Whedon was another problem I was afraid of, at first. I had knew Whedon's work for years, having him create Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dollhouse, and writing for several different films and TV series such as Toy Story, Alien: Resurrection and even Roseanne. But he had only directed one film previously, Serenity: a sequel to the short lived Firefly. My fears were unfounded when I finished the film, loving how every frame was permeated with his signature style and wit, with Whedon also writing the film being part of his artistic vision coming through. The visual effects are amazing, detailed and fit in with the universe of Marvel.
The only thing I can knock about the film is the story. Yes it wasn't the worst story I have heard or seen, and this one has a fairly satisfying ending unlike some other MCU films (*cough cough* Iron Man *cough cough*) but the plot was fairly thin and the whole battle scene on the HeliCarrier could have been shortened by a few minutes to shorten the 2 hour and 22 minute run time. Other than this issue, I had an absolute blast and concludes Phase One extremely well, and I have a opportunist outlook on Phase Two.
Moving onto the disc itself, the bluray is a visual and audio treat that is absolutely demo-worthy. The 1.85 digitally-sourced (A few slo-mo shots were shot on film however) photography shines well here, that is colorful, detailed, and no defects whatsoever. Shadow detail in darker scenes are also well-resolved and no crush is evident at all. The 7.1 DTS-HD audio is also a foundation-buster, with a deep bass and battle scenes scenes like you are actually in the middle of the battle.
The 3D is surprisingly amazing, and compared to the previous MCU 3D discs, this one is a revelation. Sure, certain scenes in dim lighting lack dimensionality, but for a post-conversion, this one is superb.
Extras are surprisingly lacking though but fairly decent for whats at hand. Starting off is the commentary with Joss Whedon, giving us hilariously deadpan chat about him being chosen to direct a huge blockbuster, shooting with 3D in mind, and much more. Next up is a Second Screen experience, using a phone or a tablet to access story and character files. The next Marvel One-Shot: Item 47, is a fun 12 minutes with two criminals who find alien technology and help them achieve their dreams.
15 minutes of deleted scenes, a 5 minute outtakes reel (A first for a MCU film), two featurettes lasting 15 minutes discussing the making of the film and last but not least a 5 minute music video by Soundgarden ending the scant set of extras. A DVD copy, 2D BluRay and digital copies are also included here.
Overall, a must buy, though if you are looking for hours of making of documentaries, featurettes and more, best to keep waiting.