There are some movies that you leave the theatre after watching with a big gooey smile on your face. The Avengers is one of them. It is highly unlikely that you will remember anything of the film a week down the line, except that you enjoyed it immensely.
What is the story – Superhero team films have a standard plot. Disparate heroes who don’t exactly get along. A great evil from outside that wants to take over/enslave/ destroy earth – team comes togehter. Gets its butt handed to it in the first 2/3rds of the film. Suddenly there is a moment, and it all falls into place. The good guys kick the bad guys butts, and you have the possibility of a sequel. This film follows the standard format. The story is about Loki, the brother of Thor, coming to earth to steal the Tresseract – a cube that is a portal between worlds – and use it to conquer the earth. Nick Fury of SHIELD hasto put together a team that will beat the bad guys.
But given the simple plot point, it is easy to get a superhero film wrong. The tendency to make it angsty. To make it wordy. To make it about esoteric things like liberty and justice. See the last version of Superman or Ang Lee’s Hulk, or even Nolan’s take on Batman. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Batman films but they are emotionally very draining. On the other hand this film is fun. Great one liners, fabulous team dynamics and fun. Kick ass fun. Good guys v/s bad guys and you know the good guys are going to win.
The director Joss Whedon – of Buffy, Angel etal fame – has pulled off a difficult task. The task of getting 6 super heroes – Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Hawkeye and Black Widow – screen time, balanced with Nick Fury, the villains and everything else that is going on in the film without cluttering it up would be tough. The story, also written by Whedon, is tight and easy to understand without any explanations of the back stories of each character. Each character is self contained, there is no need to know long reams of continuity or what happened in earlier films. If you did it was great , but if you did not – the enjoyment of the movie was no less.