Joss Whedon has done it (with much help, I suspect). The Avengers was loads of fun, action packed and genuinely amusing.
For those out there that could care less about superheroes, comics and the plethora of blockbuster movies with their sequels over the past decade, this one is for you. If you don't leave the theater appreciating superheroes and their relative appeal, I much doubt that you ever will.
This film will surely please anyone even remotely interested in comics and their celluloid counterparts. The Avengers contains a number of little inside jokes, cameos and marvel esoterica that will likely appease the hardcore fans as well as catering to an audience of fresh recruits.
All the characters, old and new, converge in a rather simple yet perfect story for platitudinous display - good vs evil. The movie takes place on virtually only 2 sets - a giant flying airship and Manhattan. Both of which are summarily destroyed - rightly so. The Avengers is unsophisticated in scope and execution but this is not really to its discredit. You have heroes, some supernatural, some not, who have some initial qualms about linking up as a team but ultimately they must overcome their own internal conflicts and come together to combat the unambiguous evil that pervades. The humor gives the entertainment value even higher points and doubtless charm. The Hulk and Iron Man are case in point for a perfect comedic pair. I hope they make a movie together! Loki's helmet and Samuel L. Jackson's robotic acting are about the only complaints I would muster. The special effects were great, nonstop and perfectly suited to this heroic extravaganza. A great movie? Depends on your definition. Probably No. A great super hero movie? A definitive Yes. One of the best.
Recommended Viewing: X-Men II - The Punisher (1989) - Batman (1989)
Bob Scale: Objective: 7.9 - Subjective: 8.6
Rotten Tomatoes: 93