May 5, 2012
Despite being a ready-made blockbuster success, The Avengers had a pretty significant hurdle to clear if it wanted to be any good – a notion that is hardly necessary when the quality of a film like this is rarely important when it comes to being a “success”. Ensemble films are tricky enough, but when four of the central characters have each had movies of their own, attempting to corral them all into something sensible without giving short-shrift to anyone is doubly (or, quadruply?) so. This is all to say that anyone who says that writer/director Joss Whedon, who was given the task of putting this all together, merely has to “not screw it up,” they’re doing an extreme disservice to the sheer difficulty of the task at hand. A surfeit of good, existing elements is probably harder to make into something even basically functional as a movie than starting from the ground up. It’s a small wonder, then, that The Avengers is not only good, it is better than it probably needs to be and is certainly the best of this slate of Marvel films.