Let me just say that in order to fully enjoy Avengers Assemble, you have to watch five films prior to the viewing of this film. These films are The Incredible Hulk (Louis Leterrier, 2008), Iron Man (Jon Favreau, 2008), Iron Man 2 (Again, Jon Favreau, 2010), Thor (Kenneth Branagh, 2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (Joe Johnston, 2011). Why do you have to watch these? Franchise foreknowledge. It's not secret that the villain in Avengers Assemble is Loki, last seen in the post credits sequence of Thor so in order to understand the villain more, there is a need to watch Thor. I guess the primary reason to watch those films is to get a much better bearing on the protagonists such as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Steve Rogers/Captain America and Thor. Avengers Assemble is a blend of all the best aspects of the previous films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the films previously listed). The humour of Iron Man and its sequel, the action of Captain America, the character development of Thor and the well written character relationships from The Incredible Hulk. This mix of features is what really makes the film shine.
In terms of the narrative, it's nothing new. Bad guy wants to take over world, hero (or in this case heroes) has to go on a quest to take down the villain. It's nothing special but I guess this wasn't the direction the film makers were going with. They clearly wanted to make the audience invested in the characters which was very easy due to the well constructed character development. This is a very dialogue driven film but considering how well written it is, that is nowhere near a problem. The plot is that Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the brother of Thor (Chris Hemsworth), is wanting to use the Tesseract, the cube featured in Captain America, in order to bring in his army and dominate the Earth. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has to bring together his own army in order to fight the oncoming menace. The Avengers is made up of Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor, Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).
The humour of the film is probably the most memorable aspect of the film and is the main reason for such a great film. I have never laughed so hard in the cinema and neither has the audience. Surprisingly Robert Downey Jr's portrayal of Tony Stark is not the funniest character. Really, that is saying alot considering how hysterical Tony is! While I won't be specific so that I don't ruin it for anyone that hasn't seen this film (all 5 of you) but the funniest character by far is the Hulk due to his character and how well written and designed he is. That, and how he does what he wants, when he wants. The humour is incredibly well written and the actors do a great job of delivering the dialogue.
Well with The Avengers out of the way, now Batman, the Men in Black and Spider-man have to step up to the plate. Bring on The Dark Knight Rises, Men In Black 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man.
A cinematic treat that captures the essence what it means to be a comic book movie.