The Avengers ★★★½

Damn...I didn't know it was this long.

The film spends entirely too much time with its various introductions of all the characters with some being better than others - i.e. Captain America's introduction was god-awful. I've never been into any of these superheroes, so my expectations were not that high. I just wanted a good time and, for the most part, The Avengers delivered...just took forever to get there.

It's like watching a live-action cartoon.

The overall tone of the film towards the beginning was a perfect blend of well-teased action and humorous rapid-fire references, I was glad to see that it wasn't taking itself too seriously. However, things change a bit with Loki aboard that floating fortress, it switches gears here and there trying to force some emotional scenes into the mix, which didn't work for me. I liked it more when they were keeping it light.

Then, the NYC boss battle comes around and, almost, all is forgiven. This is what I came for...letting Hulk loose, smashing everything in sight - yes, yes, yes - slamming Loki into the ground over and over again like a dog with one of those rope chew toys. That was hilarious!

Everyone's doing their part, even Hawkeye and Black Widow (bless their hearts).