The acting is also top-notch here. Robert Downey Jr steals the show as Tony Stark/Iron Man, and that should probably go without saying. As extremely well written as the characters are, I feel that Downey himself even topped his previous efforts as Stark. Maybe it was the result of competition in real life by the actors fighting for their moments to shine, but everybody in it is really good, besting their performances before, Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Chris Evans (Cpt. America) included. Mark Ruffalo is so good as Bruce banner that you have to wish he were cast before. Jeremy Renner has relatively little screen time as Hawkeye, but he owns those moments. There are just too many to even list, even the returning cameo character of Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) fleshed out and is very well acted. Everybody except, um... well Scarlett Johansson is really nice to look at. I wouldn't go much farther than that except that she handled her action scenes very well. Sam Jackson is always best being Sam Jackson, and here he does it like only he can. As Nick Fury, it just works.
What is there to say about the action sequences but they are some of the best ever put on film, er digital data storage device, er whatever. There is a pacing and an editing rhythm that is so tight that you could bounce a quarter off of it. This is not something the average viewer will notice, but it is what keeps them interested and from getting bored during some over-explaining dialog scene that we have all seen before where you tend to zone out. I decided to see The Avengers in 3D and at the theater I saw it in, the 3D was rather amazing. The quality I got from my 3D showing was easily on par with the best so far, having elements of subtle depth in still camera interior shots that reminded me of Hugo, and action scenes that easily rivaled or bested even those in Avatar. Nice work! If you have reservations about 3D most of the time but still have decent depth perception, well this one is more worth it than 99% of other movies presented in 3D.
Overall, this is a movie that fires on all cylinders. The Avengers is a movie that has everything going against it but manages to do everything it tries to accomplish with excellence. Although some would say that having all of these actors and characters together should be a win/win anyway, I would say that its potential for failure is greater than any movie ever made, especially combining all of these properties and their owners, and given the way that most studio suits make decisions that shouldn't get made. Probability says that this movie shouldn't have even been good, let alone great. There is almost too much for any mortal director to pull off, but out of nowhere comes a true superhero and his name is Joss Whedon.
Overall: 10 (out of 10)