(cross-posted with OO)
The rest of the world gets to see The Avengers long before North America for some reason. It opened today here in New Zealand, so naturally I trotted out to see it!
My non-spoilery review:
What I think I like most about Joss Whedon is his ensemble banter. The Avengers thus falls right in his wheelhouse with it's huge cast. There are some extremely entertaining lines and scenes in the movie. The action is excellent, well shot so it is easy to follow (ie no unnecessary shaky-cam!) and the effects are top notch (with one or two minor exceptions). There were a couple outstanding sequences to see on the big screen. We've seen the cast before and know they all fit the roles well (or, I thought that way at least), just with only Mark Ruffalo as the new face of the Hulk - he does a good job, and I think I liked him more than Norton in the role.
The movie is well paced and pretty much just hits the ground running from the opening minute. At a bit over 2 hours the movie felt just right to me. Any longer and it might have started feeling exhausting, and if you cut a bit you'd probably lose some very enjoyable dialog and fleshing out of the characters and their interactions.
The 3D is post-processed 3D. I thought it was decent, but nothing groundbreaking or necessary. The movie would work just as well in 2D if you have the option. I didn't.
If you haven't seen all of the previous movies that build to The Avengers (for shame!), Thor is by far the most important (and a refresher before seeing TA wouldn't be a bad idea if you aren't really familiar with Thor and Loki), probably followed by Iron Man 1+2. Captain America gets a few references back to his movie, but from The Hulk you just need to know that angry = green.
I'd say 3.5/4. It's not perfect (I can't really detail why without spoilers), but it is a highly entertaining summer action flick and well worth seeing in theatres. You know, when it eventually comes out in the US/Canada.
There is once again a short scene after the first set of credits, so it is worthwhile to stay just a couple more minutes. Most people had already left the theatre when I saw it, and it wasn't even a very long wait.
Once this gets released in the US, we can commence with the spoiler talk.