First off, I want to start by saying that this is my opinion, if you disagree, congratulations, you have one too. So just post something insightful without any insults please.
Second. I don't want to sound whiny or ungrateful. I am happy super heroes are coming to life on screen, but when you see how well crafted some super hero films can be its hard to see some others just look lack lust when they could have been better.
Now, when Marvel Studios first kicked off, they apparently didn't have "Avengers" on their minds yet, they just wanted to have more control and make money off their properties. The first two films they put out......were, well, good. "Iron Man" was a great film that had a good story about Tony Starks redemption. The "Incredible Hulk" was the second film, while not as good as "Iron Man", it was OK and had a good performance by Ed Norton. These movies were really good especially considering at this time, The character of "Iron Man" wasn't a very popular character and its hard to make a good Hulk film, he is hard to work with, but this one worked out alright. While these films were to have connectivity, there was no clear outlook that they would be on a team and interact one day. Just the acknowledgement of each others existence in the same universe.
Then came Disney. They purchased and Marvel and obviously, Marvel studios. Now, I have a theory that the producers put in charge kind of "sapped" the production process of the movies that followed and built up to the" Avengers". By "sapped" I mean they probably told the directors and movie makers what to do and what not to do. What they want in the movie...and what they don't want in the film, by that they limit creativity, look at the Nolan Batman films, what if some jack ass was looking over his shoulders telling him what to do? We most definitely would not have wound up with the movies we wound up with.
The following films that led up to the Avengers are nothing good. "Thor", while it had good set designs and costumes, it also had a very generic, predictable plot and had two very wooden leads with Portman and Hemsworth. "Captain America" is the most bland comic movie to exist, there is no character in that movie that has more than one dimension....Captain America is the hero, the girl is the girl, Tommy Lee Jones is there...physically, and Red Skull is the villain, the is no real character development, Steve Rogers is always a stand up guy, even in the beginning of the movie, the only thing that changes is he takes some super steroid. Finally of course, there is "Iron Man 2", which is hated by critics and fans alike and is just a pretty bad movie and requires no explanation.
Here comes the part where I get lynched................Here it comes.....you ready??............."Avengers" isn't that great. Its OK, its a fun mindless movie and if you like it, that's fine. I just don't understand the acclaim it gets. The plot is formulaic as anything. Whedon writes characters the same way in everything, regardless of them being his original characters or pre- existing characters, they are all just chock load of snark and witty banter and make jokes at each others expense. It just seems like mediocre fan fiction complete with unnecessary fights between super heroes. There is no real story other than "super heroes are wrangled" "super heroes don't get along" "super heroes fight together against arbitrary threat to save the world". The villain Loki doesn't have any real reasoning behind his plan and he doesn't even come off as that threatening, probably because of all the snark flying around all the time. It could have been better, look at the Ultimates comic from which it was partially based. In that comic the characters were much deeper, the story was more involved, it was just better.
I also want to address how just because these movies are connected, and made for comic fans, it kind of alienates non comic readers and just does whatever the hell they want for the sake of fan service. For instance, Nick Fury just shows up in "Iron Man 2" without introduction, now, if you read the comics or saw some stupid "after credits scene" you might know who he is, but this is a movie, the characters in the movie should be relevant TO THE MOVIE. Nick Fury just shows up in for about ten minutes in Iron Man 2 as a commercial to the Avengers. Then in the beginning of "Captain America", Red Skull finds the cosmic cube, and the explanation of what the thing is, is..... "Its from Asgard." Wow!! what a good explanation. That thing has been in like 2 movies and is kind of the focus of one and it just appears to be a plot device key of ultimate power that can open gateways or something, why does Loki need the Aliens if that thing has ultimate power anyways??....... Whatever.
In closing I just want to say that these movies let me down sometimes, and I always find it funny that on websites related to comic books I always read posts about people stating how they want all the Marvel character rights to revert back to Marvel that are in the possession of other studios like "X-Men" and "Spider-Man". No thanks for me. The X-Men films, well, the ones that are known for being good actually have a story and character development beyond anything that most Marvel studios have had. I mean the villain of those movies, Magneto, is more developed than most of the Avengers with the exception of maybe Robert Downey Jr., I mean Iron Man. The Spider-man films I find are also more creative and innovative with the characters than the Marvel films. Look at the Amazing Spider-Man, in that film Gwen Stacey is more intriguing and useful in the last act of one film than Pepper Potts (barring Iron Man 3) Caps girlfriend (forgot her name, lol) and Jane Foster combined...
Thanks if you read the whole rant