Fun it is, great it is not
Like many I had high expectations for The Avengers but ultimately those expectations weren't met. There is nothing particularly wrong with The Avengers other than it has a "been there, done that" feel to it. One has to give props to Joss Whedon for focusing on character development (something that is lost in films like Michael Bay's Transformers series). Since 2008 with the release of Iron Man, Marvel has been building up to The Avengers with each passing film but when it finally comes together, it all seems lost in translation due to the fact that almost every film in the series has been directed by a different director.
Each of the Marvel Studios films had different underlying themes to them but The Avengers lacks any real depth to it though each character (with the exception of Thor) are given plenty of development. The most significant team based film, X-Men had deep themes to it like discrimination and some of the previous Marvel Studios films did but The Avengers has no themes to it. The film acts essentially as one giant easter egg filled with references to the Marvel Universe.
That's not to say the film isn't without its charms because it is quite funny. Whedon has a knack for writing witty and memorable dialog that manages to keep the film from being too stale at times. But what is stale is the extended action scenes this film contains. Specifically I'm talking about the final battle in Manhattan. Similar to what one would see in those films, the final action scene is filled to the brim with CGI and unfortunately isn't a very entertaining way to end the film.
Each of the characters sport different looks in this film, some good (Hulk and Black Widow) and some are laughably bad (Captain America). Captain America is a character whose look is near impossible to make look good on screen but somehow he managed to look great in The First Avenger but here he seems to be relegated to wearing a cosplay esque costume. Costumes you see at Comic-Con are great for what they are but they don't belong in the movies.
Like most massively hyped films The Avengers disappoints but it isn't entirely bad. Mark Ruffalo is a welcome addition to the cast as Bruce Banner and Scarlett Johansson finally proves herself as Black Widow in the film's best scene. It really is great to see the Hulk get a lot of love from people even if he is portrayed in an incredibly bizarre manor in this film. The Avengers for the most part is really fun but ultimately falls flat in the story department. Its good but is it one of the best superhero films ever? No, no it isn't. In comparison to Iron Man and the first two X-Men films (Which are why this film even exists) it falls rather flat.