One of Joss Whedon’s greatest strengths as a director is his ability to create a sense of grandeur in his work.
Whether it’s The CW’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Serenity, the theatrical adaptation of Whedon’s cult hit Firefly, the acclaimed writer/director finds a way to make things seem epic. And considering Marvel’s The Avengers is a big summer blockbuster that’s been teased ever since the closing credits of 2008′s Iron Man, Whedon is absolutely the right man to make this movie feel important and give it the larger than life feel that you would expect for a team up of “Earth’s mightiest heroes.”
To make a movie like this work takes more than grandeur though. You need to find a way to spotlight all of the individual superheroes while also advancing the plot and giving the audience a memorable villain and a handful of great battle sequences. Whedon is able to deliver on all of these fronts. The movie has a nearly two and a half hour running time, but none of it feels wasted and even the scenes that simply involve characters sitting around a table talking feature snappy dialogue and have enough tension or excitement running through them to keep things from ever getting boring.
Much of the story builds on things we’ve already seen in the previous Avenger character films. The film’s MacGuffin is The Tesseract, an energy cube that was prominently featured in Captain America and originated in Odin’s (Thor’s father) war room. The Avengers‘ villain also comes from a previous film – Loki, Thor’s trickster brother who disappeared into the abyss of space at the end of Thor. He returns with a kick ass new staff and an army of aliens looking to snag the Tesseract and take over Earth.