At least 90 minutes of Avengers Assemble is dedicated to large-scale property damage but, unlike Transformers 2, even in the action scenes you can tell exactly what is happening. Directing only his second movie, I was impressed by how well Whedon manages the action choreography, keeping track of both the geography and the characters. A bravura shot in the third act traces the position of all six Avengers — Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye — fighting discrete battles around Manhattan in one seamless movement. This is far from a gratuitous cinematic flourish because it re-establishes precisely where the characters are standing, running, or flying in relation to each other.
This is probably the first superhero movie that actually “felt like a comic book” to me, maybe because I’m used to reading comic with more than one superhero in them. This is really the first movie in 34 years of sincere superhero films to depict more than one non-mutant hero who are not related by blood (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer notwithstanding). The fact that a minority of the assembled heroes are wearing black leather, instead of all of them, also contributes to its joyfulness, as does the refreshing absence of mutant angst.