This won’t really be a review. I don’t think this will be coherent – the way most fans are hardly coherent.
But briefly: I loved it to bits. Joss Whedon wrote and directed the film, and his characters’ comedic timing is pitch perfect. Sure you can clearly tell which of the lines are Joss’d-up and which are comic book motherhood statements (there was, in fact, a Thor and Loki exchange that consisted mostly of motherhood statements), but Whedon is able to strike a balance between silly and serious. As we stepped out of the cinema, most of the things we remember are: “He’s adopted”/”His first name is Agent”/”I’m listening”/”So that’s what it does” and all the other quips that just made us laugh.
Tom Hiddleston (Loki) shone in Thor, but here he was just the maniacal villain. Who I think shone in this film were Chris Evans (Captain America) with his crotchety old man quips and eternally frustrated facial expression, and Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), who surprisingly did not make me pine for Edward Norton (and I love Edward Norton). It also helped that Joss Whedon made Hulk scary again. Hallelujah! Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man) is hilarious here, but that’s a given.
This is one of the few action films with fight scenes that are actually engaging instead of serving as screen fodder. It’s two and half hours long, but I did not feel impatient or distracted at all. To quote J: “I just wanted it to keep going.” And to quote J again: “If I saw this when I was in grade school I would have jizzed in my pants.”