The Avengers (2012)
Director: Joss Whedon
Writers: Joss Whedon, Story by Zack Penn and Joss Whedon
Stars: Robert Downey, Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston
Earth's mightiest heroes--Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)--assemble to confront Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his army of extraterrestrials.
"The Avengers" is the big, action-packed film it needed to be, but it also features sparkling dialogue and the efficient characterization required in such an ensemble piece.
This strength is demonstrated in a scene in which the heroes' differences emerge in a heated debate about tactics and motivations; everyone becomes alarmed over how agitated Bruce Banner is becoming, since they know what may result.
This dialogue-driven sequence stands out even among the various face-offs between heroes and the huge battle at the end.
I have loved all the movies out of Marvel Studios because, whatever the individual merits of each film, they have stayed true to the characters.
"The Avengers" marks the culmination of Phase I.