Like many people, I've liked superhero movies since before they were the norm. Prior to X-Men in the year 2000, superhero movies were either carefully constructed character pieces or junky science fiction. Movies like Batman Returns and Superman focused more on building up the characters than huge fighting sequences. I always felt a little disappointed as I kept hoping the superheroes would just get out there and start fighting. With the first wave of Marvel movies (Thor, Captain America, Iron Man) this pattern continued...but it now it seems to be moving towards spectacle.
You see, for whatever level of "boredom" was injected into those early superhero movies, at least those films were about something. Batman Begins is about overcoming fear; Captain America is about what it means to be a hero, and Superman Returns was about the role of a "savior" figure in a post 9-11 world. This most recent movie though was about...teamwork? Being friends? It had no clear message and no purpose beyond some plot points to help future films, and thus was really just a series of cool action scenes. To be fair, this is what we've all been asking for since Iron Man 1...and it turns out to be a hollow shell. Much like when the X-Men series decided to cut the character-building and just battle and ended up with X-Men 3, so too as the Avengers series taken a dip into gratuitous action. Will the series bounce back? I'm sure it will....but for now, this seemed more like an arbitrary cash grab than a story about anything meaningful. If a story has no need to be told...perhaps the movie doesn't need to be made.
No amount of special effects can turn a bad story into a good one. It will still just be an empty puppet. Tangled in Strings.