This is not necessarily a review of The Avengers, it is more about my experience watching the movie. I went to the midnight opening on Friday, and to my surprise, between 2D, 3D, and IMAX, there were more than 12 screenings at the same time, and that was barely enough to house the plethora of people that was coming to see it at the cineplex.
What Marvel pulled here has never been done before. It took five prequels to build a universe big enough to contain this array of fantastic characters; it doesn't matter what comes later, we probably will never see anything like this again.
Three things surprised me most about this movie: First, the fact that every character got a lot of screen time; there was plenty of spotlight for everyone, including the Black Widow, who I thought was going to be relegated to the damsel in distress role, but ah-ah... none of that non-sense, she rocked. Second, how much humor there was without ever crossing to the comedy genre; it is a slippery slope when movies start doing the goofy thing, but that did not happen here; every punch line -literally- was placed in the right spot, and the source of the funniest moments was quite unexpected. Last thing that caught me by surprise was how big this movie was. When Thor came out last year, it successfully tested the fantasy/sci-fi waters; but the scope, the grandeur of The Avengers blows everything else out of those waters. Not once there was a period longer than 10 minutes in which the audience did not go crazy in laughter or cheering up for the Earth's Mightiest Heroes; the energy was simply contagious.
The wait was definitely worth it, and the result was greater than life. Thinking of sequels and spin-offs at this time is almost a disservice to the film; I am still trying to let it sink in and assimilate how amazing it was. Once that happens, I will be ready to go see it five more times. Best comic book based movie ever.