Everybody and his mother is writing about this movie right now, so this will be short and sweet.  Like a delicious dessert at the end of a scrumptious meal.  Which is how I felt seeing The Avengers — satisfied, sated, delighted, compliments to the chef.  Thank you, Joss Whedon and everyone, cast and crew, who created a fun, exciting, well-paced, and exceptionally written summer blockbuster.

There are no dull moments in this movie, but it is not just incessant battles and noisy explosions. It builds meaningfully and offers further glimpses into the pasts and psyches of some of the characters, though not all. The heroes finally come together, and not in a smooth way. They are like competitive siblings, and sometimes it’s not pretty. It can be painful to watch, but also hilarious. Best of all, this film has some awesome lines (Captain America: “I understood that reference.”) and sight gags (the Hulk taking one last swipe at Thor) of any of the superhero flicks. Especially surprising is how loveable the thus-far-beleaguered character of the Hulk ends up being!

Yes, Captain America (Chris Evans) remains my favorite in this new incarnation of the Marvel universe, though he’s a bit serious for my taste in this film. His able foil, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), more than makes up for this with a plethora of snipes. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) redeems himself quietly and resolutely, and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) round out the team in a balanced way.

Of course, the good guys win.  But the “coming attractions” scene inserted in the credits tells us in no uncertain terms that this fight is not over. And I am so thrilled about THAT!  (And the final scene, at the very end of the credits, almost made me pee in my pants laughing. It’s this “we don’t take ourselves too seriously” attitude that I love about the creators of this franchise. That’s entertainment.)

Ahh!  Satisfaction.