There’s a reason that Earth needs its mightiest heroes.
Iron Man – A character cast so well, it rivals the Chris Reeve Superman legacy. Downey is Stark, and I actually never want to see anyone else in this role. His place on the team makes sense, because it’s actually Tony that’s the key here. Not “the Iron Man weapon.”
Captain America – I pretty much buy Chris Evans as Cap, although I loved him as The Human Torch. Cap in this movie is a character they haven’t quite nailed yet. He wasn’t bad at all, but he doesn’t have the same incredible in-the-pocket feel that some of the other characters do.
The Hulk – Everyone told me that: 1) You’ll never miss Bana or Norton, and 2) The Hulk steals the show. 100% right on both counts. Mark Ruffalo brings a physicality to Dr. Banner that neither one of the previous men did. He also has the monster-right-beneath-the-surface struggle that is a comic geek’s joy to behold.
Thor – Chris Hemsworth again brings the right amount of gravitas to this role. Out of all of them, Thor could’ve easily been the silliest character. Joss and Chris take Thor seriously, as Brannagh did in Thor‘s own movie. Thor, unfortunately, is a part of one of the movie’s few flaws. More on that later. And I love movie Thor more than I’ve ever loved comic Thor.
Black Widow – Scarlett does a fine job here. Black Widow is on display here, from her trademark bottle red hair, to her accent, to her manipulative ability. We see her combat training, her costume, her Widow’s Bite. Loved it. I personally would’ve preferred to see Cobie Smulders or Emily Blunt in this role, only because I feel that they may have embodied Natasha in a different way.
Hawkeye – Jeremy Renner took Hawkeye to a whole new level, one I didn’t even imagine was possible. Hawkeye’s comic costume would’ve been a disaster here, but Joss wisely kept him in a practical costume. But the focus here was on Clint’s true talents…the ability to see, and aim, like a hawk. Just incredible.
Loki – By far stealing every scene he was in. This is another spot on bit of casting, writing, and directing. Tom Hiddleston conveys every element of the Chaos God’s character extremely well. He shows his hurt and jealousy over Thor, his trickster nature, his ego, even his desperation. He just masterfully paints the perfect picture of Loki. And, you don’t even have to be a comic fan to understand Loki’s plans & motivations. Brilliant.
Obviously we’re dealing with a mix of the ‘mainstream’ universe and the ‘Ultimate’ universe, but we knew that going in. Joss Whedon has a talent for casting his characters in a spot on way.