So, there's a new video out in the "8-bit" series on Youtube, and it just so happens to be of my favorite obsession: The Avengers.
So, yes, this is a stupid little internet video that someone made, (actually that someone is Cinefix, which makes a lot of great videos on movies) but this makes the problems with the plot even more obvious than they already were.
A good screenplay should build upon itself, rather than just being a collection of things that happen. Each event in the plot should lead into the next event. An easier way to say this is that events in a movie should be connected with a "so" rather than a "and then". Romeo and Juliet meet, so they fall in love, so their families get angry, so Romeo kills a motherfucker, so he has to run away, so Juliet fakes her death, so Romeo thinks she's dead, so he kills himself, so she kills herself. This shit is not rocket science.
The challenge then, is to see what the events in The Avengers have to do with the end of the movie, or even with anything at all. You can remove roughly 90% of what happens in this movie except for "blow shit up with a nuke", which wasn't even an idea that an Avenger had. Let's break this video down.
Capture Loki and get the tesseract: This has no bearing on anything that happens later, because you know that Loki escapes with the tesseract. Was there a point to him being captured? Arguably no, since I guess his goal was to disable SHIELD and trick the Hulk into incapacitating everyone? Like, I guess that was his plan? But they get the drop on the hellicarrier and succeed in driving Hulk mad, but nothing comes of that, so.
Thor and Iron Man fighting: I actually recall this being the moment when I first saw this move in the theaters where I realized that I was watching a dumb movie. As you know, there is no purpose to this fight. Thor pretty much could have just walked into the movie and the result would be the same.
The attack on the hellicarrier: Nothing happens here. Black Widow successfully saves Hawkeye, but Hawkeye has no bearing on the final outcome of this movie, so there is no reason to think this important. Hulk jumps out of the hellicarrier, but shows up again in the next scene. Thor gets locked into the glass cage, but shows up again in the next scene. Iron Man saves the hellicarrier, but the hellicarrier doesn't do anything for the rest of the movie, so that's useless
Then the aliens invade: Just to be clear, nothing until this point of the movie actually mattered in the grand scheme of things. You could have taken everything after Hawkeye getting taken captured and until the alien invasion and cut it out, and the plot would not change at all. Sure, you have the other Avengers being introduced, but the only Avenger who makes any impact on the plot is Iron Man, who takes the nuke that somebody else decided to fire to totally massacre a very large number of people including some of which I'm sure were soldiers' families, or medical units, or whatever. (That's a whole other issue that I will definitely be getting into later.)
Again, do you see how nothing that happens this movie has any consequence?