Watching The Avengers again, Smulders is by far the weakest link in the movie. (I'm sorry to any Smulders fan out there!) The character's execution in this film is a strange blunder from Whedon. Maybe things wouldn't be so bad if at least the character was cast right, but I think Smulders is completely miscast. She doesn't have any kind of believable mean streak or any kind of assertive personality about her, acting- or otherwise. Nothing about Smulders says Maria Hill at all. It's a problem especially when that character is someone you should be able to easily (love to) hate. I could never hate Smulders' Hill. Maybe be slightly irritated with at best, but that's simply not good enough. How Morena Baccarin was not cast as Maria Hill I'll never know. She has the looks, and through "V" has proven to be able to play a mean, cold-hearted b.... without any difficulty. I wonder if Whedon (with his massive ego, no doubt) tried to be too clever or whatever by not casting the "obvious" choice but it has backfired badly, very, very badly. What should be a feisty and antagonistic character to fire/rile up Fury and the Avengers is now just a glorified extra, mousily reading status reports. It's "Aunt Robin" on a SHIELD holiday. It's ridiculous. Yes, recastings are always awkward, but I think it's about the only option left to salvage the MCU Maria Hill. Smulders' Hill is Hill in name only. Retcon the Smulders' Hill as an impostor/doppelgänger/skrull/mole/lifelike decoy and get Morena on board as the real Hill, freeing herself from the fake Hill's organization's stronghold (or something like that).