Monday, May 21, 2012

Thoughts on The Avengers

Yeah, I know I'm late to the party. I don't know why it took me this long to see it, I was even planning on going to the midnight showing and then I got sick and all that jazz. But even though I'm late, it still looks to me like Superhero is the new black, and its always useful to analyze the current trends. Besides, I like black. And superheroes.

I will say up front that even though I like superheroes, they're not what you would call "my thing." I really, really enjoy superhero movies, but I'm much more likely to pick say Midnight in Paris over Spiderman or The Kings Speech over The Dark Knight. I guess its because its so easy to keep superheroes on this stereotypical, superficial level, and that bugs. However, Joss Whedon did a fantastic job of filling out character in The Avengers, so what I want to talk about is my three favorite Avengers and why they're so flippin awesome.

Iron Man: Who doesn't love Iron Man? (Who doesn't love Robert Downey Jr.). He's totally got the exciting bad boy exterior sensitive sweetheart interior thing going on. He's so absolutely smart and witty and hilarious. Albeit also absolutely cocky, which usually drives me nuts more than anything else, but he's cocky in the 'for humor' way as opposed to the 'you're all scum' way. I also have a tendency to favor superheroes who are super because of their own devices (i.e. Batman and Iron Man) over superheroes who are super because of some kind of supernatural something (i.e. Superman and Spiderman). Favorite line: "Shakespeare in the park? Doth mother know you weareth her drapes?" Did I mention Robert Downey Jr.?

Hulk: People kept saying Mark Ruffalo did a fantabulous job, and even with that my expectations were exceeded. I'm always a sucker for a middle-aged lonely damaged man, so of course I loved Hulk. You see his insecurities and sympathize deeply because of it, but then we also see him overcome those insecurities and kind of embrace his "other guy". Favorite line: "Yeah, last time I was in New York I kind of broke...Harlem."

Captain America: I think its Agent Coulson ("His first name is Agent.") who says that the people could use a little old fashioned, and that kind of sums up the big reason I love Captain America. It is so, so incredibly refreshing to me to see that kind of down-to-earth, home values kind of thing represented in a super hero. How I see it, that's sort of the closest to real-life superhero that they get. I love that in the face of a Norse god he'll say something like, "There's only one God, ma'am, and I don't think he dresses like that." That line almost made me squeal with love for CA and also Joss Whedon for writing it. I also loved "Last time I was in Germany and saw a man standing above everybody else, we ended up disagreeing." That whole Germany "There are always men like you" scene took my breath away with its awesomeness.

I do have two minor complaints. One general, one specific. I would have liked to see more women, including more women present for more than just their sex appeal, but Black Widow was still pretty kick butt and too few women is a thing with pretty much any super hero movie.

In this one particularly, though, I really wish they had done more with Loki. In the Thor movie he was so much more complex and developed, whereas in this one he felt a little one-dimensional. I like my villains a little less villain-y. But Tom Hiddleston is still fantastic and incredibly, incredibly beautiful.

So, thems my thoughts. Have you seen Avengers yet? I'm sure you're way ahead of me. What did you think?

Sarah Allen


  1. Ahh, I can't wait to see this one! I saw Thor and really enjoyed it, but I think I'm going to LOVE this movie. Sounds awesome!

  2. Ack! Made it through another weekend without getting to the theater. I'm going to end up watching this on Netflix.

  3. no i haven't seen it--it probably would not be my cup of tea--i babysat my grand-kids while my son and his wife saw it--mixed reviews from them!

  4. Dare I admit I have no idea who/ what the Avengers actually are? Sorry!

  5. A totally great, fun movie. I would watch it again. Favorite scene: Hulk standing by Thor; Hulk quick-punches Thor, and then smiles.

  6. Isn't it funny that these days saying "I finally saw it" means a few weeks after the initial release? I couldn't see it opening weekend b/c of family trip, but I saw it the Monday after opening weekend. Finally!

    I agree on Loki. I was blown away by the actor in Thor. I'm like, who IS this guy?! He's like an alt-Johnny Weir of angst. I was transfixed by him and really happy he showed up in The Avengers.

    An author blog I read posted some comments about the lack of women in The Avengers. The way she presented her argument annoyed me too much to provide a balanced comment, but your point is valid. We need to see more women in super hero movies who aren't just sexy or girlfriends getting rescued. Part of the issue with this is most superhero movies are based on actual comics which frequently feature women who are victims (the rescued girlfriends) or who use their sexitude to fight evil. In the case of The Avengers just "adding more women" isn't the answer because it should derive from the source material.

    But kudos to Joss Whedon for using actress Cobie Smulders as a SHEILD agent to fill in transition scenes. I know he's a director who can be trusted to craft strong female characters, so I do expect more female presence in the next installment. There has to be one, this made like a gazillion dollars in three weeks. :)

  7. I was torn on the female presence thing. On the one hand, Black Widow was seriously kick-butt. I mean, she is FREAKING AWESOME. Now that they've established her, I hope they do one or more movies focusing on her. She is definitely a very strong character here present for more than sex appeal.

    On the other hand, I was disappointed with the portrayal of Pepper Potts. In previous movies, she was strong. In this one, she was gratuitous. What was with the tiny jean shorts? All she did in this movie was provide a great butt shot and show off an incredible set of very long legs.

    I would have also liked to see Thor's lady-love. She's a smart character. Why didn't she get pulled in to SHIELD when Doctor whatshisface got turned into Loki's personal flying monkey?

    I was happy that one of SHIELD's agents was female. I liked her in the chase scene. She was a good character. I also liked (and this was subtle) that the power source they were all flipping out about was apparently female.

  8. I still have not seen it and it looks like another week before I do! I really want to see it but timing has been all bad since it came out. Glad you liked it and since I have not read anything but super good about this super hero movie I REALLY need to see it!

  9. Thor just called. He's not happy he didn't make your top three. Watch out for the hammer.

  10. No, you're ahead of ME! I haven't seen it yet. Sniff. But I want to. I enjoyed your review! Nice summary. Can't wait to see it...someday. :)

  11. Agree 1,000,000% with Ruffalo. He is now THE Hulk.

    Also agree with the 'no women' aspect. There are lots of cool female Avengers so I'd have loved to see more. Maybe next film?


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