Friday, June 1, 2012

3 Thoughts on The Avengers

1. The first half of the film - Joss Whedon had the daunting task of creating a film for a universal audience that centers around six superheroes (plus three other seemingly important characters and a villain).  Some are more "known" than others, but all of them got this awkward "introductory" scene that was tedious to sit through.  Some of it worked, like Hulk's introduction.  Some of it didn't, like Thor's introduction (my friend, who is not into "superhero" movies, turned to me and said "why is that dude carrying a hammer?" To which I replied " talking.").  For me, the only heroes that were remotely interesting were Iron Man, Hulk and Hawkeye.  It's interesting that the actors portraying these characters (Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner, respectively) are considerably more established actors (and have all been nominated for Oscars.  Coincidence? Maybe.).  Let's face it, the other three actors, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson were hired because they're pretty and therein lies the problem.  There is an argument to be made for Scarlett's acting skills, but it's a thin argument and it certainly isn't why she was hired as Black Widow.

2. The last half of the film - So, after all the characters are introduced, there are all these hilarious moments of bickering between them.  They all need to prove themselves and show off their "power". This is where Whedon's knack for dialogue shines through, but ultimately began to get a little repetitive. Luckily, there is a point in the film, that is hard to pinpoint, when it goes from being mildly entertaining to completely awesome.  They eventually come together to form "The Avengers" with a shared goal - to overpower Loki (a villain that I wasn't particularly thrilled about).  The last half of the film is a non-stop spectacle of grand proportions.  It's what the term "blockbuster" was made for.  It's just a tremendous amount of fun and I wanted it to last forever. 

3. "one of these things doesn't belong" - There is an obvious problem with women in superhero films (too sexualized, too weak, and they always rely on a man to save them).  Joss Whedon has always done a kick-ass job at writing strong female characters, but I was disappointed with this.  Black Widow really only had one decent scene (her first introductory scene, although it was a complete rip-off of Alias).  Her other scene, involving Hulk was incredibly painful to sit through (I felt like I was watching a Lifetime movie about domestic abuse).  It became obvious that Black Widow was, indeed, the weak link at the end when they form a circle and the camera pans around them.  Black Widow stands there, looking so tiny in comparison to her male counterparts and clicks her gun into place.  I actually laughed out loud. She just doesn't belong.  I went to see the movie straight from work, without a chance to change from my "work clothes".  I didn't really notice how out of place I was in my dress, trench coat and 5 inch heels, until I was leaving.  You see, I forced my friend to stay with me until after the credits, along with approximately 30 other audience members (all male), to see the infamous "shawarma scene" (not worth it).  When it was over, I carefully made my way down the theater steps, when one of the lovely guys yelled out "one of these things doesn't belong".  I looked up out of curiosity and he said "yah, you!".  I laughed it off, but it got me thinking.  Maybe, he's right.  Maybe, we just don't belong in superhero movies.

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