Irradiated by LabRat
So, we finally saw it. It’s made a big enough impact on our little town that even several weeks after opening the evening show was wall to wall and we had to come back for the late show. I haven’t seen our little movie house anywhere near that occupied in literally ever, let alone several weeks after opening. Even the late show had a pretty big crowd by local standards. Spoilery bits behind the cut, nonspoilery bits in front.
- The movie’s full title is Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. It should be Avengers: Being Thrown At Stuff. Oh 3D movies, you so wacky. On the bright side the 3D worked for me more often than it ever has before, on the downside that’s kind of a world’s tallest midget contest. I will admit that it made the final action sequence pretty awesome. (Stingray wants me to note that the 3D ruined most of the movie for him EXCEPT that scene.)
- This is coming from someone who sees movies solely because Ed Norton is in them: Mark Ruffalo is by far the better Bruce Banner than Ed Norton. He ran away with the movie and would be completely justified in inviting most of comic fandom to suck his nuts for doubting him. I liked everything I saw of him and would totally turn up in the theater for a second Hulk movie.
- As a whole the movie is many excellent scenes that are sometimes poorly strung together. I gather that this is because it’s an attempt to join multiple different characters and arcs that are strong enough to carry movies of their own, but the seams and joints still show rather badly in places. It’s still an awesome movie, mind you, I just suspect this is going to bother me on the many rewatches to follow.
- Gamma mutants don’t bother me, Widow’s thigh holster and dual-wielded Glocks don’t bother me, a dude relying on a bow and arrow in a universe where there are gamma mutants doesn’t bother me, characters who are supposedly just really fit and trained normal people being able to shrug off gravity bothers me. We also have our failures of disbelief, I suppose.
- It’s a Whedon movie. He did a good job with it, and it’s probably why the dialogue and character interaction is such a cut above the previous Marvel Universe movies, but it’s got his fingerprints all over it and some of them are grubby. Cabin in the Woods was better.
- Captain America came off WAY better in this movie than his own. That character really does belong in an ensemble cast.
- Whedon claims the death of fan favorite Agent Coulson was something the Marvel execs told him to do that he knew he’d be blamed for. Stingray notes that he earned his reputation for killing off fan favorites just ’cause fair and square and rather exhaustively. I’m actually inclined to believe him solely because the typical Whedon kill is you see them die, then you see the autopsy, then you see the funeral, then you see the grief counseling… he leaves no wiggle room, he paints “THEY’RE DEAD” in giant forty foot high letters. This was much more “comic book death”; we see him stop breathing, then we see the medics arrive, then we see Fury lying about the circumstances of his death. That, and Clark Gregg has been self-contradictory and cagey about whether he’s been asked back for any sequels.
- I predicted as much, and it came true: Black Widow was irritatingly Whedonified. She almost didn’t seem like the same character as we saw in Iron Man 2. I get that Joss wanted to give the only female Avenger thus far more characterization, but is taking the coldest blooded killer on the boat and giving her a tender, vulnerable side really the best way to do that?
- Tom Hiddleston made Loki all sorts of interesting. I’m almost sorry he won’t be back for another Big Bad turn. We watched Thor again the night before Avengers, and he goes through a pretty interesting character arc as a spurned and angry child throwing a tantrum more than a badass universe-conquerer. A friend actually pointed out to me that if Loki hadn’t acted out, he’d have gotten everything he ever wanted without having to do much; his brother got banished for starting a war and being transparently unfit to rule anything except possibly a fraternity chapter, and he was the next logical choice. Odin never claimed it was Thor’s destiny or that Loki wouldn’t be considered, Loki did. He also memory-edits letting go of Thor’s hand at the end to Thor hurling him off the Bifrost.
I also think it was a deliberate characterization choice to underline that Loki’s evil plan was essentially doomed and the only way it was never going to end was with him ruling humanity. If you need Thor of all people to point out that you haven’t thought it through, your plan is seriously delusional.
It was also interesting in that when Loki and Thor argue, Thor argues that Loki’s not going to be a good king, not that it would actually be wrong to conquer humanity. Even though Thor’s a heroic character, it would be alien to his worldview to propose that an Asgardian ruling whether his subjects liked it or not would be inherently wrong. I like that that was, tacitly, acknowledged.
- The audience ROARED with cheers and laughter when Hulk beat down Loki. I’ve never heard a theater audience react like that.
- That said, when it was just sad dying Tony and we knew they’d never let him die and Hulk was there… the audience was unimpressed.
- Apparently it’s okay again to show a threat attacking New York City from the sky and killing people in office buildings. Good.
- *doink* *doink* “That’s never happened to me before.” Lost. it.
- Whedon wants to bring in another female Avenger for the sequel. Since they’re apparently doing an Ant-Man (?!) movie, the smart money is on Wasp, but… She-Hulk was an Avenger. GIVE US SHULKIE* OH PRETTY PLEASE MARVEL
*Stingray says he wants Gina Carrano or he will riot. I want Natalie Morales.