I interrupt your regularly scheduled warcraft posts for the most awesome, epic film – The Avengers. It was released on dvd yesterday in the UK. I’d ordered it from Amazon with guaranteed delivery for yesterday. I waited in all day for the postman and we didn’t get a delivery yesterday, not even of junk mail. It will probably be delivered today but I didn’t want to wait so I went to the store to buy it. Surprisingly it was on sale for a little less at the store than it had been online. However, predictably they’d sold out. I had a premonition that that would be the case when I walked in, I got to the dvd aisle and just laughed. I drove to the next store and bought it there, for more money but I finally had a copy! Nothing would stand in my way of watching it now. I’d seen it at the movies for my birthday and I’d been waiting for the dvd release ever since.
Did I watch it as soon as I got home? No because as I drove up we had a delivery of wood so I had to put that away in the wood shed. I then had to cook dinner as I was hungry, which is the best reason for cooking dinner. Then I checked my phone and saw that Theramore’s Fall had been released (a post about that later) so I logged on to run it with a couple of friends. It didn’t take long but then my friends wanted to run a dungeon. As I love playing with my friends, and the movie was still going to be there later, I agreed. One dungeon turned into two but a good time was had by all.
I then watched the movie.
The opening scene and Agent Hill
When I saw this in the cinema the person I went with elbowed me hard to shut me up. I was going “please don’t be dead” as the character of Maria Hill wasn’t a major one in the movie, therefore was in danger that the main characters weren’t. For some reason this character really grabbed me. I watched carefully this second time to see if I could understand why I cared so much so quickly. I think it was because she was so capable, she jumped in the fight without hesitation and didn’t back down. I liked her as a character, and just having her in the opening scene like that, wouldn’t have done her justice. The fact that she lived gives me hope that we will see her again in another movie.
Nick Fury as a character is an interesting one. Against his right and left hand (Coulson and Hill) he seems quite uncaring about the individual. In the opening scene both Hill and Coulson wanted, or did, put the lives of their fellow agents ahead of the phase 2 weapons. Fury looked at the big picture and like at the end of the film where he shot down one of his own people, to try and stop the nuclear bomb from being deployed to New York, he weighed the needs of many over the few. One life for a million lives and that is very realistic. It’s probably also what makes him a good director for the agency that saves the world.
Watching the facility crumble as they tried to outrun it did make for an exciting opening scene. When Fury took off in the chopper and was watching it I was a bit mad at him. His people were at risk on the ground while he was safe above the devastation. Then he tried to take on the car with the chopper so I forgave him. He does pull his handgun quite a lot though when it’s of no use. He did it here and towards the end with the second plane, after he’d shot down the first one with a missile. What use is a handgun against a plane? Reflex I guess but it is a bit ineffective.
Iron Man, the king of one-liners
The next part brought Iron Man/Tony Stark into the film. Let me just say that he has the best one-liners in the film, nearly all of the really memorable or funny lines are his. Robert Downey Jr. really does have the midas touch, he’s awesome in Sherlock Holmes as well. Anyway, I absolutely loved that he and Pepper Potts are together in this film. I also liked that his suit had the triangle rather than the circle as continuation from Iron Man 2. It’s a shame that that continuation disappeared with the Mark 7 suit for the big final fight scene.
Stark Tech is one of my favourite parts about this universe. I love the touch hologram 3d computers, I really do we need to invent those for real. The ultra thin hologram screens and just basically all Stark Tech is just so cool. Seriously we have a lot to learn from comic books and making something like that possible should be a priority. Having an artificially intelligent computer that can hack into things, pre-empt your desires (like calling your girlfriend before you do something that might kill you) and just generally be like a person but a computer. We need Jarvis in the real world too. You hear that super smart people? Go invent me some Stark Tech.
The Star Spangled Man with a plan
I loved the Captain America movie, but what I wanted to see in that was what happened between him being pulled out of the ice, and then waking up in that fake 1940’s room. In this film there was a brief two second clip of him being on a table, with some ice still on him and someone saying “my god this guys still alive” but that wasn’t enough. We also didn’t see the Captain reference losing Peggy at all in this film. There was a deleted scene where he was going through his old comrades files and they had deceased stamped on them, coming across Peggy’s and her still being alive.
I know this was a film about The Avengers and not about Captain America. However, I would have liked more than a couple of comedic moments to reference him being a man out of time. He and Fury had a bet that nothing will surprise him, the Hellicarrier did so he had to pay Fury 10 bucks. There was also the moment at the engine where he says “it seems to run on some form of electricity”, but Stark explaining and him fixing it wasn’t included. That would probably have ruined the pacing of it but I think the Captain deserved a little more.
How did Thor get to earth?
At the end of Thor he destroyed the Bifrost to stop Jotunheim from being destroyed. It was a very poignant part of the film as he chose to save people he counted as enemies, over his own need to see the woman he loved. It showed how Thor had grown over the course of the movie into someone who would one day be a good king of Asgard. When I rewatched Captain America after I saw Thor, the way the Tesseract behaved on the plane, when it sucked Red Skull in, looked just like the Bifrost.
I thought perhaps Jane Foster would work with Selvig (who is shown the Tesseract in the teaser scene at the end of the credits) and create a link to Asgard. As it was I wasn’t entirely wrong as Loki does use the Tesseract for travel. Also, at the end of the film Thor and Loki return to Asgard using it like the Bifrost. The question remains though how does Thor suddenly end up on earth? Loki asks what black magic the oldfather had had to summon but aside from that it’s not mentioned. Thor also returns to Asgard without seeing Jane Foster, though she is mentioned which was a nod to continuity.
The other guy, the enormous green rage monster
I think that they should have done another Incredible Hulk movie when they changed actors. Mark Ruffalo plays the character completely differently from Edward Norton. I think he does it better personally, I didn’t like the Incredible Hulk movie. Anyway, I think to have done the Avengers properly each of the six should have got their own movie, and calling the original Incredible Hulk movie one of them is a cop-out. Having said that if they’d made three more movies then The Avengers would have been delayed a few more years and then I couldn’t watch it. Forget I said that then stupid idea, there does need to be a new Incredible Hulk movie though.
Anyway, I love how he and Tony Stark, two brilliant men work together in the lab. The Hulk is just a weapon of destruction but Bruce Banner is a lot more than that. He and Tony Stark need to work together more, maybe on those 10 levels of R&D called candy land at Stark Enterprises. There isn’t much to the Hulk, it’s the man, Bruce Banner, that makes the character compelling. Investigating why he loses control, like on the Hellicarrier, is something work pursuing. As a man he knows he shouldn’t, he knows he’ll endanger his allies and friends, and he was beyond reason as the Hulk then. Later at the final battle scene he turned into the Hulk voluntarily and seemed to know a lot more of what was going on. I find that interesting.
Black Widow, wiping away the red
I can’t remember if I noticed this the first time I watched the movie but she shows a lot of fear. She’s terrified of the Hulk for instance, when she’s watching him lose control she’s terrified. After the fight with him where Thor saves her life she’s in shock and takes a minute to respond to Fury. She also shows fear on the battle at the end and why shouldn’t she be scared? I liked Maria Hill as a character because she was very kick-ass but Black Widow is that and more. In real life heroes are scared but they do it anyway and that is what makes Agent Romanoff such a compelling character. She picks herself up and goes and fights Hawkeye, returning him to his senses. In the battle scene she picks herself up and goes up to close the portal. She’s scared when she says “yeah it’ll be fun” to Captain America, and is being flippant to try and hide it. However, she doesn’t have to hide the fear as despite it she’s as kick ass as anyone.
We seriously need a Black Widow movie. All those moments that Loki mentions which means her ledger is dripping in blood. The first scene where she’s got herself caught in purpose to interrogate that guy. That is a neat trick as pretending to be vulnerable is a tactic that could backfire. I’m not sure whether it did or not with Loki as she got what she went in for, but as Hawkeye notes afterwards she’s putting herself in a fight where she doesn’t have to. She’s a spy not a soldier and front and centre in the action isn’t her usual position. There aren’t many female superheroes and The Avengers has two, Black Widow and Maria Hill. I want to see more from both of them just the way they were portrayed in this movie. Too often if it’s a female lead it degenerates into blatant fan service with skimpy outfits. We need a movie that shows them as the smart, capable heroes that they are.
I’ve missed out the Hawkeye
In truth Hawkeye was the least compelling character in the whole movie. I felt more for Agent Coulson than I did for the master sniper. There was a brief shining moment when he’s recovering from being mind controlled, and he’s in the infirmary with Black Widow. However, in truth Romanoff shined more here with the “you know I do” than Barton did. I guess I just don’t feel like there was a connection there but then he is the one we’ve seen the least of. Agent Romanoff had a fairly big part in Iron Man 2 and the others had their own movies. Barton had a small part in Thor but not enough to even realise he was going to be a major character.
I did like the line when he says “you and I remember Budapest very differently” but that just underscores what I feel about the character. He only works well in conjunction with Black Widow and not as his own entity. I did read that there was supposed to be a Hawkeye movie but it’s been pushed back, or scrapped all together, and I’m not surprised as there just doesn’t seem to be much to the character. For a supposed main character he didn’t have enough of a presence to really qualify. I’d put Fury, Maria Hill and Coulson above him in terms of the impact they made on the movie.
So what do I think?
I think I’ve written over 2500 words and barely scratched the surface of this movie. There is so much that is good about it. I think it’s taken the place of my favourite movie of all time. Maybe it’s because I do have a soft spot for crossovers. I have written fanfiction in the past and I had the most fun when I wrote crossovers. It was serious fun throwing the universes together, and in a way that’s what The Avengers is, it’s the ultimate crossover. You’ve got all these characters who have movies in their own right, who are awesome characters like Iron Man and Captain America, Thor and The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and you’re putting them all together. It’s no surprise it’s an epic movie as how could it be anything else?
If you’ve not watched it then you are missing out. I do recommend watching the other films too as there’s little shout outs in there to them, plus they are epic in their own right. I think I might go and watch it again but I don’t want to burn myself out on it. I want to think it’s epic forever so I don’t want the shine to disappear too quickly.
Oh there’s one complaint I do have about the dvd – it’s rubbish. This is the ultimate film and you get one 4 minute documentary as a special feature. I’ve bought normal films that have had a lot more than that. I wanted deleted scenes, goof reels, commentaries, trailers, behind the scenes etc. etc. I’ve read that there is 40 minutes that was cut from the movie. I want a special edition, director’s cut, jam packed double disc, special feature extravaganza. This movie deserves no less. I don’t like paying a lot for a movie, but I would pay a fair bit for a special set like that. The people that organised the dvd release have seriously missed a trick with that.