Yesterday was Avengers Day. Initially we had planned to do both Iron Man movies, Thor, and Captain America--because apparently The Hulk was bad. I didn't see either of them because I heard I would cry, but it's cool. Unfortunately when I went out shopping the other day I bought George Harrison: Living in the Material World on impulse. Fun fact: if you put George Harrison on the cover of something, I'll probably buy it--I would've even if I hadn't already seen it on HBO and loved the hell out of it. Anyhow, that blew my Fun Budget for the whole month... totally forgetting that a.) I do not own Thor and b.) it is not streaming on Netflix. So no Thor either.
We did Iron Man 1 and Captain America as a pre-game (Iron Man 2 came after at like 4am. No lie.) Then, just in case the lines were murder, we got to the theater, got some good seats, and hunkered down to wait for like 2 hours for The Avengers.
Now, to preface this, my favorite Avengers, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, will never be in an Avengers movie because they're also mutants. And, uh, Magneto's kids. The Marvel movieverse X-Men timeline is already completely screwed up after only five movies (one of which was meh, two of which sucked, and two of which I actually like) that I sincerely doubt they'll ever try and work it into the Avengers timeline. I have come to terms with this. However, my third favorite Avenger is Hawkeye. He got a short uncredited cameo in Thor, but otherwise he's the new one to the franchise. So I was excited about that.
I was not excited about much else when it came to the makeup of the team. Iron Man, Cap, and Thor all had movies that I enjoyed, albeit to varying degrees, and I don't have a problem with any of 'em. I like Hulk, but they couldn't seem to get him right, so I was a bit meh there. I love Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, but otherwise, let's be serious, every other named character movie is white, which is creepy. And while I really like Black Widow as a character--seriously? One woman? One who had heretofore been present in a peripheral/support cast capacity and has no superpowers (therefore, will be much, much easier for the super-duper powered boys to upstage, if this plays out how I fear)? Really?
These are all things I had to accept before I set out to see this movie. Which genuinely looked awesome from the trailers. While I don't always like Joss Whedon's stuff, he can at least be relied upon to have an excellent sense of humor, and he is, above all things, a lover of comics. Plus, the casting is great. I can do this... I can do this...
Glad I did, because I really enjoyed it. I will keep this non-spoilery, so if you care, read on! Not sure what it says that it required so much mental prep and the company of a like-minded girlfriend to get me there, but hey, that worked out. I pretty much agree with the review on PornoKitsch--except I don't precisely agree about the Black Widow stuff.
In truth, I think the Black Widow and Hawkeye stuff was the best because it played with one of my favorite tropes in an admirably subtle way: that of the non-superhuman in the superhero role. I always loved Hawkeye for his smart mouth, but beneath that (if not very, since I wouldn't call Clint deep) is a vast sense of insecurity--a recent issue of Avenging Spider-Man touched on it, actually, if in an over-the-top-manner. As a non-superhuman in that situation, you have to be better. You have to be the best. Hawkeye can't miss. Both of the non-superhumans were put in seriously compromising positions and have shaky reactions to them after the fact. And then they get the fuck up and go kick some ass--though it's implied that the effects will be psychologically with them for some time, well, those two are just piling on the damage at this point. If they require some help from others, they give plenty, too. Hawkeye probably got the least amount of attention, but, uh, there's a reason for that. So it's okay.
Now, that said, the movie would've been improved greatly by the application of another woman hero, one on par powers-wise with Thor or Cap, to contrast and commiserate with Natasha. There are so many options, it makes the head spin.
But everything you've heard about the Hulk being THE BEST AVENGER is pretty much true because holy god. Mark Ruffallo needs his own Hulk movie yesterday. Loki was amazing. I've never been a huge fan of the Asgard stuff in Marvel, honestly, it always made me roll my eyes. But a soft spot for Loki has always been there, and wow. Just perfect, man, silly helmet and all. Cap was even more Cap than he was in his own movie in some ways; Tony was the Big Damn Hero, battered and emotional (seriously he almost cried at least twice) and badass; and Thor was--well, his bits mainly consisted of punching things and repeatedly trying to give Loki a much-needed hug, which is for the best.
Also, oh my god, the after-credits scenes. I can't even. Just. All the excitement.
So yeah. Though it was far from perfect, it was a really good time. I reckon I enjoyed myself immensely.
And now I should probably get back to work. Five hours is totally enough to go on. Sleep is for the weak.