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Travesty said on May 5th, 2012 at 2:04 am

My two big complaints about the movie are first, that said Guess Who reveal made me want to heave a brick at something and second, that Joss Whedon has absolutely no light touch as a director.

This is something that I’d first noticed about Tim Burton and thus ended up explaining to my friends as ‘Tim Burton’s Colon.’ With some directors, they don’t leave any fingerprints on the film. You can watch it, enjoy it, and never once are you made aware of who was doing it. Tim Burton (and, as I’m intimating here, Joss Whedon) is not one of these directors: he is incapable of handling a property without putting it in his mouth, swallowing it and passing it through his colon. Now, Tim Burton’s colon is a mad and fascinating place and the way it changed what goes through it is quite often worthy of close observation, but there’s no way you can look at it and not think ‘That went through Tim Burton’s Colon.”

Joss Whedon is exactly the same: I kept finding myself aware that I was watching a Joss Whedon movie, and these moments of awareness were genuinely distracting. The quippiness of his dialogue has the shape of the right kind of dialogue for a comic book, but the way in which he delivers it (his love for beat-pauses) borders on mugging and breaks flow in places where I wanted it not to.

That all having been said, I really enjoyed the movie and was particularly happy to see the ways in which these characters deal with one another be handled. Good actor interplay.

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I wish I had not spent the money to see it in 3D

Why on Earth would you ever, ever spend good money to see something that was post-converted into 3d?

That wasn’t rhetorical. It’s a legitimate question. You’re a cinemaphile, MGK. You should know better. If a movie was SHOT in 3d, especially Imax 3d? Okay. Maybe that 3d will be awesome. Post-conversion? No. Name me ONE time that’s worked out.

RDJ and Mark Ruffalo top the list, of course, but nobody is bad.

And that surprised the hell out of me. Was Mark Ruffalo ALWAYS such a good actor? Because his Banner was amazing. It blew the doors off of Nortons, and Norton is not without skill. I’m used to thinking of Ruffalo as a B-lister. Apparently I was wrong.

Although Samuel L. Jackson just phones in a paycheck Samuel L. Jackson performance

This surprised me. Jackson is, by all accounts, an enormous nerd. He loves comics. He loves the Marvel universe. He lobbied HARD to get the role of Tony Stark, and when he found out he was going to get to be Nick Fury he was reportedly over the moon. It could be bad direction, I suppose, but I didn’t see the level of passion I’m used to when Sam Jackson is really INVESTED in a part.

but the Awesome Character Moments aren’t really earned like they are in the previous and better Marvel films

… why do they have to be? They already earned those moments! Those moments occurred in the past of their ongoing storylines.

Cap, Thor, and Iron Man were there to be Cap, Thor, and Iron Man. That is the entire point of an Avengers movie! Cap will earn him his character moments in his OWN movies. In this movie his job was to be CAP. I suppose you could argue that the movie should have featured a rich and compelling maturing and development of all the characters, as the best Avengers comics do, but then the thing would have been a Lord of the Rings-style three and a half hours long.

I’d have been down with that, frankly, but they weren’t making that movie. They made this one. If its okay for Tron to ditch all the interesting possibilities of introducing its early-80s era sentient abiotic digital life to the modern informational infrastructure because instead they wanted to make a movie about a father and son reconnecting, it seems like it is okay for the Avengers to decide that it is going to be a movie about fighting Loki.

Plenty of really good Avengers comics storylines take the assumption that you’re familiar with all these guys from their own franchises, that the reason you’re reading a team book (or watching a team movie) is that you’re a fan of all those guys, and its going to dispense with character development (which is properly the province of the guys helming the respective characters books) in favor of plot. Justice League does the same thing; nobody bitches that Batman doesn’t ‘earn’ his Batman moments there, because he earned them in his OWN book.

At the end you might think it’s a great thrill ride, but again – that’s after the superb third act

You don’t think the third act dragged?

Watching the Avengers kick the shit out of a bunch of faceless Chitauri was pretty awesome for about the first ten minutes or so. After that… I mean, there’s only so many ways you can kill the same set of faceless aliens, you know? Hawkeye’s first arrow sequence was badass. His second one was okay. By the third one you’re like ‘meh.’ The only guy whose sequences didn’t eventually begin to drag was Hulk, and that’s because they carefully rationed his Crowning Moments of Awesome and varied them up extensively.

Frankly, I could have stood to see the third act shortened by ten, fifteen minutes and the time given to them hanging out on the helicarrier or in Stark Tower.

and some of the plot twists in this movie are really amazingly stupid.

I would say the plot itself was really weak and/or stupid in places, although I’m prepared to let the inevitable sequel make up for it IF it turns out they’re thinking farther ahead than I think they are.

Involving the Chitauri was head-scratching to begin with. They never give a good reason for Loki to be involved with those chucklefucks. The Other is barely a presence, and after his silly little tete-a-tete with Loki the Chitauri VANISH until its time for them to provide a convenient bunch of guys to fight. They brought nothing to the movie that an army of Frost Giants would not have brought, and the demands of the plot required them to be hilariously undergunned (if Hawkeye is taking out your guys by the score, you are not going to conquer Earth with them) and hilariously incompetent (maybe they should have guarded the device establishing their spacehead on earth so that a redhead being coached by an old man can’t shut it down.)

And on top of that, Loki was… badly underwritten. About two-thirds of the time, he was the super-awesome, incredibly nuanced Loki from Thor. The other third it was like he was walking around in a haze. “Okay, well, I’m going to do this now. Not sure why. Just seems like the thing to do.” It even seems like he was faintly aware he was being totally ridiculous, although that might have been the actor.

Now, there are two possibilities at work here. One is that the movie was simply badly plotted. They needed nonhuman faceless chuds to murder wholesale in order to maintain a PG-13, so they just grabbed the Chitauri and crammed them in. Loki is underwritten because he’s underwritten. The plot twists are stupid because they’re stupid.

The other possibility is that a lot of the ridiculous plot twists are due to the fact that this is part one of a multi-part story and the veil is going to be torn away in forthcoming movies.

That’s just me, tho. And maybe I should have saved the speculation for a Seavey post. :)

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Travesty said on May 5th, 2012 at 4:14 am

Yeah, I found myself underwhelmed by the idea of the Chitauri as the big bads. They were really just a ‘fill in the blank’ alien invasion.

The Leviathans were pretty sweet, mind.

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Ian Austin said on May 5th, 2012 at 4:47 am

Remember the trailer? When that Leviathan mechanic space dragon thing loomed in and everyone went ‘oh shit’ because you could see THAT being the main threat that The Avengers had to team up to deal with?

In the film, The Hulk destroys it in less than thirty seconds. Single-handedly. And not after he gets ‘so angry his power rises’ like he does in the comics… he buries it worse than HHH has ever buried anything.

THAT sums up The Avengers. What you’re seeing is awesome, but it’s not good.

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…Seriously? You think Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America are better than this?

Because those were not great movies. They were entertaining character delivery systems, exactly as you accuse The Avengers of being.

All three of those have great lead performances–great performances in general, actually–and excellent origin stories, but once the origins are established, the movies fall to pieces. Captain America goes WAY downhill after he rescues the hostages; this hurts the Red Skull in particular, who is never given a motivation beyond “he’s a Nazi.” As for Iron Man, I couldn’t help but notice that he doesn’t really have an arc in either of his movies after he escapes from the cave, whereas he does in Avengers. And Cap, Thor and both Iron Man movies suffer from some really obvious padding–it’s clear they had two or three big action sequences budgeted, then had to find fill out the running time with step-by-step explanations of their origins. In the case of Iron Man 2, it’s really all just a big preamble to the Avengers. I think Avengers deserves huge props for NOT feeling padded–the characters play off each other entertainingly throughout and the action never flags. The plot is incredibly simple, yes, but that was probably an inevitability to juggle this many characters.

Cap is my biggest issue with this movie–this really needed to be the movie where Cap dealt with the modern day, and we reflected a little on how America has changed, and (as I feared) this gets skimmed over for more superhero battles. There are signs of something a little richer here, and based on Whedon’s comments elsewhere it sounds like he actually had a lot of this kind of material that got cut out, presumably because Marvel insisted on making Iron Man the hero instead of Cap. So that’s a shame. But otherwise, this is by FAR the best of the movies made by Marvel studios to me. It actually feels like a complete experience rather than a lot of table setting.

I also didn’t think it felt that much like a Joss Whedon movie, aside from having good quips and a couple of little moments…like the shwarma stinger.

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Cap is my biggest issue with this movie–this really needed to be the movie where Cap dealt with the modern day,

That was never going to happen without this movie being four hours long, and frankly, its an inappropriate venue for it.

Cap dealing with the modern day is essentially the second part of his origin story, and its a tale that’s been told and re-told over and over again (with varying degrees of success) since the sixties. It is something you take your time with. It is something you do in a vehicle in which Cap is the STAR, not a member of an ensemble cast.

In order to do that in this movie, either it gets super rushed-through in about ten minutes, or they spend the better part of an hour on it, dramatically increasing running time and sidelining all the other characters. Neither of those sound appealing to me, so I happily await the next movie Cap actually STARS in, when they get to that.

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Gentleman Mummy said on May 5th, 2012 at 6:36 am

“I’m Always Angry” – yes, good moment, good line – but this is supposedly the secret that’s been keeping him from Hulking Out for the rest of the entire movie. Why then did he change so violently in front of Black Widow? Did the little talk with that odd janitor guy just magically fix everything for him?

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Michael said on May 5th, 2012 at 7:24 am

RE: the Hulk. My reasoning is that, on the Helicarrier, Bruce is knocked unconscious in the fall – it fazes Widow, and she’s a trained super-spy. The Hulk, inside him, knows he’s in danger, so it comes out – but without Banner, it’s just anger, attacking everything that moves.

The second time, Bruce Banner makes a choice. “The Hulk is what we need right now.” So he lets it out, but there’s a difference – he’s pointing it, essentially. The Hulk is never going to be a sniper rifle but he doesn’t have to be a nuke, either; by pointing it at some things that it can smash, he can redirect the anger.

And, personally, I did walk out of The Avengers saying “that was a great movie”, and I walked out of it the second time today (Australian, it’s been out a week) saying the same thing. I was with friends both times, and we had fun, and that was all I wanted.

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I agree with Ian Austin, and use his phrase shamelessly.

It was not a ‘good’ movie. But it was awesome. I can’t think of another movie, superhero or no, that genuinely entertained the entire theater like this one did. There are ‘better’ movies, with better acting, better plots, better dialogue, but none that are simply awesome like this.

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Ian Austin said on May 5th, 2012 at 11:51 am

Okay, let’s not go crazy. Captain America isn’t just a good blockbuster and it isn’t just a good comic book adaptation, it’s up there with Superman and The Dark Knight as a PERFECT adaptation of what makes the lead character so essential to the stories told.

The only flaw with Captain America is starting in the present, then working back. That’s it.

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Brendan said on May 5th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I recall Whedon saying he originally intended Cap. America to serve as the PoV character for Avengers, but that he dropped a number of scenes because the studio wanted to focus more on the actual “Avengers” stuff. I’ll be curious to see what sort of deleted scenes make it onto the DVD.

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JCHandsom said on May 5th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I think that The Avengers works a lot like The Expendables did and like The Expendables 2 will do (and G.I Joe Retaliation by the looks of it.) Both film’s selling points are that you get see the best of the best from their respective genres, superhero and action, team up and do what they do. I think that The Avengers did it better because it wasn’t as crowded character wise and had more heart, but the similarity is there.

Sure, the plots in both were pretty much window dressing, but in my opinion who cares when the actual window looks amazing? Yeah it was stupid how Lundgren’s character was admitted back into the group considering he was bucking insane and betrayed them before, but we got to see that cool fight between him and Jet Li. Yeah Hawkeye’s mind control being undone with a punch to the head is dumb, but we got to see a well done and exciting fight scene between him and Black Widow. I’m actually a little surprised you didn’t bring up the plot hole of Tony Stark being immune to Loki’s mind control “cause he has a thing in his chest blocking it.”

Personally, I was never waiting for the next action set piece as I was having too much of a good time seeing all these big characters interact with each other (the shwarma stinger really got me.)

You have to admit though, even if you don’t think it was “great” quality wise, it was great in terms of what it accomplished. Taking four different movie franchises and having the main characters from each star in one movie together is impressive to say the least, espescially considering that if one of them wasn’t a box office success, this wouldn’t have happened.

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Zifnab25 said on May 5th, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I’m sorry, MGK, but I think you atte rating the other films way too highly if you think they were “great” while Avengers was merely good.

Captain A and Thor and Iron Man had their share of plot holes. Hulk was so incredibly bad the first time around they had to burn the film and start over again. Meanwhile, Avengers had to juggle what was effectively six main characters – closer to nine of you count Fury, Loki, and agent Bob.

I didn’t feel like anyone was neglected in that film. Every character got a bit of development. Quite a few character pairs got bonding time. And the final scene was just sweepingly grand, even if the villains themselves were mooks.

Other than tinkering around the edges of the plot to fill a few holes… What on earth could have been done better? I think this movie will go down in history as a must-watch for younger kids getting into the genre. Aside from simply being a fun ride, it made me want to pick up some comic books or drop in an old copy of an Avengers video game. It was engaging. That is exactly what you need it to be.

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MarvinAndroid said on May 5th, 2012 at 2:05 pm

To the person above who complained about the movie being too Joss Whedon, I disagree. I can’t stand Joss Whedon: basically everything about his writing irritates me. But I thought this did a good job of playing to his (few) strengths, while minimizing his weaknesses (except for that scene with Black Widow tied up at the start of the movie, which is basically Everything I Hate About Whedon in a four-minute block). Whedon’s much better when he’s being forced to work with so many other people on a big-budget production. This is also why Serenity, while not perfect, was much better than Whedon’s other work.

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@murc: This is actually one of my problems with Captain America, the movie–the fact that we spend all our time with him in the past and then by segueing right into the Avengers we skip over him spending time in the present (which, by the way, is something that Whedon by all accounts filmed but cut, which I personally could feel–Cap’s arc in this movie is a little too subtle for my taste, and could have been awesome.)

To me, “Captain America meets the modern world” is the essence of the character. WWII steampunk stuff is fun, and any Cap movie was going to have to feature some of that stuff, but by shoving it into the margins I think we lose something important. I realize we came to this movie for superhero punch-outs, not political screeds, but there’s so much interesting stuff you can do with the contrast between Cap’s version of America and what it’s become, for good and for ill. For instance, there’s a moment in the Avengers where SHIELD casually mentions they’re basically wiretapping the entire planet, a la Batman’s cell phone radar, and it really looks like Cap’s going to say something, and then he doesn’t. I’m guessing he did and it was cut, which is kind of cowardly on Marvel’s part. Seriously, as corny and feel-good as “classic Cap” was in the movie, imagine how much more inspiring, yet introspective, that stuff could be in the present. “Hey, America my not be punching Hitler in the face anymore, but we can still work together to accomplish things!” That should have been the essence of Cap’s storyline, and it’s hinted at but shoved into the margins. To me that’s way more interesting than Nazi supertech in WWII–that stuff is geeky and fun, but it’s not where the core of Cap’s story lies. And I’m not sure where you’re getting this “it’s been done before” from–it’s been done in the COMICS, yes, and that’s why the movie ought to tackle it.

Based on interviews, Whedon actually did get this aspect of the character–he talked about how Cap would be all about the social contract and respecting differing opinions while still coming together for the greater good, which is stuff that I kind of think America could use in its blockbusters right now. Yet it seems much of this was trimmed, probably at Marvel Studio’s behest. At least it’s still vaguely hinted at, which is more than we would have gotten with a lot of other directors.

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Sean C. said on May 5th, 2012 at 5:51 pm

I think this raises the bar for superhero action films. It lacks the thematic depth of X-Men: First Class, but those are two very different properties and the Avengers have always been more of a straightforward beat-em-up.

I’m still not sure I entirely like Johansson as Black Widow. She doesn’t feel foreign and lacks the sense of mystery the character should have.

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Its main moderator David Berger aka ‘Aegisbearer’ has, along with his collaborator ‘Tangentman’ has served prison terms for sexual offences against children.
To date, CBR have refused to fire or remove these individuals so please join the campaign to have them removed.
Thank you for your time.

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Sean C. said on May 5th, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Oh, and regarding MGK’s comment on Samuel L. Jackson, I agree. I’m pinning my hopes on his role in Django Unchained. Quentin Tarantino was the one who developed the schtick that Jackson has spent the subsequent two decades driving intot he ground, so maybe he’ll be the one to get something new out of him.

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Potomac Ripper said on May 5th, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I’ve seen it twice now.

1) Plot holes and all, it hits all the beats of a “big comic book event”, that’s fun
2) Saw it in “regular” 3-D and in IMAX 3-D. The IMAX version actually looked great.

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The Eleven said on May 5th, 2012 at 10:39 pm

The thing about Hawkeye is that he just doesn’t make sense in The Ultimates, which is what this film is actually based off of. Even in the 616 comic books his origin is on the ‘let’s not think about it too hard’ side; circus performer is impressed by Iron Man, puts on purple costumes, has a Mighty Marvel Misunderstanding, is recruited by Cap to join a new misfit Avengers lineup, excels! It would require a lot more backstory to establish him (if only he had been the ‘villain’ of Iron Man 2!) so instead they went with the Ultimates version, who is just Bullseye with a different name. My LCBS proprietor said he thought that Hawkeye would break out with the general public as a result of this film, but I certainly didn’t see the character that I am familiar with from 616 at all.

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Um, “Denny”, do you have any proof, or are you a neck beard libeling a forum moderator around the internet because of some stupid internet squabble?

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“I’m still not sure I entirely like Johansson as Black Widow. She doesn’t feel foreign and lacks the sense of mystery the character should have.”

I agree. I wonder what Morena Baccarin, from the ‘V’ remake, would look like with a short red wig (I always think of Black Widow as having the old really short haircut).

She’s from Brazil, but could probably pass for Russian, especially if hand waved away by giving her a parent from Cuba or some other place.

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I haven’t seen “Avengers”, but have always thought that the Marvel Studios films are the best shots at the ‘action superhero’ film but lack the edge / depth to take them to being truly great.

It crystalised to me when I saw a deleted scene from “Iron Man” where Pepper Potts discovers that Tony Stark is Iron Man not in a cute “this isn’t the worst situation you’ve caught me in” moment, but instead finds Stark bloodied and exhausted after his first fight and is asked to “get [him] out of there”.

The deleted scene adds a lot to the character – Stark is a playboy who has decided to become a one-man army. It’s a big psychological shift and one that should have some ramifications to him as a character. Instead his trauma and resulting decision to fight is pretty bloodless and often played for laughs (e.g. the changing the power source scene).

Which isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy the Marvel Studios films – I did – just that they excel as spectacle over substance.

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“Morena Baccarin, from the ‘V’ remake,”

What an odd thing to say in a discussion about a Joss Whedon film.

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Sean C. said on May 6th, 2012 at 10:11 am

She’d look the part even less.

Emily Blunt, Marvel’s original choice for the role, would probably have brought a lot more of that feel to the character.

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“I’m actually a little surprised you didn’t bring up the plot hole of Tony Stark being immune to Loki’s mind control “cause he has a thing in his chest blocking it.””

First of all, if you list the explanation, you’re not allowed to call it a plot hole. And if your complaint is that the explanation didn’t make sense, why not? Loki’s mind control worked by touching people’s chests with his stick. Tony has an unusual chest, so Loki doesn’t affect it. Done and done.

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Chris K said on May 6th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

(except for that scene with Black Widow tied up at the start of the movie, which is basically Everything I Hate About Whedon in a four-minute block)

Oh god yes. That was awful. I’m assuming it was there to foreshadow her interrogation of Loki, which why? But hey, at least it wasn’t torture-porn.

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Kind of surprised people disliked the Black Widow introduction. I thought it was great, and yes, it set up the Loki interrogation and made the character waaaaay more interesting than she was in Iron Man 2.

@UnSub: totally agree, the Marvel movies (this one included) have suffered from a lack of depth, and indeed, it kind of sounds like Marvel has a policy of trimming things that don’t contribute to the superficial superheroics of their movies. Rumour has it that Ed Norton’s tinkerings with The Incredible Hulk were about adding some character depth to a supremely hollow movie, and Marvel fought him tooth and nail (and, indeed, fired him). With the Iron Man deleted scene you mention, I think there’s a pattern emerging, which makes me suspect that a lot of the more substantial ideas that Whedon wanted to include in this movie (based on the interviews) were cut at the behest of the high-ups. That kind of sucks, and I hope Whedon’s statement that he’s not going to do a director’s cut gets reversed. If nothing else, I kinda want to see Captain America speak up and say, “Hey guys, warrantless wiretapping? Not cool.”

(Watch the movie again, in the scene where SHIELD reveals they’re basically tapping into everyone’s phones there’s a moment where it looks like Cap is going to say something. I strongly suspect he did and it got cut out. Which is dumb, because it would have been a great little organic moment for Cap’s arc as well as given the movie a little more depth.)

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“What an odd thing to say in a discussion about a Joss Whedon film.”

I have no idea what you’re getting at.

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Sean C. said on May 6th, 2012 at 6:20 pm

He means that Morena Baccarin’s first notable role was on Whedon’s Firefly, so that would be a more likely role to associate her with.

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“there’s a moment where it looks like Cap is going to say something. I strongly suspect he did and it got cut out. ”

Or maybe it’s showing a subtle but growing sense of disillusionment that will be brought to the fore in the next Captain America movie.

There was also his line, when Fury was recruiting him, about how they told him they had won (the war), but didn’t tell him what they had lost.

Avengers is not a standalone, one-shot movie. There’s no need for *everything* to be in it.

The only reason to have Cap make a big statement would be if there was some plot point jammed in where his objections play a major part. This wasn’t the film for that, because this film dealt with immediate concerns. “Now, wait, I understand the Helicarrier is going down and we’re under attack, but I want to register my objections to this wiretapping stuff, and I demand that it stop, and I’m not pulling the red lever until it stops.”

That, and the pause after hearing about the wiretapping, are character-establishing moments, that will build up over time.

My suspicion is that they’ll string it out until Avengers 3, and they’ll build up to something like Civil War, with Captain America objecting to all the Orwellian stuff.

This movie already had the people blaming the superheroes for the damage, and Fury noting concerns about dealing with super-powered threats. I predict whatever the next movie is, the complaints about superhero-related damage will be more prominent, and it’ll continue building.

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“He means that Morena Baccarin’s first notable role was on Whedon’s Firefly, so that would be a more likely role to associate her with.”

Ah. I never saw Firefly.

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ladypeyton said on May 6th, 2012 at 6:33 pm

“I have no idea what you’re getting at.”

Before V Morena Baccarin starred in both Firefly and Serenity, both by Whedon. It is a little odd to associate her with V if she’s originally from 2 of Whedon’s works in a discussion about a Whedon work.

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@Jon H

Honestly I think Baccarin would be perfect as Wasp, which is partly why I hope Whedon returns for Avengers 2 so he can add her.

Whatever happens with the lineup in Avengers 2, there should be more superheroines, and Wasp gets dibs since she’s a founding member. I’m also holding on hope for Carol Danvers (as Captain Marvel) so there’s a woman with kickass powers on the team (given that Black Widow is non-powered and Wasp’s powers are niche–certainly useful, but not extremely impressive-looking.)

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malakim2099 said on May 6th, 2012 at 11:25 pm

@Salmo: I actually thought it was because the arc reactor basically produces the same type of energy (in a much smaller capacity) as the tesseract. At least, that seems to be the implication, that the arc reactor technology, fully realized, would BE the tesseract.

So what do people think of the LMD theory that’s been circulating, regarding a certain Agent?

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Jonathan Miller said on May 6th, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Just saw it tonight and I basically agree with you, MGK–the movies leading up to it (minus the Hulk films and, arguably, Iron Man 2) were considerably better. Speaking as a non-Whedonite, I actually found sections of the script to be a bit sloppy (like the unnecessary plot hole where Loki absolutely doesn’t tell Thor who he’s working with, and then two scenes later Thor tells everyone about Loki working with the Chitauri). And you can definitely tell where the plot points were mandated by higher-ups and Whedon’s not so interested (the death scene of a majorish character that had dialogue and acting so bad it almost made me laugh out loud). Actually, the most surprising thing for me is Bruce Banner being the requisite annoying quippy guy rather than Hawkeye.

But it didn’t suck, although the last third did drag. It just wasn’t what I’d call a good movie.

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@Prankster-

Your point about Cap dealing with the modern world being an essential part of his character is well-taken, but I’m not sure there’s anything that Marvel could have done to assuage them short of either delaying Avengers to get the second Cap movie out first, or making the Avengers movie ABOUT Cap.

NOBODY gets personal character development that is more than trivial here. They save that for the movies that are about the individual Avengers. Tony didn’t deal with his alcoholism, crazed narcissism, and emotionally unavailability here, because that happens in movies called “Iron Man.” Thor didn’t deal with his ongoing struggle reconciling the parts of himself that are violent, arrogant, and thuggish with the parts of himself that are noble, brave and true. Banner’s issues got WORSE, if anything, and he’s the one LEAST likely to get another tentpole anytime soon.

And, yes, Cap didn’t deal with the modern world. That will happen in a movie with the words “Captain America” in the title.

Your complaint seems to go all the way to Caps actual movie. To which I can only say that the WWII stuff is just as deep and intricate part of his character as the modern-day stuff. Do you really think that the movie would have been substantially improved by cramming Cap’s entire origin (which, by the way, is about two-thirds of his movie) into an HOUR, and then cramming an entire, second, modern-day plotline into, at most, an hour and a half?

Because I don’t. That sounds like a trainwreck to me. And it sounded like a trainwreck to the guys at Marvel, who got around it by making two movies. Not one.

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Yeah, the word that came to my mind most often with this flick was Efficient. Which is fine – I laughed right along with everybody else when Loki got served and all, but put it this way: I came out of Attack The Block a lot more jazzed than I did this movie.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 7th, 2012 at 9:02 am

Of course you did, because Attack the Block is pure, unfiltered awesomeness, whereas Avengers is studio-filtered reallygoodness.

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It’s funny that people are complaining about Bruce Banner/the Hulk, because he was one of my favorite parts of this movie.

Everything about him was well-handled. As for the acting, I’ve never seen that Mark Ruffalo guy before, but he was good; as for the characterization, he, or “they” if you prefer, was/were faithful to the iconic comic book character but had a few clever twists; and as for the use in the plot, bringing Banner in for his mind when things get desperate and having the Hulk mostly aimed at the bad guys when things get really, really desperate, was perfect.

I think the mind control and Samuel L. Jackson could have been handled better, as MGK said, and so could have some of the little plot holes, but my only real complaint about the movie was the aliens. In the end, they were just a dumb army. They almost make a credible threat – anything coming out of the blue like that would be devastating, but they seemed to die easily enough to conventional weapons – but they definitely didn’t make an interesting threat. And this it’s not like there wasn’t the source material. The comic book versions of the Chitauri were shapeshifters, sort of, and the 616 Skrulls they’re based on rely on that even more. That 40-minute-long battle could have been against Lovecraftian monstrosities, or doppelgangers of some of the heroes, or who knows what, but instead we just got a Zerg rush.

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MonkeyWithTypewriter said on May 7th, 2012 at 10:28 am

Re: Captain Marvel

Maybe they’ll set up a government team in another movie with her. After all, they need the whole “in case they go rogue” idea somewhere.

And that’s true: where DID Thor learn about the Chitari?

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“So what do people think of the LMD theory that’s been circulating, regarding a certain Agent?”

I like the theory, since they made such a point of having Tony put that gun on the wall, when speaking to Coulson. But I’ve become uncertain that it would be the best way to go about the task of bringing a guy back from the dead.

Comics fans by now are inured to the idea that dead doesn’t mean dead. But general movie audiences aren’t. Nor are they well-versed in all the ways comics typically cheat death.

I just think that pulling “he was an LMD” out as a reason for him not being dead would piss people off and seem cheap. If they had done it within the same film in which Tony mentions LMDs, and if LMDs had overall been a factor in the movie, I think they could have done it. But not in a sequel. (And here I’m assuming that the resurrection could actually be in IM3, not that it has to wait for TA2.)

What I saw people point out, however, is a simpler explanation. The point was made several times that Fury is a lying liar who lies. They explicitly pointed that out with regard to the cards, and he admits he did it to manipulate the heroes. We didn’t necessarily see a body, and we didn’t see the EMTs make the call — we just heard on a radio that Fury SAID they made that call.

If the explanation were that Fury lied about that too, it could direct the audience’s ire towards Fury, rather than towards the movie writer in general. And really, the movies have no reason to avoid making the audience angry at Fury. His character can survive being thought of as a huge bastard.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 7th, 2012 at 11:05 am

Who’s complaining about Hulk? All I’ve read/heard is to the effect of Hulk being the best part of the movie, both in terms of Ruffalo’s acting and fight-scene-wise. With which I agree BTW.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 7th, 2012 at 11:09 am

“if they had done it within the same film in which Tony mentions LMDs”

Ah, but Tony DID mention LMDs in the movie, when he doesn’t want to talk to Coulson on the phone (irony?).

That being said, my own feeling is that if Coulson IS alive, it should be simply because Fury lied to everyone. And if it’s left up to Joss, Coulson will likely stay dead, given Joss’s feelings on the necessity of killing at least one character.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 7th, 2012 at 11:10 am

Or I guess you meant if they brought back Coulson in the same movie they mentioned LMDs. oops

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 7th, 2012 at 11:12 am

Re: Thor, I think I assumed he’d been briefed about the Mummy Returns aliens back at Asgard. “Thor, Loki is in cahoots with the Cibatta to conquer Earth, go stop him!”

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“Or maybe it’s showing a subtle but growing sense of disillusionment that will be brought to the fore in the next Captain America movie.”

Waaaay too subtle, considering that Cap already has his arc in this movie, going from a guy who takes orders to one who gives them. The basic pieces are all there–Cap clearly has pangs of conscience that lead him to basically give SHIELD the middle finger and take off–but I really don’t think it would have hurt them to make this a little more concrete.

“Your point about Cap dealing with the modern world being an essential part of his character is well-taken, but I’m not sure there’s anything that Marvel could have done to assuage them short of either delaying Avengers to get the second Cap movie out first, or making the Avengers movie ABOUT Cap.

NOBODY gets personal character development that is more than trivial here. They save that for the movies that are about the individual Avengers. Tony didn’t deal with his alcoholism, crazed narcissism, and emotionally unavailability here, because that happens in movies called “Iron Man.” Thor didn’t deal with his ongoing struggle reconciling the parts of himself that are violent, arrogant, and thuggish with the parts of himself that are noble, brave and true. Banner’s issues got WORSE, if anything, and he’s the one LEAST likely to get another tentpole anytime soon.

And, yes, Cap didn’t deal with the modern world. That will happen in a movie with the words “Captain America” in the title.”

To me this just plays up what a lousy job some of the lead-up movies have done exploring their characters. I’ve been pretty insistent that, as great as it was in points, Captain America: the Movie should have jumped to the modern day a lot earlier so that we could deal with this specific stuff, which is far more emotionally impactful than wallowing in nostalgia. (And frankly, Iron Man’s arc–not to mention Hulk’s and Black Widow’s–were all a hell of a lot more interesting in this movie than in any of the characters’ previous appearances.) I’ve never bought that they can’t deal with Cap’s adjustment to the modern world, which to me is the heart of the character’s story, because there wasn’t enough time. There wasn’t enough time because they were focusing on cool but tangental stuff.

BTW, Whedon’s said in interviews that he filmed scenes about Cap dealing with the present day, some of which were actively political in nature, and which got cut, so obviously it COULD have fit into this movie. I would really love to see a director’s cut of this.

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I agree that if the Captain America movie had jumped to the modern day earlier and spent some time on it, the movie would have been better. I distinctly remember thinking 2/3 of the way through, “Oh, I guess they’re not going to fast forward to modern day, because there’s no time…. alright”, and being a bit disappointed, due to that and the somewhat lack-lustre final break in action sequence.

Avengers was an OK way to kill a few hours. Hulk lines were great. Alien hover platforms were cheesy. Moments of “Iron Man 3”-ness were cool. The only tension I remember feeling was when Captain America was trying to help Iron Man fix the HQ while fighting off baddies. And they could probably make a decent movie out of the background info banter Black Widow and Hawkeye threw around.

Top superheroes movie for me, still X2…

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 7th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Avengers, for me, rates way higher than X-Men #1 or #2 because there were no scenes of all the heroes standing about forgetting they had powers, unlike say the end of X2 where they’re all “oh no, water, if only we had 200 ways to get out of this situation!”

Also liked how in Avengers there’s a real sense of group dynamic, each character having some interaction with / opinion of most of the others… again, contrast with X2 where Halle Berry & Alan Cumming only ever get to talk to each other.

Curious what people’s opinion is on when Hawkeye shot that alien BEHIND HIS BACK. Was he aiming using a reflection off-camera? Or was it a superpower that comic-book Hawkeye doesn’t have? (Or have they fucked with Hawkeye since I used to read Avengers comics?)

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Candlejack said on May 7th, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Movie Marvel is more Ultimates than 616, and Ultimate Hawkeye has some enhancements. I seem to recall him killing some dudes by flinging his ripped-off fingernails at them, for instance.

But trying to look up what, specifically, his powers might be, all I find are vision enhancements (because Hawkeye, get it? get it?), which wouldn’t help much with that particular trick-shot.

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@The Unstoppable Gravy Express: Meh, superhero movies always have a billion little “realism” holes like that. For me, what X2 had going for it was a sense of mystery, suspense, and tension, as well as a better sense of theme, simplistic and obviously allegorical as it was.

I would agree more effort was spent by the writers on balancing the team dynamics in The Avengers compared to the X-Men movies. It helps that the X-Men movies are really about Wolverine, whereas many of the Avengers characters have their own sub-franchises to promote. (And I guess The Avengers being all about crossovers in the general comics universe helps too.)

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Urthman said on May 7th, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Re: Hawkeye’s behind-the-back shot, I think the implication is that he’s glanced around the battlefield once and that he has everyone’s position and trajectory in his head and is able to just visualize where that alien’s going to be.

Re: Black Widow’s introduction – yes it was cheesy, but I think it was worth it for establishing her “super-skill” as not so much being a bad-ass marital artist but a psychological manipulator. One who can deceive Loki himself! Loki tells her, “I know why you’re here,” he’s exactly right, and she still gets him.

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plastikgyrl said on May 7th, 2012 at 4:43 pm

“Re: Black Widow’s introduction – yes it was cheesy, but I think it was worth it for establishing her “super-skill” as not so much being a bad-ass marital artist but a psychological manipulator.”

While I’m pretty sure Black Widow is also a pretty skilled marital artist, I don’t remember seeing any of that in the film. More’s the pity.

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Urthman said on May 7th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

I can’t agree the Thor movie is less good than Iron Man and Captain America. Hemsworth’s Thor is very good and Hiddleston’s Loki is easily the best villain to appear in any Marvel movie (including McKellen’s Magneto). I love that his actual plan is both less traitorous and more monstrous than it appears. And the sequence where he taunts Thor with “news” of Odin’s death (dressed in human clothes that are utterly perfect) and then he can’t resist trying the hammer although he clearly knows it won’t work, that he’s not worthy.

The parts with Thor on Earth are pretty underwhelming, but they are at least light and frequently amusing. And I have to like the way the movie treats Jane and Darcy — they’re not eye candy running about in their underwear, they don’t do stupid stuff that gets them kidnapped by the villain. (Is this the only Marvel movie to pass the Bechtel test?) The movie ends with the implication that Thor is trapped in Asgard until Jane can find a way to “rescue” him.

And I think it’s important that Thor is willing to sacrifice himself, not to save all of Midgard, or even all of Manhattan, but simply to keep the Destroyer from hurting any more people in this little podunk town.

I like that the climaxes are character-driven rather than just a 30 minute action roller coaster. The bit where Thor pins Loki under his hammer is so perfect it’s hard to believe it isn’t lifted straight from the comics.

All of Asgard looks great, but somebody deserves an Academy Award for designing a “rainbow bridge” that actually looks regal and godlike instead of something that flew out of a unicorn’s butt.

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I loved this movie, but you may want to keep in mind that I also thought IM2 was better than the first Iron Man. So… there’s that.

In any event, I actually thought the big battle in New York offered the best justification ever for why Hawkeye was a place on the Avengers. Using him as the “spotter”/pattern-recognition expert made sense, and was a reasonable and imaginative extrapolation from the existing character concept.

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Saw it yesterday in craptacular 3D (only thing they had at the theater I went to)

The movie did what it set out to do which is make a crap ton of money and weave the various Avengers films into a cohesive story that was entertaining and…epic, I guess, since there isn’t a better word to define it.

Mark Ruffalo was fantastic as Bruce Banner, playing up Banner’s awkwardness and reluctance at letting the beast out as easily as he exhibited Banner’s inner rage which gave birth to the Hulk. As for the Hulk himself, the CGI has gotten a lot better, and in many ways he did steal the movie in the final fight scene.

The Cap/Iron Man dynamic drove a lot of the more interesting character bits, with the modern man at odds with the man out of time and though the team-up on the Helicarrier felt forced, Cap taking the point during the final fight was a nice moment. Whedon nailed both their personalities and RDJ proved once again why he was the perfect choice to play Iron Man.

Black Widow was handled properly, her talents being utilized in typical spy stuff (interrogation, etc.) as opposed to ‘super-heroics’, but Hawkeye was simply underused, got no back story, and spent most of the film walking around doing Loki’s dirty work. I understand the need to do this, since super-archery guy isn’t exactly ideal to battle a god, a super soldier, and Stark, but Renner’s such a good actor. It was a shame he didn’t get to do more.

Hiddleston was excellent as Loki once again and the portrayal of Loki as a guy who’d rather mess with people’s heads than blow them off was spot on. Let’s be honest, the Chitauri were there so the Avengers could punch and shoot and smash a lot of bad guys.

The plot of the movie is basically a mish-mash of Avengers #1 (plus Cap with Widow/Hawkeye standing in for Pym/Wasp) and The Ultimates second arc (Loki, Chitauri trying to take over the world). I’ve long been a fan of comic book movies remaining faithful to the source material by picking and choosing which elements to incorporate which Whedon did with this film.

The consensus seems to be good, not great, but a lot of fun which is basically how I felt coming out of the theater.

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“but Hawkeye was simply underused, got no back story”

There was the allusion that he and Black Widow had been on opposite sides in a combat situation in Budapest, some time in the past.

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JCHandsom said on May 7th, 2012 at 8:11 pm

@Salmos: My bad on calling it what it isn’t. I think my main problem with “The Arc reactor protects Tony from Loki’s ‘Glow stick of Destiny'” is the same as MGK’s problem with “Loki’s mind control is cured by head trauma.” The explanation is a little too handwavey and it makes Loki’s mind control seem even more ineffectual.

@T.Shock: I felt the exact same way about Hawkeye, and I wish that someone at Marvel would give him some more character in these movies than “the bow guy.” It would be cool if they fleshed out the past Hawkeye/Black Widow relationship in their own movie, but whatever.

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Corrin Radd said on May 7th, 2012 at 8:12 pm

My one sentence review:

Cap and Iron Man team up to fix an engine for like 15 minutes of the movie.

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Urthman said on May 7th, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Hawkeye spending most of the movie doing Loki’s dirty work is also a nice nod to how he started out accused of being a criminal and getting roped by the Black Widow into stealing stuff from Stark Industries and fighting Iron Man before reforming and joining the Avengers.

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Brian T. said on May 8th, 2012 at 7:23 am

Based on what everybody has been saying, it sounds like it would be okay if I waited for this to come out on DVD like I did with Thor and the first Iron Man.

I think I’m going to write something on my own crummy blog about why I always find superhero movies disappointing, but anyway…

If it’s not as good as Thor, I’m definitely not paying extra for the 3-D.

I was surprised by how much I liked the performances by the guys who played Thor and Loki in the Thor movie, but otherwise… Well, the rainbow bridge was pretty neat and Stellan Skarsgard could entertain me by reading the phone book.

I couldn’t believe how bored I was by a movie featuring the Warriors Three and Anthony Hopkins as Odin. For me, the highlight was that scene where Thor and Eric get drunk at the bar and talk a little.

Sure, there were some neat bits during the fight scenes… but I spent most of the movie thinking “I would probably enjoy this more if they had let Kat Dennings play Jane Foster” and not really giving a crap about anything.

If Thor was actually better than The Avengers, I’m not exactly in a big rush to see this movie and find out if Chris Evans can get me to stop hating him for the way he played The Human Torch (and the way he played the computer guy in The Losers), or if Hawkeye gets some fancy arrows to help explain why he doesn’t just use a sniper rifle.

I love Robert Downey, Jr. but he wasn’t enough to get me to watch Iron Man 2, so he isn’t really a huge draw for me this time either. And I’m not really interested in seeing Scarlett Johanssen in a cat suit (Kat Dennings, on the other hand…). So, that leaves Ruffalo as Bruce Banner as the main attraction for me… I guess…

That sounds like a rental to me.

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This probably doesn’t need a spoiler tag at this point, but just to be safe:

–SPOILERS–

OK, maybe I’m missing something really obvious, but what does LMD mean (as regards Coulson/Stark)? I’m thinking back through the film and coming up blank.

And as far as bringing Coulson back, I rather like the idea that he wasn’t dead and Nick Fury is, as stated above, “a lying liar who lies.” One thing I didn’t realize until after leaving the theater was that we never actually saw Coulson’s body. And as we all know, if you don’t see the body (and sometimes when you do) they’re not really dead.

But I only really posted because of the LMD thing. So yeah, somebody explain that please.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 8th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

I think LMD = live model decoy

When Coulson first phones Tony, he answers with “you’ve reached Tony Stark’s live model decoy”.

So I presume the Internet is abuzz with the theory that the Coulson who got shanked was actually an LMD. But I personally prefer the “Nick Fury lied” version.

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I both agree and disagree with the complaint about long periods of standing around and waiting. I agree that they were there, but I thought they worked magnificently as tension-builders because the good guys know that capturing the bad guy doesn’t mean squat if they can’t stop his plan, and the bad guy knows they’re getting more and more desperate and panicky…and ultimately, that they’re impotent for all their power because they can’t make him talk. The movie holds that tension until it’s just about unbearable, then lets it all out in the big action sequences.

And as to many comments about “why is Loki involved with the Chitauri?”…OMG is the actor who plays Loki awesome. He only gets the one tiny scene where he’s allowed to reveal that he’s working for someone who scares even him, but he plays every scene with such a palpable undercurrent of desperation that you totally get that he does not have the option to back down no matter how many times and how many ways it’s offered to him. He has to follow through, because he ran into someone mean and scary on the other end of the universe between the end of ‘Thor’ and now, and he has no way out.

In the end, I loved it. My only complaints are by this point pretty much standard for the genre in all media: 1) The Avengers kill. A lot. It’d be kind of nice if that didn’t happen, seeing as how for the first several decades of their existence that was a pretty important part of their standard of ethics. And 2) Yes, I’m fully aware that the classic Marvel Hawkeye is a goofy, borderline comic relief character. He’s still just about a billion trillion quadrillion times cooler and more interesting than the Ultimates/movie version. :)

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Brian T. said on May 8th, 2012 at 7:02 pm

@John Seavey: I agree completely about 616 Hawkeye.

Hawkeye is basically just a cooler version of Silver Age Green Arrow with “trick” arrows that make more sense, but somehow Avengers writers made him transcend his roots as an obvious Green Arrow rip-off and turned him into a guy who could plausibly lead a team and is actually pretty likable and interesting.

Yes, an English longbow is a dumb weapon in a world where bad guys shoot death rays out of their hands. Yes, the circus performer origin probably sounded a lot better back in the Sixties. Yes, he has worn several really bad costumes. But somehow, all that stuff doesn’t matter. Green Arrow wishes he was as awesome as Hawkeye.

Movie Hawkeye, at least based on what little I saw in Thor, doesn’t seem like Hawkeye at all. He seems like the guy from The Hurt Locker with a hunting bow.

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LMD = live model decoy. Got it. And thanks, by the way.

Thing is, I just assumed Stark was bullshitting about that in order to avoid Coulson. I get that Stark has all sorts of cool gadgets and tech lying around, which would on the one hand make an LMD plausible, but that’s exactly why I figured it was a bluff: how could Coulson be sure Stark didn’t have a live model decoy? It’s just the type of thing Tony Stark would pull, then, when his bluff worked, he’d say something along the lines of, “Note to self: invent live model decoy.”

If the Coulson that got shanked by Loki were an LMD, there would’ve been much more emphasis placed on the actual existence of an LMD in Stark Tower. There wasn’t, therefore it was really Coulson. Hollywood’s not that subtle.

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@John,

The underselling of the threat Loki was under hurt the film a little for me. No fault of Hiddleston’s, of course, but he should’ve gotten more chances to reflect that.

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“Yes, an English longbow is a dumb weapon in a world where bad guys shoot death rays out of their hands.”

Hawkeye uses a recurved bow, not a longbow.

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Brian T. said on May 10th, 2012 at 4:27 am

Ah. My bad. Green Arrow is the English-style longbow guy. Of course Hawkeye uses something better.

Anyway… What’s the firing rate on a bow? I’ve seen estimates ranging from six to ten shots a minute. Which is great if you’re trying to stop the Norman conquest. It isn’t so great if Ultron is trashing your mansion.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 10th, 2012 at 10:27 am

Ah but if you have your patented Ultron-fragging arrow ready, you only need one shot.

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Candlejack said on May 10th, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Brian T., I’ve seen videos of a guy who can fire three arrows in a second and a half, and have 11 arrows in the air before the first one hits the ground. Don’t know if dude’s a record holder or anything, but you’d assume Hawkeye should be at least as good as some random guy on the internet, even if the random guy is a record holder. But in the movie it doesn’t really come up, as it’s his accuracy and variety of trick arrows we’re all supposed to be awed at.

I’m not saying a secret operative with a bow makes any kind of sense, mind you. But I thought Hawkeye was actually pretty good in this–much better than I expected, really, though that’s a low bar.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 10th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I’m also pretty sure the firing rate on Hawkeye’s arrows is at least as good as the firing rate on Captain America’s shield.

Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but Black Widow never did actually use her wrist-blasters, did she? Which was extra-odd given that they got a big close-up in the closing credits as her “signature equipment”.

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Black Widow seemed to zap peoples’ necks a lot, unless that was something on the alien suits breaking…

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Black Widow did get to user her widow’s bite at least once, but it was pretty easy to miss.

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I’m so glad that the Marvel Studios films have never gotten hung up on the heroes killing people, one of the most annoying, double-standard-ridden aspects of the genre.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 11th, 2012 at 8:47 am

Ah, so maybe what I thought was Ult-Skrulls armour sparking and shorting out from being hit, was actually a widow’s bite attack.

Might have helped to have some kind of scene with “hey look guys, this is my widow’s bite, it does this”. Trick is do to that nonanviliciously of course.

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Yes, the number one reason not to kill villains is because you need to re-use them eleventy-billion times… which is true for comics, but certainly not movies.

Number two reason… think of the children! Oh, but comics aren’t just for kids anymore…

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I’d just like to bring up my personal Coulson theory: he died. Proper, actual died.

But he’s got an LMD, somewhere in SHIELD storage. All the high-ranking SHIELD operatives do, it’s a job requirement. Sometimes you need a decoy. Except Coulson hasn’t backed his up in a while – he’s been busy the last few months, after all, dealing with Stark and Thor and all the shit he’s had to worry about.

So there’s a version of Phil Coulson, somewhere. Except… that version hasn’t met Tony Stark yet.

(This way they can a) bring back Phil Coulson, b) have him not quite be the same person as he used to be, so you get a bit of mileage out of that and he can grow as a character, and c) he can become the movie-Avengers version of Vision, as someone who’s technically a robot, without them needing to go into the whole Ultron thing.)

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I’m not so sure Hawkeye was a GA ripoff. Green Arrow was a minor character who was only appearing in backups in World’s Finest and in JLA, so there’s no reason to really use him as a model. And comics had a LOT of archers in the Golden Age–Hawkeye could just as easily be one more in the long line (the fact he and Ollie are the last archers standing makes it look as if they have more in common than they do.
I always figured it was more the oddity of a guy with a medieval weapon going up against the avatar of Marvel high-tech.

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“I always figured it was more the oddity of a guy with a medieval weapon going up against the avatar of Marvel high-tech.”

The ‘trick arrows’ gives the weapon the ability to accomplish other, non-lethal things, too.

Ignoring the more comic-booky special arrows, when used as a weapon, you can use soft, blunt arrow heads to stun.

In a time when violence in comic books isn’t allowed or brings unwanted scrutiny, a bow is more useful for a character than a gun.

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Hm.

Now, I see things a little different. The scene introducing Black Widow isn’t so much setting up the Loki interrogation as it’s setting up for her meeting with Bruce Banner. When she shows up, she’s apparently at the total mercy of some gangsters who certainly look like they’re supposed to be tough, but she’s not really afraid of them and almost falls asleep while beating them up. Big bad gangsters -> walk in the park.

And then the same woman is alone in the room with Bruce Banner, and she’s _terrified_ of him hulking out. Which really underlines the fact that Banner is a walking bomb which you can’t really stop – only avoid. That’s what I got out of the two films.

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