Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Marvel Movie Marathon: 'The Avengers' (2012)

*This post contains spoilers for The Avengers (2012). You have been warned!*

I honestly can't praise this movie enough. It was when I saw this back in 2012 that I started getting more into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because while I wasn't crazy about superheroes at the time, I loved seeing how much more the franchise actually had to offer than just tough guys in colourful suits punching aliens. I distinctly remember leaving the cinema after watching this and saying, 'It was funny! I didn't think it would be that funny, but it was!' And amazingly, that comment still stands even though this film is now almost seven years old and I've seen it many times. So, in place of any actual commentary about why the humour in this film works so well, I'm just going to quote my favourite lines below:

  • Fury: Sir, please put down the spear! 
  • Tony Stark: Like Christmas, but with more...me.
  • Tony Stark: Doth Mother know you weareth her drapes?
  • Thor: He's my brother. / Natasha: He killed eighty people in two days. / Thor: ...he's adopted.
  • Steve Rogers: I understood that reference.
  • Tony Stark: Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.
  • Tony Stark: He wants a monument built to the skies with his name plast-...son of a bitch.
  • The entire interaction between Tony and Loki inside the Stark tower.
  • Tony Stark: Well, we got its attention...what the hell was Step 2?
  • Fury: I recognise that the council has made a decision, but given that it's a stupid-ass decision, I've decided to ignore it.
  • Hulk: Puny god.
  • Steve Rogers: We won. / Tony Stark: Alright, yay. Great job, guys.
I think most of what makes this film work is the fact that the initial conflict between all of the Avengers feels organic, not just a plot convenience conjured up by the writers. They turn on each other because they have different ideas of what constitutes a 'superhero', they disagree on how to handle Loki and his plans, and they are cautious about trusting each other. But that is what makes it so satisfying when we see the iconic shot of the six of them together poised for battle on the streets of New York: they have overcome their issues and learned to work as a team because the world is in danger, and they are the ones who must save it. At no point does their union feel forced, as though they are just coming together to save the day because the script says they must. The film builds up these characters to make you care about them (well, most of them - do many people really care about Hawkeye?) and to make you understand who they really are, so seeing them all come together, seeing all of these different personalities interacting and all of their different skills playing off each other in battle, feels like a huge deal, almost like an event

On top of all that, this movie proves that Loki is totally worthy of the 'Best Villain in the MCU' award. Lovable villains are hard to pull off, but he's so charismatic and theatrical that you just HAVE to like him. All of the best Marvel films are the ones with memorable villains, and you'll probably see that mindset reflected in my ranking as we go on. 

It goes without saying that this is number one on my MCU ranking so far. It's just so damn good - so funny, so well-paced and well-acted, full of iconic lines and scenes that stay with you long after the film has ended...like I said, I can't praise it enough.
  1. The Avengers (2012)
  2. Iron Man (2008)
  3. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  4. Thor (2011)
  5. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  6. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Next: Iron Man 3 (2013)

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