Continuing my journey on my Marvel movie marathon quest! The 6th film up in the Marvel movie marathon: The Avengers.
Just to catch you up on what I’m doing with this Marvel movie marathon in case you missed my first post about Iron Man:
I am in the process of watching every MCU film from start to finish in release order, and of course sharing my thoughts. And bonus for my blog readers – since I’m watching all of these films with my new Marvel correspondent (he doesn’t know he has this title yet), you actually get two different perspectives on the movies. Tony (not Stark) has seen all of the films multiples times and knows a lot of the behind the scenes info and comic book origins. I, up until this point, have been a casual Marvel fan and have seen most of the movies once, though some of the early ones not at all.
Even though we actually watched all of Phase One in one weekend (phew!), I’m spacing out my blog posts a bit, which means today we are on to film #6:
Release date: May 4, 2012
MCU phase: phase one
Run time: 143 minutes
Box office: $1.519 billion
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 91%
“When Thor’s evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube called the Tesseract, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), director of S.H.I.E.L.D., initiates a superhero recruitment effort to defeat the unprecedented threat to Earth. Joining Fury’s “dream team” are Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).”
Becky’s knowledge prior to watching: If I’m remembering correctly, I believe this was the first Marvel movie I had ever seen. It got a ton of attention and was the movie to see. While superheroes “weren’t really my thing” I still ended up going with some friends. While I know I was a little confused by certain elements and who exactly all these heroes were, I remember walking away being surprised by how interesting and developed the characters were. I expected mostly a lot of big fight scenes but I ended up with more than that and found myself not opposed to seeing more Marvel movies in the future.
The heroes: The Avengers
Though they haven’t yet become “The Avengers” at the beginning of the movie, that’s the team they are by the end. The superheroes here are ones we’ve seen in the first 5 Marvel movies – whether they were the star of their movie(s) or a more minor side character. Iron-Man, Thor, and Captain America are all very familiar. Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, is also a familiar character but he’s played by Mark Ruffalo this time around. Rounding out the gang we’ve got Black Widow and Hawkeye.
I really liked how this movie explored the relationships between these six superheroes. They don’t just join together instantly to save the world. They struggle a lot because they are all very, very different. It’s actually crazy to see that they can work together at all given the various backgrounds they have, but ultimately they unite for a common cause to avenge. That cause, of course, is one of the most worthy causes of all time – Phil Coulson. Okay, okay, they are really avenging what Coulson represents and the sacrifice he made, but he’s still the one they all knew personally who really brought them to work together.
The villain: Loki
Loki’s back in this movie, after being a popular villain in Thor. Loki’s goal here is very “typical villain” – he wants to get an army together to take over earth. I guess since he couldn’t be king of Asgard he’ll take Earth as a backup plan (specifically Earth since it will piss off Thor). Even with this somewhat cliche motive, Loki still stands out as being a more interesting villain than most others so far.
I think it’s interesting people really like Loki, and in 2021 many have sympathy for him or even view him as a positive character when this movie really shows that he is not. One way he attempts to get what he wants is by brainwashing people – either using magic or his own logic and words. We later see just how screwed up this magic made some of the people he controlled (like Dr. Selvig) and leaves some very lasting damage.
Despite Loki himself being a more interesting villain, he calls in these aliens at the end to basically fight his battle for him. This is really the only downside of the movie for me. I understand they wanted a big superhero fight scene in this blockbuster film, but it goes on for a really long time and seems excessive.
There is a lot going on in this movie, since it’s trying to bring 6 characters together. While many people say you don’t have to have seen the earlier films to understand this one, I think it does help a lot to know who they are and their personalities. The movie tries to introduce them and give a glimpse into who they are, but it has to do so very quickly to still have time for the actual story. As a result it doesn’t address or incorporate all of the backstories we already know (in some instances it seems that aspects previously involved have been re-written, like the Hulk needing his heart rate to hit 200 bpm to transform). It’s very fast paced and keeps going, which can be both good and bad.
While there are some moments of the movie that are somewhat forgettable, there are a lot of really impactful moments too. Most of them are interesting character moments, like when Natasha Romanoff is interrogating Loki, or when Nick Fury uses their emotions over Coulson’s death to get them to unite. We also start to see hints of one of the major plotlines in the MCU. While they are treated as heroes at the end of the film, there’s still a little trepidation about people with that much power and if they are doing the right thing.
Tony (not Stark) says:
“I’ve seen this film more times than any other Marvel movie… possibly more than any other movie period. Looking back I feel like it’s not exactly a mind blowing film, but it did set a precedent. This is why people go to the movies now. Many people might be content to watch other films at home now, but for Marvel movies they want to see all these visuals on the big screen. While I think it’s one of the most important movies in the last 100 years, I do think it hasn’t aged well in some ways. Some of the cinematography looks more like a TV show than a movie. The costumes and sets look fake, and it’s just not tightly put together.”
10 random thoughts I had while watching The Avengers:
- At least Black Widow gets a very cool introduction scene in this movie! Much better than her Iron-Man intro.
- Coulson’s bro-crush on Captain America and his trading cards is the cutest thing ever.
- “I understood that reference”!
- Phil Coulson, your death breaks my heart into a million pieces. Best character in the movie!
- Poor Hawkeye. We don’t know much about him and he spends most of this movie being mind-controlled to be evil.
- I don’t think I realized before how fascinating Nick Fury is. I’ve always thought of him as a good guy as the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., but he’s definitely walking that line between good and bad and has some unscrupulous methods. It feels very “Albus Dumbledore” to me.
- Hey, Phil Coulson’s death is what really united the Avengers. How come they don’t talk about him anymore?
- Why is this alien scene sooooo long and boring? Also, are they part of the Borg collective? Cause I’m getting vibes given how they’re defeated.
- Oh wow, Thanos is here! I didn’t know he appeared this early in the MCU. Doesn’t he not really do much for another… (checks notes) 6 years?
- I bet the shawarma industry was really happy with this silly little cut scene. I imagine Disney had no idea that due to this one funny line they’d have to figure out how to serve shawarma in a theme park in 2021.
Becky: 7.5 out of 10
Tony: 7.5 out of 10
Do you agree with any of my Marvel Movie Marathon The Avengers thoughts?