11 Things to Love About The Avengers


Boy, howdy, did I enjoy this movie. No surprise. It’s at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s earned the biggest box office weekend EVAR.

But it has stuck with me in curious ways.

Spoilers abound, and if you haven’t seen The Avengers yet I advise you to GO SEE IT and NOT to read this. The little twists and gifts and traps and pointy bits add up to the great pleasure of the movie, and the reason I’d put this Blu-Ray in on any rainy Sunday, whereas Dark Knight might molder in cellophane forever.


  • 1. The one-liners
  • 2. The many-liners
  • 3. Bruce Banner conspicuously going sans belt, shoelaces or top shirt button. (It’s not wise to constrain the doctor.)
  • 4. The many conflicts and power-checks. I was like, dang, Joss Whedon really understands how to balance a superpowered ensemble. Where’d he pick that up? Oh, yeah. It’s all he does.
  • 5. The strategic pairings. Did you want to see Tony Stark and Bruce Banner discuss the gifts and responsibilities of scientific discovery? Yes, yes, you did.
  • 6. Black Widow and Loki settling in for a good Silence-of-the-Lambs you-tell-me-yours, I’ll-tell-you-mine head-game session — and B.W., unlike Clarice, winning.

    So much better

  • 7. No fan service. Yes, Black Widow’s caboose is carefully lit, but so is Cap’s, and neither of them pose for the camera.

    Okay, maybe a little posing

  • 8. A Pepper Potts that doesn’t make me want to stab myself in the face!
  • 9. Black Widow being a character. The moment when she tries to calm a hulking-out Banner while shooing away arriving help is worth the cost of admission.
  • 10. Hulk hulking. Can’t get enough of that Hulky stuff. There is no wrong Hulk here.

    Also he looks like a brute instead of green Superman, which is nice.

  • 11. Tom Hiddleton as Loki. It’s not easy to be the baddie against five-six-seven-eight? a basketball team’s worth of goodies. But he does it all, the preening and the brooding and the funny bits, juuuust right.

    Like Tom Felton and Brent Spiner had a spooky baby


  • Joss’s tropes on tropes. The parting scene between Nick Fury and Agent Coulson parallels the same between Mal and Shepherd Book; you could even swap the dialogue. The gruesome death Loki imagines for Black Widow echoes the time Buffy killed Angelus, who turned back into Angel just in time for some last-minute awareness. Then there’s the magic device that makes people tetchy, and I’m pretty sure this was used in a Buffy, not to mention a Harry Potter and a Lord of the Rings.
  • There’s a moment where one lone civilian stands up against Loki. You can tell from his age, accent, and music cue that this character is a Holocaust survivor. I could have used a little more time with this moment: this man is the lone voice of courage without superpowers, and the lone demonstration of standing up (literally) for your principles even when you don’t have muscle or firepower to protect yourself from harm. It’s appropriate that Cap is the hero who arrives to defend this man, but I could have used just one minute more with the idea he represents.


– The Brave trailer. Didn’t really do it for me.


Okay, so I have a few nitpicks. That’s the fun part. If I weren’t still thinking about this movie, I wouldn’t have nitpicks. And these are like complaining that people on Tatooine cast only one shadow: THEY DON’T MATTER.

  • What baddie is in charge? Is Loki working for the Master Shredder The Other (played by Alexis Denisof, hell yeah)? Sort of looks like it. If so, what does Loki get in the end — bragging rights? A way harsh prank on Thor? And why does The Other need Loki to pull this caper?
  • The outcome of the Black Widow/Loki Lecter-versation is the reveal that Loki wants The Hulk. But for what? He never tries to capture or harness Hulk’s powers. It never comes up again at all, as far as I can remember. Sure, The Hulk is useful for helping destroy the invisible jet flying aircraft carrier, but that doesn’t motivate why Loki sort of gave himself up in the first place.
  • Speaking of, The Hulk is set up as an indiscriminate murder force — unable to control his rage or, in the case of his first manifestation, distinguish between friend and foe as he attacks Black Widow. Yet thereafter he has no trouble strategizing, targeting the baddies and eventually rescuing goodies. What changed?
  • Even if faked, Agent Coulson’s blood-stained trading cards are biohazardous at best. There’s no assurance Captain America has a superpowered immune system.
  • When the portal is opened, everyone agrees the tesseract-employing portal opener can’t be shut off. Loki tells Thor this, and Thor doesn’t even try to bash it with a hammer. Thor tells Cap and the rest this, and all of them are like, “Welp, that sucks,” for the next 10 minutes. No attempt to out-science it or Gamma-muscle it or vibranium-thwack it. Then after a few waves of space orks come through, somebody suggests they really ought to look into shutting that portal down, for reals, and lo there is a way to do it.

    Maybe a little earlier SOMEBODY could have had a go at riding up Stark Tower to punch Stellan Skarsgard in the head. At least explained a little more WHY such a thing should not be attempted. Everything else had good rhythm and sense, so the delay in addressing the portal coupled with it being the eventual solution felt a little out of sorts.

  • As noted by Random_Tangent, it was peculiar for Cap to go motorcycling with a bare noggin. Maybe he’s not up to date on helmet laws?

Eight people who will never be left alone at a con

So can Joss Whedon make more movies now, or what? Wonder Woman, yes? Two Whedon films a year in perpetuity would be just dandy, thanks.


Draws. Sweats. Eats too much sugar-free candy.

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