Hello kittens! Last week I saw The Avengers and I am psyched to talk about it. Beware of going forward, there will be spoilers!
The Avengers overall was a very fun film. It was all go, right from the start, and did not let up on the action.
I quite enjoyed Scarlet Johansen’s acting as Black Widow. She was all kick-arse, managing to use her femininity to outsmart the enemy in a way that didn’t feel exploitive. I loved absolutely everything about her character. Well, everything except the fact that they kept calling her “Romanoff” instead of “Romanova”.
I was also fond of Gweneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts. This was easily her best performance as the character. The only disappointment was that she was barely in the film. Actually, that’s a big disappointment. Why wasn’t she in this film more? Huh? Huh?
More good. Right. Hulk! Hulk was fantastic. This is probably the best of all the Hulk movies. It certainly has the best one-liners.
The dialogue in general was great. Joss is known for writing witty and intelligent dialogue and this was no exception. My favourite lines of the film were: “Hulk? Smash.” and “Some god”. He also managed to bring out a lot of the best characteristics in the characters. I already mentioned Hulk, Black Widow and Pepper, but he also did a wonderful job on writing for Tony Stark. He managed to subtly convey that Tony was an alcoholic without going into preachy territory. I expect his drinking to be more severely dealt with in the next film (by the other characters).
Let’s start with Hawkeye. Hawkeye was briefly introduced during Thor but hasn’t had a movie of his own. In fact, he didn’t have any lines and wasn’t mentioned by name in Thor so if you aren’t an avid comics reader I wouldn’t blame you for saying “Who the fuck is that?”. There was some explanation that Hawkeye and Black Widow were connected but nothing about why he as in the Avengers, nothing about why he uses a bow and arrow, nothing about anything really.
Moving on, I’ll talk about Loki. Loki, Loki, Loki. Anyone who knows the tiniest bit about Norse mythology knows that Loki is the Trickster god. And yet in this film he spent the whole time being broody and serious and angry and winey. Where was the fun? Where was the trickery? Damn it, dude, you’re supposed to be a trickster!
This is the part where it gets Personal. As always I watched the film with my feminist hat on, since I can’t actually take it off, no matter how hard I try. And this film has some pretty big failings.
Firstly, it did not pass the Bechdel test. It didn’t even come close to passing the Bechdel test. There were three main women in this film if you include Pepper Potts (thoguh given her screen time, that’s pushing it). I can count the number of times these women were in the same room on one hand. Compare this to the eight main men who often riffed off each other and had some pretty interesting conversations. This especially bugs me in a film written and directed by an ally.
It didn’t do too well with race, either. The main team were mostly white, with the only PoC being Nick Fury. On the Avengers air carrier you see a couple PoC running around, but not many. Compare this to the number in Loki’s team and it begins to look more than a little unbalanced.
Overall I enjoyed the film. It was fun, it was fast, it was fabulous. I just wish that it could have gotten a few more things right.