Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Avengers

"The Avengers" (2012)
    I've never been a big comic-book, superhero fan. I've always left that to my older siblings (and my best friend, yeah, you know who you are). Although, I've always liked Batman and X-Men, but that's about it. So, when I went in to see The Avengers last week, I really didn't know what to expect.

Here's what I gathered from the characters:

Thor: All brawn, no brains.

Loki: All brains, no common sense.

Clint Howard/Hawkeye: Dark mystery man who never smiles.

Natasha Romanov/Black Widow: Pretty, practical, and pragmatic with no sense of humor.

Dr. Bruce Banner/Hulk: Comic book version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Capt. Steve Rogers/Captain America: The nickname says it all.

Tony Stark/Ironman: Well...lets just say there's no one else in the world like Tony Stark and he'd probably be the first one to tell you that.

Then, I saw it again and seeing it a second time I was really able to get a better understanding of the characters, their personalities, their gifts (or curse), and their constant struggle to be accepted into society without being made to conform.

~ ~ ~

Thor
Chris Hemmsworth as Thor
     Big, blonde guy with a big hammer. The legend of Thor has always been something of a running joke in my family because we're German/Scandinavian and there's a lot of blonde haired, blue eyed people. So, I've really had a hard time taking the character of Thor seriously. He actually annoyed me at first, but eventually I grew to like him. He's courageous, compassionate, and honorable. What I found most endearing about him was how he constantly seemed to be fighting for his brother and not against him. I mean that by saying, he was willing to look past the damage that Loki had done, forgive him for his wrongs, and have him come home. He was fighting his brother in hopes of possibly saving him. Of course it doesn't work, but even at the end of the movie, Thor has not given up on his brother.

~ ~ ~

Clint Barton/Hawkeye
Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye
     I didn't know anything about this character, but he definitely had the strong silent type personality. Which was kind of a relief. Especially when compared to the six other men in the Avengers who couldn't shut-up long enough to let anyone else speak. Throughout most of the story, he's under a spell-like trance caused by Loki. After a really hard kick in the head, he comes out of it and is immediately overcome with guilt by the destruction he helped cause. Underneath all that hardness really is a gentle, almost caring side to him.

And I got to admit, he's pretty easy on the eyes in his own simple, rugged, handsome way.

~ ~ ~

Natasha Romanov/Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanov/Black Widow
     I'm always a little skeptical when it comes to bringing a single, beautiful, female superhero in the midst of men. I had the idea that she was going to be a hard ass, alpha female, who had this 'my way or the highway' attitude and was in constant competition with all of the other men. I didn't see any of that. Natasha was a great character, with a certain vulnerability about her. She genuinely cares about who she works with and is a fierce believer in what the Avengers stands for.

     Now, it's made very clear that Natasha is not a saint. She's a former assassin and spy. And she hopes by helping save her friend, Clint Howard/Hawkeye, while he's under Loki's control will help redeem herself from her hard past.

In the end she does find redemption and the courage to forgive herself for her past wrongs.

~ ~ ~

Dr. Bruce Banner/The Hulk
Mark Rufallo as Dr. Bruce Banner/The Hulk
     To be honest, I found him the most interesting out of all of the characters. Normally Bruce comes off as this awkwardly shy doctor who is a little reluctant to talk about 'the other guy' or his alter ego the Hulk. And when the other guy comes out...he goes all out. I loved how Bruce was constantly aware of his condition and his accountability to keep himself under control was pretty deep. When he does turn into the Hulk, he gets scary, like really scary. 

     Originally brought on to help with finding the tesseract (the little glowing blue cube that's caused all this trouble), eventually it comes to the point where they really do need the Hulks help. His one duty? Smash. Everything that doesn't need to be there...and to be Thor's smashing partner.

~ ~ ~

Capt. Steve Rodgers/Captain America
Chris Evans as Capt. Steve Rogers/Captain America
     I mean this in all honesty when I say that off all the movies that have been made of these characters Captain America is the only one I've seen. I liked it. It was interesting and totally peaked my curiosity of seeing The Avengers movie itself. As cheesy as his name is, Captain America is the embodiment of what America once was. A child of the WWII generation, the war the defined the American patriotic spirit, Steve still has the passion for peace that was there seventy years before. He also really is the only normal one out of all of the Avengers. Or maybe he still has his mind back in the 1940s, but either way, his calmness and immediate leadership in the midst of the destruction is a definite need not just for the civilians, but also for the Avengers themselves.

~ ~ ~

Tony Stark/Ironman
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Ironman
    I just watched the first Ironman movie last night and so I was able to get a better understanding of Tony himself. If you've seen Captain America you'll know that Tony's father, Howard Stark was one of Captain America's companions and held him in high regard. Well, his son holds very few people in high regard. With the exception of his secretary/girlfriend, Pepper Potts (played wonderfully by the lovely Gwyneth Paltrow) and Dr. Bruce Banner who speaks in his scientific language, Tony really makes no attempt to get along with anyone who disagrees with him, most especially his father's old friend.

     Desperate times call for desperate measures and when they do call, Tony is willing to suit up and fight along his almost-might have been adversary, Captain America. He goes the extra mile for everyone. Even if it means inviting Loki into his house, becoming Chitauri monster bait, and taking a missile out of earth.

So, he's the mouth of the group, but what he has to say is normally worth hearing.

~ ~ ~

Nick Fury
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

     The boss, the creator, the bad-ass leader who believed in peace and justification. Nick Fury has no actual superpowers, but he does have a dream, actually he has many dreams. Nick brought the Avengers together for the sole purpose of being the plan when all other plans fail. Nick's dream almost fails, but when given the Avengers the right push, they eventually are able to accomplish what Nick originally had them brought in for. Sometimes we have dreams for ourselves and sometimes we have dreams for others. I think the latter proves to be the better of the both.

~ ~ ~
  
Loki
Tom Hiddleston as Loki

     What a creep. Yeah, that's just about it. Loki had the stereotypical storyline of the angry, vengeful, adopted brother who was trying to take over the world to beat out his seemingly perfect older brother. He's as cowardly as Thor is brave, as cruel as Thor is compassionate, and as hateful as Thor is forgiving. After a while you begin asking yourself "Is Thor just wasting his time on him?" Loki is a slave to himself and the only way he can see any redemption is by enslaving all mankind. The scene with him in Germany is an incredible example of what hatred and revenge does to a person's soul. Sometimes you almost find yourself feeling sorry for the guy. The keyword is sometimes.

All in all, Loki was a pretty incredible villain who definitely got his comeuppance at the end of the story.

~ ~ ~

Courage is Immortal
 (tagline from the Thor movie) 
The Avengers
This really was a good movie. I began to see one residual theme throughout the film. Overcoming a guilty past. 

Natasha's past as a spy and violent fighter.

Clint's association with Loki (even thought it wasn't his fault).

Thor for failing to be a better brother.

Steve believing that he could have saved more lives if he had been stronger person.

Bruce for simply being himself.

And of course Tony has no faults to be guilty about : )

All of these very different people with very different powers and abilities, but are still susceptible to human failure and weakness. To me, that's what makes a hero. Forgiving yourself for a wrong lived past is far more powerful than taking out a mass load of giants.

Extra perceptions and superhuman powers mean absolutely nothing if you don't have a reason for using them. Fighting for a better world, protecting the weak, and defending the rights and honor of all mankind (Good God, I am beginning to sound like Captain America) is a far better use of ones abilities than using them for their own selfish gain.

Even superheroes need a lunch break.

5 comments:

  1. Heehee! I'm glad you've converted to being a superhero fan with the rest of us ;).

    So, at first I was totally going to call you up for saying that Thor was "all brawn, no brains" and chew you out for it, but I decided to read on before doing so ;). Needless to say I'm glad your opinion of him changed. You really, really need to watch the Thor movie. It will give you an even better appreciation of his character and you will totally fall in love with him. Also, Loki makes more sense too.

    The last paragraph of your review is my favorite :). And yes, you are starting to sound like Captain America - HA! ^_^

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  2. Hahahaha! I figured as much, that's why I wasn't *actually* upset ^_^. For someone who had only seen Captain America before the Avengers I can totally understand those viewpoints.
    Ooh!! And what did you think of it?? Isn't he the sweetest ever? Maybe you should write a review of that too ;).

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  3. Oh my gosh, I was totally signed in as Elizabeth. Sorry! The last comment was from me, lol.

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  4. Hay. I found your blog thru your pinterest...and (since I'm a blogger myself) I thought I'd pop by and say hay! :) And I loved this movie (and consequently loved your review!) I thought I'd leave a comment. Great review and I think you nailed the character descriptions. I felt more sorry than angry at Loki. But Thor annoyed me too! Iron Man is probably still my favourite, he is quite funny. And Black Widow's character was done really well and tastefully. :)

    Your blog design is awesome. And I loved reading your "about" section. (I'm a homeschool graduate too so it made a lot of sense!:P)

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  5. Like Celeste, I started your review going, "No, but Thor's got way more going on than just muscles!" I'm glad you changed your mind :-) He may not be a genius like Tony or Cap, but he's certainly not dumb.

    Isn't Black Widow awesome? Trust Joss Whedon to write a truly unique, strong female character with nary a stereotype in sight.

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