The Avengers is a movie I went in rather underinformed on; I had little knowledge of the current state of Marval’s Avengers, I hadn’t seen last summer’s Captain America movie and knew only the basics of his backstory here, and the only one of the characters I really knew anything about was the Hulk, and even there my knowledge was limited. I hadn’t even been keeping track of what Joss Whedon had been up to since Serenity very well. To some extent this was a problem; the movie told you enough to follow, but I had the feeling I would’ve understood better had I known more. Or maybe if I’d been in my younger years, when I saw a lot more movies like this.
I would’ve liked this movie a lot more as a teenager. I would’ve gotten more excited at the action sequences, would’ve outright swooned over Hawkeye, then walked out with a thousand Hawkeye/Natasha plot bunnies, and I would’ve minded some of the cliche dialogue less too. Though some of the lines said by and around Loki were so silly I think I’d have had to be a kid to not mind them. To be fair, the action sequences were choreographed well enough, and it’s well enough to have an extremely long battle when you want to impress how many legions the enemy is sending out. But still, I got bored. There’s only so much of actors whacking CGI creatures you can make interesting.
But if the conflict with the villain isn’t that interesting, Joss Whedon actually makes that okay by not making it the central conflict of the movie. He’s always more interested in the group of heroes, especially if he can have the central conflict be their difficulty getting along, find their flaws and play those against each other to perfection. He even manages to make statements about modern America while he’s at it, in the form of the characters of Tony Stark and Nick Fury, their corporate shamelessness and greed for new technology, in contrast to Captain America, the man literally from the more idealistic age. Even Tony’s constant snark, Whedon’s usual great wit, is used as a tool to realize him as a character. His female characters come out of it pretty well too, even if there are only three of them and one of the them is a one-scene girlfriend; Whedon puts enough in the script to make it count. Natasha’s one of his great female creations with the ability to kick ass and not just physically; her best moment involves her getting the best of Loki simply with words-while developing her own character and establishing her connection with Hawkeye while she’s at it.
I loved Hawkeye too, really; I might not have been outright swooning over him, but I wasn’t far off. Of course I’m a sucker for a guy with a bow anyway, especially one who’s a little broody and a little badass. And I really did love him and Natasha together too; there were moments between them that really did turn me into a starry-eyed shipper in a way I don’t think any pair has in years; I’m much harder to please there than I used to be, but this couple was one up to the task. I want more Hawkeye now. Where can I find more Hawkeye?