Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Avengers

The Avengers grossed $207.4 million its opening weekend, partially because of Joss Whedon's portrayal of the main characters. Let's take a closer look at why we like (love?) these characters.

Tony Stark / Iron Man
The Astronaut in Cowboy's Guise
Nick Fury did not acccept Ironman into the Avengers at first because, as Tony Stark puts it he is " volatile, self-centred, and I don't play well with others." Classic cowboy right? And it's true, Stark is quick-thinking, self-reliant, and independent. He puts on airs to create a celebrity persona, the kind of gossipy stuff people love to hate. What he doesn't brag about (directly) is his intelligence and skill. In the origin movie, he doesn't say "I built the Ironman Suit", but "I am Ironman." Let's change Ironman to Porche. "I built a Porche" vs "I own a Porche." He makes his cake and eats it too. Stark knows what people want to hear. He hides behind a 'better than you and separate from you' cowboy persona to hide his' better than you, but cares for you' astronaut self. This attitude makes Iron Man intriguing, relatable, and contemporary. He is a 21st century super-hero.

Steve Rogers / Captain America
Classic All-American Astronaut
Capt. America's uprightness speaks of the good ole days, where the underdog succeeded and the America saved the day. Rogers follows orders, values wholesomeness, and puts others before himself. He does not quite fit in today's world, in the movie or in life. He's a throwback to better times. Audiences acknowledge their own past, where their current mentality comes from. Despite the negative changes to the world, Roger still acts with the duty and honor of World War II. Capt. America's origin story may be our own. Have we been snoozing through the past few decades, forgetting out essential values letting other, lesser people run the world around us? And now that we're awake how are we going to work within a world filled with other superheros?

The Demi-God Cowboy-Alien
It's hard to place Thor. The only 'divinely' blessed super human in the bunch comes from another world. Despite having the ability to travel to Earth, Asgard is a pretty brutish place. Asgardians rely on a patriarchal monarchy and fight for territory rights within their realm. Pretty Middle-Age. Also, Nick Fury designates him as an alien, an entity that lives outside popular convention.  This designation also shifts Thor into the 21st century; before he was from some other realm. Subtle shifts like these mark changes in our culture. This becomes more important in the case of Loki (the threat). For Thor being an alien allows his character to develop into something more human. In his origin movie, Thor must become human (physically and emotionally) to regain his super powers. Because of this, the audience can easily judge his character, instead of accepting him as 'godly'. In The Avengers, Thor's coarse demeanor and entitled mindset define him as a cowboy.

The Hulk / Bruce Banner
The Scientist who fears the Zombie inside
Why is a genius scientist so unbelievably terrified of hulk in side of him? Banner isn't afraid of hurting people. The destruction resulting from his rages add to Banner's trepidation, but it's not the source. It's the loss of control, of his mind. Others envy the Hulk, its abilities and powers. Banner, however, already has above par powers- he's pretty darn smart. He had/has the ability to become a hero of Astronautical quality if not for the uncontrollable urge to smash. The Hulk is pure instinctual reaction, without consideration for anything: other people, surroundings, or himself: a zombie.

Natasha Romonoff / Black Widow
Playing with your Expectations
First and foremost, WHAT!? A female character in a superhero movie that doesn't need any more saving besides when she puts herself in danger! She doesn't have any 'super' powers but still holder her own against Russian Mafia, the Hulk, and a alien horde! Excellent.

Black Widow is a leftover from the Cold War era comics, so I wasn't sure how she was going to translate into today. The movie alludes to a mind washed, bloody past. But she's reformed now. And works for the USA. America for the win.

Black Widow defnitely isn't as known to the general populace as Wonder Woman (DC) or XMen's Storm, and without a previous origins movie, we really don't know much about her. Romonoff plays the vulnerable, sexy girl in a skin tight suit so that her targets see her as weak and stupid. Her (so far) male targets jump to conclusions and by doing so reveal their secrets to Romonoff. All the while she remains in complete control of the situation. Then she busts out her awesome ass-kicking skills.

Clint Barton / Hawkeye
Astronaut (ish)
Kay, Hawkeye plays a minor role in the movie so it's hard to dissect him. He has some mad skills of observation and timing. The bow & arrow seems like a pretty weak weapon when compared to repulsar rays or a magical hammer, but Barton's weapon utilizes some pretty amazing innovation. Barton controls what type of tip each arrow has, giving him a range of weapons within one skill set. He also looks to be the calmest of the bunch, not letting nerves affect his mission. He also separates himself from the group, not because he wants to set himself apart but because that's where he works best. We don't really know his background, other than some sort of relationship with Romonoff..... ho hum.

Nick Fury
We'll call him a Cowboy
Nick Fury - It's no accident Nick Fury has a patch over an eye. The blind eye refers to not being able to see the whole truth. Fury believes he can predict what exactly will happen, and may take extreme measures. Luckily, he can also turn a blind eye (to the Avenger's misgivings)- forgiving illeagal actions or ignoring authority in order to accomplish his task. The one seeing eye aligns him to the Moirai (the Fates), marking him as the holder of privlidged information and the entity who assigns/reveals the fate of the superhuman, but only in half-truths. His surname, Fury, also links him to the Erinyes (the Furies) which literally translates to the avengers.

1 comment:

  1. Screen Time for our Heroes: