Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--Avengers Assembled
Column by Steve Bennett
Published: 05/09/2012 01:53am
Well, like a good percentage of the planet I saw Marvel's The Avengers last weekend. Here's an embarrassing confession, until I was looking up the local show times I didn’t know that was the film's official title. It seems an unnecessary bit of branding, seeing as how The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes animated series running on Disney XD isn't Disney's The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. But given it's currently the most popular movie on the planet (see "'The Avengers' Sets New Box Office Record") I'm really not in any position to argue with their marketing strategy.
I'm so old date night usually falls on Sunday afternoon, which may sound lame but I've found at least it's usually a guarantee of seeing a film in quiet enjoyment. But this time my female friend* and I found ourselves in a tightly packed row in a surprisingly crowded matinee; the good news, I was only sneezed on by the child two seats over once.
First of course we were assaulted by an alarming number of previews only about half of which I can actually remember, though most seemed to be built around the general theme of "stuff blowing up." As you know I’m on the fence as to whether I was going to see either The Amazing Spider-Man or The Dark Knight Rises this summer but after seeing the trailers to both back to back I think I'm going to take a pass on both.
Don't worry, I don't plan on reviewing it, enough people already have, except to say it's the movie I've wanted to see since I was ten. Plus it’s one of those movies where the less you know about it the better. Usually knowing every plot point beforehand doesn't "ruin" a movie for me but not knowing every detail going in allowed me the opportunity to experience the *spoiler alert* unexpected death of a major character. But I would like to say a sincere "thank you" to Joss Whedon for providing Loki the savage beating he's been begging for since the early 1960's. As well as give a shout out to the designers of the flying Coelacanth of Doom (a.k.a. the "Leviathan" robot) from the invasion sequence; they actually freaked me out a little.
And, finally, there’s a lot of press about The Avengers but the only piece that really caught my attention was "Pentagon Quit The Avenges Because of Its 'Unreality'" by Spencer Ackerman on the Wired site. Believe it or not but the Pentagon was actually cooperating with the film until, well, I'll just quote Phil Strub, the Defense Department’s Hollywood liaison:
"We couldn’t reconcile the unreality of this international organization and our place in it. To whom did S.H.I.E.L.D. answer? We hit that roadblock and decided we couldn't do anything with the film."
* Two weeks ago (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--Barnabas Collins Lives!") I said I was at least going to see The Avengers during its opening weekend because the woman in my life found actor Robert Downey Jr. "dreamy." I have been instructed to inform all of you that it's actually fictional character Tony Stark she fancies; in her own words, "The mammalian brain looks at him and says, 'Ovulate! Now!'"
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.