Fun with Franchises: The Marvel Universe – The Avengers (2012), Part IV — “I Don’t Like Villains Who Don’t Have Drinks”
We continue with another entry in our Fun with Franchises series. This week’s film is The Avengers.
Fun with Franchises is a series born out of my friend Colin and I realizing how much fun it was for the two of us to watch the same movie separately and then share our reactions. We started by watching all of the James Bond movies, for the purposes of ranking them for the blog. I brought him in because he was much more of a Bond expert than I was at the time, and I felt his perspective would liven things up. He would be the color commentator to my play-by-play man.
We soon discovered that, by watching the movies separately and then putting everything we said together in the same place, hilarity ensued. We each brought in our own observations, not knowing what the other would say, and then reacted to what the other said. And we loved every minute of it.
We had so much fun, we figured we had to do it again. So we graduated from a single franchise, to all franchises. If you’re gonna have fun with franchises, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t franchise it. Season 1 included the Harry Potter movies, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Twilight (which neither of us had seen before we watched them for the articles) and Pirates of the Caribbean. All of those articles can be read on the Fun with Franchises page.
Also, just so we’re clear, this is all for parody. We’re just messing with them because we love them. (Well… Twilight…) We’re watching movies we enjoy and are simply having some fun with them.
Right now, we’re doing the Marvel Universe, and today is the fourth part of The Avengers.
We begin Part IV at what should be the end of act II, but really isn’t.
“These were in Phil Coulson’s jacket.”
Would have been way better if it were a bunch of condoms.
“Guess he never did get you to sign them.”
Would have been way better if it were a bunch of condoms.
“We’re dead in the air up here. Our communications, location of the cube, Banner, Thor.”
What? You didn’t bring Banner and Thor back with a simple cut like everything else?
Also, he just sort of tossed those in there. Like, “Oh, you tried to ford the river and it didn’t work. You lost 80 pounds of food, 12 pairs of clothing, two axles, one oxen, and Dave.”
Not to mention — one of those people you lost… FLIES. Pretty sure he’ll come back.
“I got nothing for you.”
Me neither, movie. Me neither.
“Lost my one good eye.”
He really just said that. He REALLY just said that. Apparently, we’ve gotten to the point where characters are just announcing their own tropes. “I’m the one who doesn’t work well with others but later makes a sacrifice that nobody expects!” “I’m the one who can’t trust people, but when I realize it’s really myself I can’t trust, my problems are solved!” “I’m the one with only one eye!” “I’m the one who dies and whose death helps the team rally against evil!”
“Maybe I had that coming. Yes. We were going to build an arsenal with the Tesseract. I never put all my chips on that number though, because I was playing something even riskier.”
This is some interesting logic. “We were gonna use space technology to create a bunch of weapons to fight aliens. But that seemed like a dicey proposition, so I tried something even crazier.” Which was something not that crazy at all. Apparently the “something riskier” was having your boy killed just to get a bunch of egotistical assholes to work together.
Here’s the thing about this – he’s dead. But then it’s hinted that he’s not. But then they’re like, no, he’s totally dead. And then they wanted to have this stupid show about him, so they had to bring him back, so they created this crazy story about how he was dead for days and Fury basically pulled a Frankenstein and then manipulated his brain to bring him back, because man love I guess.
The one time Marvel was daring enough to actually kill off a good guy whose name we know, they later recanted because money and television. Guys, if you’re going to money-grab (and Marvel is like the Anna Nicole Smith of franchises, so yeah, that’s a safe bet), just stick to choices that you know you’ll be okay with. Surprise surprise, that tends to lead to bad movies.
But it’s almost worse when you make a bad universe that then doesn’t accept its own conclusions. Most people won’t care about that because they just want to have characters do stuff, so if a character becomes un-killed, whatever, right? That doesn’t at all ruin the threat or tension of any other characters dying. This might as well be Everybody Loves Raymond. How’s Ray getting out of THIS one, you may ask. I don’t even know what the shit I’m talking about anymore.
“There was an idea, Stark knows this, called The Avengers Initiative.”
It’s funny how only Stark knows this. Couldn’t tell Banner. Stark had to tell Tross instead. Can’t tell Thor, he’s in space. So pretty much all that leaves is Rogers, and I guess you just don’t tell him anything, do you?
‘The idea was to bring together a group of remarkable people, see if they could become something more. See if they could work together when we needed them to, to fight the battles that we never could.”
So Sammy does exactly what Coulson told him to do. It’s almost like we get to read the storyboard first and then watch it happen.
“Phil Coulson died still believing in that idea, in heroes.”
Wait, you mean in the massive gunfight with explosions and plane crashes and arrows and grenades, someone was KILLED? Nobody told me this was going to be for real, you guys.
“Well, it’s an old fashioned notion.”
Why is THIS the melancholy? You can’t substitute characters for audience. You know, this is a rare phenomenon in film, at least for me. Usually, there’s a disconnect when the characters are exhibiting emotions that the audience isn’t feeling because they aren’t invested. Here, we have the opposite, where the audience has been tricked into feeling bummed, and the characters and the script is clearly riding that to match the audience’s tone.
Right now, all we’re supposed to care about is poor Phil, because whatever. In most movies, there’s a moment to choke back tears and then everyone accepts that this is war and they get back to their jobs. Rogers would be calling the next play already. They’re treating Coulson like a dead child. He’s a dead child. Nobody mourns like this unless it’s the dead kid who was sweet and never hurt anyone.
They even throw in the trading card thing as a kicker. This isn’t natural. It’s coming from the audience’s projections, not from a logical progression in the script.
That’s exactly what this is, though. They have no reason to feel bad, no real emotional attachment to Coulson. The only one who maybe should is Stark, and even then, not really. This is all manufactured garbage. No one should be feeling bad. You also shouldn’t have been assholes to each other to begin with. It’s incredible that people think this is a good movie.
A jacked man in a meadow. I’m having Twilight flashbacks. They come and go.
Maybe he’ll try to jizz on a baby.
I don’t know if that was him hesitating or him being unable to pick it up. He was just able to use it. What was that moment?
I have no idea. It’s funny, now having seen Age of Ultron. How this is basically Thor’s “arc” in these movies. He shows up, can easily take out almost any threat, then goes off to have some kind of a revelatory experience, and then somehow never is involved enough in the fighting to end it as quickly as he can. In the second one he literally goes off to take a bath for half the movie and then comes back with answers.
Talk about Tuesday.
“You fell out of the sky.”
YEAH, HARRY DEAN STANTON!
“Did I hurt anybody?”
“There’s nobody around here to get hurt. You did scare the hell out of some pigeons though.”
“Or just good aim. You were awake when you fell.”
Are you implying that the Hulk understands collateral damage?
“The whole thing, right through the ceiling. Big and green and buck ass nude.”
Why buck ass nude? He had pants on.
“You an alien?”
“From outer space, an alien?”
“Well then, son. You’ve got a condition.”
This is my favorite character in the movie. This old guy. He’s totally unphased by what’s happening. He talks like he’s seen everything. “You an alien?” He’s seen everything but Jesus, no how. That’s awesome. He doesn’t care, he just watched til Banner shrunk down (and during the day, too. Did he pass out?) and came over with some pants without worrying about what the hell just happened or whether he’d get clocked. I love this guy.
Aww shit, I’m trippin’ off acid!
“Clint, You’re gonna be alright.”
His name is Clint.
“You know that? Is that what you know?”
What is THIS scene? I forgot about this, I guess. Is she gonna pull him out of mind control? Why can’t there be more stuff like THIS? It’s shot weirdly, and it features dialogue. I’ll take it.
So what? A concussion breaks him free? That’s it? That scepter is pretty weak, then.
Or maybe it’s that humans are pretty weak.
“You gotta level out, it’s gonna take time.”
Aww, what happened to the ecstasy lighting?
“Have you ever had someone take your brain and play?”
Like, jai alai?
“Pull you out and stuff something else in? Do you know what it’s like to be unmade?”
Technically he wasn’t pulled out, because he was aware. He was just pushed to the side. Kinda like running in unSafe Mode.
“You know that I do.”
They don’t get into her backstory, so we just have to accept that she’s complicated and has a connection with him because they were both messed up in the head and know how to fight and stuff.
“Why am I back? How did you get him out?”
“Cognitive recalibration. I hit you really hard in the head.”
THAT’S YOUR FUCKING EXPLANATION?!!
Why do people praise this movie when they’re deliberately giving substandard explanations for things?
“How many agents?”
“Don’t. Don’t do that to yourself, Clint. This is Loki. This is monsters and magic and nothing we were ever trained for.”
Wait, what? “How many people did I kill?” “Don’t do that to yourself.” No, but seriously, how many people did he kill? Because I watched that entire sequence, and apparently only one person died. Why are we not mourning for the rest of them? Why don’t we even know how many of them died?
Also, way to explain multiple homicide by magic. Try that one in court.
“Loki, he got away?”
Nah, he’s in the shitter.
“Yeah. I don’t suppose you know where.”
“I didn’t need to know. I didn’t ask.”
Mustn’t ask us, not its business.
“He’s gonna make his play soon though. Today.”
Well, shit. The good part of the scene ended really fast and now we’re back to exposition. Damn.
What I don’t get is, “I don’t know where he went, but he is gonna do it today.” Why the fuck would you know that and not the other thing?
“We gotta stop him.”
“Yeah? Who’s we?”
“I don’t know. Whoever‘s left.”
Shaq? Shaq’s left. Can Shaq be an Avenger?
He’s even got superhero names! The Big Aristotle.
“Well, if I put an arrow in Loki’s eye socket, I’d sleep better I suppose.”
What if you put one in his arm? Will that not help the sleeping?
“Now you sound like you.”
This dialogue is shitty.
“But you don’t. You’re a spy, not a soldier. Now you want to wade into a war. Why? What did Loki do to you?”
Nothing. We just need dialogue.
“He didn’t, I just…”
They lay this love story on so thick, and then they’re not together, are they? For whatever reason, they had to make it obvious and then never follow through so we could have the will-they-won’t-they tension. Here’s a hint, folks. They will. Just not now. You need to wait. Waiting for these super obvious plot developments is sort of like finishing your Pokedex in a Pokemon game. A lot of people would never bother because what happens after all that time spent? You get nothing but the knowledge you got to the end and whatever satisfaction that brings for a few moments. So we’ll know that these two will either be together eventually or one will be killed to make audiences more riled up. Or both.
“I’ve been compromised. I got red in my ledger, I’d like to wipe it out.”
She’s got red in her hair that I’d like to wipe out.
I really don’t like the repetition of the “red in my ledger” line. Plus it doesn’t even make sense. “I committed genocide in my 20s. I want to wipe it out. So now I’m gonna help the other side.” No, that’s not how it works. That shit just doesn’t get expunged.
“Was he married?”
“There was a, uhh… cellist, I think.”
Not sure how I’d feel about dating a cellist. Yeah, probably okay. As long as I could call her Yo Yo Mama.
“Sorry. He seemed like a good man.”
“He was an idiot.”
“Why? For believing?”
For taking on an alien god with a gun and talking instead of shooting.
“For taking on Loki alone.”
“He was doing his job.”
“He was out of his league. He should have waited. He should have…”
Aww. Phil’s dead, remember? Let’s talk about stuff.
“Sometimes there isn’t a way out, Tony.”
Which is everything he hopes and dreams for. The Ejacu-sacrifice.
“Right. How did that work for him?”
“Is this the first time you’ve lost a soldier?”
HE WASN’T A SOLDIER STOP CALLING HIM ONE.
Also, Tony better fucking not say yes here. Like ten soldiers died at the beginning of his first movie.
“We are not soldiers! I’m not marching to Fury’s fife.”
See, you say that, but…Captain America’s a soldier.
We Were Soldiers.
Though really… what is Captain America now? It seems like he’s fresh off the ice, so they’re leaving him to his thing, and then he just goes back to running missions for them because he’s got nothing else to do.
“Neither am I. He’s got the same blood on his hands that Loki does, but right now we gotta put that behind us and get this done. Now Loki needs a power source, if we can put together a list…”
That’s funny. “Fury’s just as fucked up as Loki. But that’s not important right now. We gotta get shit done.” We’re both way past the point of that kind of logic, and also — that’s what you should have done in the first place.
“He made it personal.”
That’s not a list. And why would you make a list?
“That’s not the point.”
“That is the point. That’s Loki’s point.”
“He hit us all right where we live. Why?”
There’s your list, by the way.
That’s the problem with villains. They’re too calculated. Your shit has to be random. That’s how you win. Rather than deliberately trying to fuck with them and doing this at Stark Tower (even though Stark has nothing to do with any of your shit), if you did that shit in like, Lincoln, ain’t no one gonna see it coming, and you could march the entire army into there before anyone came by.
“To tear us apart.”
This is not revelatory either. Is Loki’s desire to defeat the Avengers supposed to be a plot twist? “Here’s the interesting thing about this game, though – the Giants are actually trying to beat the Patriots.” Where do they come up with this stuff?
Still don’t know why he cares about the Avengers, who were only a hypothetical to begin with. His meddling actually created the team. It’s kinda like Coulson said. He lacks conviction. Very self-defeatist. It’s like he wants to lose.
“Yeah, divide and conquer’s great but, he knows he has to take us out to win, right? That’s what he wants. He wants to beat us, he wants to be seen doing it – he wants an audience.”
FAMILY FEUD MATCH!
“Right. I caught his act in Stuttgart.”
“Yeah. That’s just previews, this is… this is opening night.”
Is this where they realize it’s not sarcoidosis because of some random thing the person said eight minutes into the episode?
“And Loki, he’s a full-tail diva. He wants flowers, he wants parades, he wants a monument built to the skies with his name plastered –”
“Son of a bitch.”
We’re going to Stark Tower because these big movies all have to end in a major American city that gets torn up by aliens while people yell at Optimus Prime.
How’d you get up there?
Security breach, indeed.
That one IS on Pepper.
Seriously, though, how’d you get up there?
“Time to go.”
“I’ll tell you on the way. Can you fly one of those jets?”
Also, go where? Where the fuck do you think you’re going?
He’s coming out of the bathroom. We catching them on the tail end of a quickie, or what?
That’s it? A nod? “He’s cool.” And you just believe her?
“You got a suit?”
“Then suit up.”
Thor’s been chilling in this meadow for like 4 hours. Contemplating the mayfly and shit. Oh, everyone else is getting read. Pick up the hammer, I guess!
They missed the boat on a scene where he’s just looking at the hammer and someone walks by and stares at him, wondering what he’s doing. And then the person just slowly walks across the entire meadow for like, two minutes, while Thor just stands there.
Trust me, it would have been more entertaining than that bullshit night fight in the forest.
Okay, close ups of weapons.
Stark had to fix his shit? Can he do that quickly enough? What am I saying, of course he can.
Thor’s shooting up lightning, cause he’s a thunder god and watch out, assholes. There’s really no reason for this at all.
None. At least the imagery here is cool. Rather than the stupid interior of a giant helicarrier.
This looks exactly like the shot in Deathly Hallows 2 with the three of them walking through the train station in London.
And Renner is totally the Ron of this scenario.
Too many shots of people walking in slo mo toward the camera.
Was he doing this for an hour? I’m so confused what’s happening right now.
“Hey, you guys aren’t authorized to be in here.”
Maybe you should have told them that during the three minutes they spent walking right up to you.
“Son, just don’t.”
He can call him ‘son,’ cause he’s old as hell. At this point, he’s 91.
But also, that worked? They just allow them to take this?
“They were in Coulson’s locker, not his jacket.”
How do you know that?
Her line is way too clumsy and expository. You don’t tell him that cause he knows. This is one of those lines that sticks out as only for the benefit of the audience.
“They needed the push.”
Where’d you get the blood?
“They found it.”
That’s a pretty pointless push. You’d really think the destruction of the world would have been push enough.
“Get our communications back up whatever you have to do. I want eyes on everything.”
Were they not doing whatever they had to do before?
Does this imply they are now doing illegal stuff to get back online? Or does that mean, “Put a guy between the two wires to retain connectivity?”
Wait, you gave the order to get comms back up NOW? Have you been standing here staring at these trading cards for the last several hours as systems remain down? Am I the only one who’s noticed that several characters, including Thor and Fury, have been literally standing around doing nothing for hours at a time here while Rogers changed clothes, Banner woke up from Hulk sleep, Romanoff debriefs and THEN debriefs Barton, and Stark does smithy work on his suit?
So was this part of the plan? Or did Stark go do his own thing again?
Does his watch still work? I feel like that thing would totally fuck up his watch.
“Sir, I’ve turned off the Arc reactor. The device is already self-sustaining.”
This suit looks buggy. Is he going into battle with that? He gets another one, right? That must be why he comes back first. I’m blanking on this part of the movie.
How and why is the device already self-sustaining? How much power did they take from his reactor?
“Shut it down, Dr. Selvig.”
“It’s too late. It can’t stop now.”
“He wants to show us something! A new universe.”
The way of the future.
Stellan! Can you tell the engineer to go to 115 percent on the reactor, for old times’ sake?
Okay. You all heard that.
“The barrier is pure energy. It’s unbreachable.”
“Yeah I got that.”
Great shot. This looks like a shot you’d see of Kim Jong-un in a propaganda ad.
“Sir, the Mark 7 is not ready for deployment.”
I like how Jarvis just knows.
“Then skip the spinning rims, we’re on the clock.”
Because he would put spinning rims on it.
I like this confrontation. No words, just walking.
“Please tell me you’re going to appeal to my humanity.”
I like how it’s just a pimp cane, really.
I like how he’s actively talking about tropes.
“Please tell me you’re gonna try to reason with me, not realizing I’m gonna kill everyone anyway.”
“Uh, actually, I’m planning to threaten you.”
“You should have left your armor on for that.”
“Yeah, it’s seen a bit of mileage… you’ve got the blue stick of destiny. Would you like a drink?”
That’s the face for “would you like a drink?”
“Stalling me won’t change anything.”
I was looking at the Chrysler Building.
“No, no, no! Threatening. No drink? You sure? I’m having one.”
Who’s not having a drink? I’m having one too. I don’t like villains who don’t have drinks.
I Don’t Like Villains Who Don’t Have Drinks
“The Chitauri are coming. Nothing will change that. What have I to fear?”
“It’s what we call ourselves, sort of like a team. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, type of thing.”
“Yes, I’ve met them.”
“Yeah, takes us a while to get any traction, I’ll give you that one. But, let’s do a head count here. Your brother, the demi-God.”
“The super soldier, the living legend who kind of lives up to the legend.”
“A man with breathtaking anger management issues, a couple of master assassins.”
“And you, big fella, you’ve managed to piss off every single one of them.”
This should be the best straight dialogue scene in the movie. Hiddleston is good, and Downey…well, we all know he’s the best thing in this franchise.
“That was the plan.”
“Not a great plan.”
“When they come, and they will, they’ll come for you.”
“I have an army.”
“We have a Hulk.”
Not a great line. Don’t do that line. That’s a fanboy line.
Also, you don’t have a Hulk. You have no idea where the fuck he is.
“I thought the beast had wandered off.”
“You’re missing the point. There’s no throne, there is no version of this, where you come out on top. Maybe your army comes and maybe it’s too much for us, but it’s all on you.”
Does he know about Thanos’ plan? Because otherwise, I don’t get the logic.
“Because if we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damned well sure we’ll avenge it.”
Or… and, booze!
“How will your friends have time for me, when they’re so busy fighting you?”
“This usually works.”
Joke moment, cause he doesn’t have a conventional heart right there. Someone on the wiki tried to make the case that the reason it doesn’t work is because the arc reactor containing the new element is similar to the Tesseract energy in the staff, and that the whole “it can’t fight itself” thing protected Stark. No. That point was made to show why the barrier couldn’t DEFEND from the staff.
The reason this mind control doesn’t work is because his staff is hitting glass or whatever. It’s not Stark, it’s just some hardware. Very simple. Don’t read too much into it. Nerds.
“Well, performance issues. You know—”
“Not uncommon. Why not a five?”
“Jarvis, anytime now.”
“You will all fall before me.”
The beauty of him is that there are endless ways to come up with that he can put on the suit.
That’s a good trick, and it is incremental improvement. I approve of Roman numerals. The Mk. VII and stuff.
“And there’s one other person you pissed off! His name is Phil.”
These jerks were waiting this whole time, with nothing better to do. No scrambling of the jets or anything. They’re right there waiting exactly where the portal opens up.
Oh, cool. His HUD changed. I like HUD changes. Where’s Rhodey during all of this? No War Machine? No contact with the US military? He should be getting phone calls or something.
That’s a lot of little shoulder missiles. All of these things get used up, though, because something new needs to be happening with him every time we see him. He’s the one who always has something different going on. Hulk, he hits stuff. A lot of them just hit stuff.
How do you reload that suit?
I like the shot inside the cab as it flips. Good shot there.
Still haven’t seen a dead person.
“Turn off the Tesseract or I’ll destroy it!”
“You can’t. There is no stopping it. There is only the war!”
“So be it.”
If you’re not Palpatine and you utter the words ‘so be it,’ you’d better come correct.
We lingered on that falling letter a little too long, don’t you think?
Those people are dead.
Always, in these movies, do they show us this.
“Stark, we’re on your three, heading north east.”
Look at that photo of her.
“What, did you stop for drive-through? Swing up Park, I’m gonna lay ‘em out for you.”
What is there to say about this kind of action? You get to this point in any Marvel movie and these articles shut right down.
The bizarre hover plane arrives and shoots buildings with a minigun.
That was stupid, that they weren’t planning to be shot at by someone right effing there.
Fake GoPro shot.
So nobody gets hurt, no civilians are crushed or even wounded…the canopy isn’t even broken by the tons of concrete fragments that are kicked up in this crash landing.
Quick, run past the product placement!
The score changed, which means more stuff is coming.
Giant space snake.
And that’s….that’s not close enough to a space Onix. I’m sorry, I only accept giant rock snakes. Because how could you miss?
In fact, this isn’t close enough to any Pokemon. Boo.
So this small army arrives and goons pop out of the giant non-Pokemon. They don’t have any kind of numbers, and they’re trying to take over New York City before taking over the rest of the world? You don’t take New York City by rappelling into an office building and shooting up a WALL. I’m not seeing casualties yet.
Fuck your efficiency numbers!
“Stark, are you seeing this?”
“Seeing. Still working on believing. Where’s Banner? Has he shown up yet?”
“Jarvis, find me a soft spot.”
I want to give my robot butler orders like that. So much of his badassery is passive because the suit has JARVIS, developed before the suit was invented. The suit without JARVIS? Severely limited. JARVIS without the suit? Still an awesome AI butler around the house.
“Look at this.”
And, we’re looking.
“Look around you. You think this madness will end with your rule?”
“It’s too late. It’s too late to stop it.”
“No. We can, together.”
“Join me!” *STAB*
Wait, how do you stab someone and then NOT show their stabbed face clearly? That was a wasted stabbing if I’ve ever seen one.
That was an Aladdin level of jumping off a balcony. You can’t just tally ho like that.
Sure, just leave your hammer and the scepter just sitting on the floor. What could go wrong there?
You really saw him that fast?
Look at all the people not being harmed!
Cap’s worried about the civilians.
“We got this.”
“You think you can hold them off?”
“Captain, it would be my genuine pleasure.”
Your pleasure? You’re enjoying this? You shouldn’t be enjoying this, even if you do like shooting arrows.
How about just explosive tipped arrows? Those are better.
There’s Renner, sending a chick to his trailer.
He’s helping kids out of a bus. So we’ve fallen to Simon Birch territory.
Maybe lead with opening the bus door next time.
“Just like Budapest all over again.”
“You and I remember Budapest very differently.”
Doing the movie thing of, “Remember when we were in that place? This is similar to that.” Since it’s Budapest, it might actually have involved falling into a nest of gundarks.
“You remember Budapest? When I fucked you in the ass outside that all-night Denny’s?”
Not Chris Evans.
“It’s gonna be an hour before they can scramble the National Guard?”
“National Guard? Does the army know what’s happening here?”
“You need men in these buildings. There are people inside that can run into the line of fire.”
“You take them through the basement or through the subway, you keep them off the streets.”
“I need a perimeter as far back as 39th.”
“Why the hell should I take orders from you?”
That’s my NYPD. Fuck you and your fucking costume. Don’t tell me how to run my shit.
I’m betting Mike has some choice words for this moment. These cops were supposed to be angrier about getting orders and yell at Captain America to go back to the costume party. It’s not the question, “Why should I take orders from you?” but rather the statement, “Get the hell out of here and let us do our job, buddy.”
“I need men in those buildings, lead the people down and away from the streets.”
END PART IV.
– – – – – – – – – –
Tomorrow is Part V, and…