Gonna start this off by saying I was never a comic book fan. That particular style of storytelling has never done much for me. (Except for Archie Digests, for some reason. I had a tonne of those growing up.)
That’s why when it was announced that Disney would be releasing roughly a gazillion Marvel movies over the span of more than a decade, I was pretty indifferent to the news. And, when researching the films for this article, I was surprised to discover I’ve seen 18 out of the 23 that have been made so far, even if I haven’t seen them anywhere near the order in which they were released.
Marvel movies are very hit-and-miss for me. More miss than hit, if I’m honest. And they’re not really standing up to the test of time, either. Although that’s not entirely their own fault.
Take The Avengers, for example. I’d guess it was the third or fourth Marvel movie I saw. I really liked it at first, especially the clever dialogue between the characters. But as Disney gobbles up more and more franchises, they’ve become so homogenized they sound nearly identical, and now every time Avengers quip back and forth to highlight how fearless they are in the face of danger, I just want to … to …
I have much the same reaction to the hero shots, now, as well. This, the first time, was very cool.
This in its 103rd iteration 15 or so movies later? Not so much.
After my first viewing, I found myself zoning out during the battle scenes. They’re just a bunch of unintelligible noise and chaos – peppered with quips, of course. My focus shifted to the characters. The ones with heart. And it’s challenging to create a character with heart when they’re a genius or a god or a godlike genius, especially in an ensemble film. Most of the character development has occurred in the various stand-alone films, outside of the ensemble pieces.
Except for Hawkeye and Black Widow. Which brings me to my favourite part of the Avengers films: their friendship.
When I was a kid, I always got along better with boys than girls. Now that I’m all grown up, nothing has changed. I’m generally more comfortable around men than women, and have lots of guy friends. It’s something that our society as a whole doesn’t understand or accept, and it gets annoying how many people assume my male friends are only my friends because they want to get into my pants.
Which is why I find this scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron, where Hawkeye’s family is first introduced, truly heartwarming.
Not only does it drive home the point that, yes, Hawkeye and Black Widow are “just” friends, it also subverts the trope of the suspicious, clinging wife, as it’s clear Laura and Black Widow are also good friends.
Their healthy relationship is an island of sanity amid the general dysfunction of the Avengers universe. So while Hawkeye pretty much always lands near the top of everyone’s Worst Avenger lists, he’s without doubt my favourite.
To see other posts in my venture to watch my movie collection in alphabetical(ish) order, click here.