|Poster courtesy of film.com|
When Loki, the Norse god also known as the Trickster, hijacks the energy source called the Tesseract and uses its power to manifest in the very heart of SHIELD, he uses his newfound powers to bend two minds to his cause: the minds of Clint Barton (an international spy also known as Hawkeye) and Erik Solveig (a brilliant physicist). It's this ability that intimidates director Nick Fury and his second-in-command, Maria Hill, perhaps even more than the way that Loki can kill with a look. In this tenuous situation, there is only one thing to do: resurrect the once-scrapped defense program, the Avengers Initiative. Russian spy Natasha Romanov (also known as the Black Widow), volatile scientist Bruce Banner (the Hulk), supersoldier Steve Rogers (Captain America), Asgardian god Thor, and billionaire genius Tony Stark (Ironman) must all band together, if they are to defeat Loki's machinations. But can they work together without killing one another first?
|image courtesy of screenrant.com|
Firstly, its clever characters utilize their words and strategy over their strength. We see Stark and Banner working in a lab and discussing scientific theories, and Stark hacks into the SHIELD databases. Thor tries to reason with his adoptive brother before engaging in battle with him, and does his best to convince him that he is wrong. Rogers is the peacemaker in the group, trying to reconcile his arguing comrades. Natasha Romanov uses her wits to outwit Loki, and discover his plans.
Natasha Romanov pretends to be feeling guilt over her past actions, and exploits Loki's misconception of her weak emotional state to parse out his plans. She pretends to be crying to get him to tell his real reason for remaining a captive on the Helicarrier, and when he lets his reasons slip, she does an immediate one-eighty, going from weepy and broken from his taunting to enthused at her success.
---END OF SPOILER ALERT---
|Loki imprisoned on board the Helicarrier|
It is this scene that does much to set The Avengers apart from most superhero flicks. In both Thor and the Avengers, Loki is shown to be a persuasive manipulator, using his words to expose and exploit the weaknesses of his enemies. Natasha Romanov subverts this skill, using Loki's perception of her to expose his weaknesses. She is more than the movie's "token female" superhero- in fact, she has no superpowers. Instead, she uses wit and martial arts to overcome her foes.
I'd gladly see The Avengers again, not only because it's an exciting film that never lags in pace, but also because it is a surprisingly thoughtful film for a superhero movie.