We’re having a movie-May; The Raven last week, Dark Shadows this coming weekend, and we went to see The Avengers on Sunday. There was the usual lead-up stuff: calls to coordinate rides and meeting places: “Where are you? I bought tickets.”
“In the parking lot, which is packed.”
“Yes, so you should hurry, I don’t want to sit way down front. We’re on the bench by the ticket-taker.”
Ian bought two medium sodas and a medium popcorn, $17.50. Holy shit! Really? Had the sodas not been large enough to hydrate the entire African continent, I might have been more traumatized by the price. It’s no wonder Americans are overweight and broke. We made mental notes; if we forget to pack our own, get smalls. Or better yet, do without. We sat and waited for Jamie and Ryan. I watched as one overweight person after another juggled their mammoth sodas and popcorn (and nachos, and pizza, and hotdogs, and icys) to hand their ticket to the young woman taking tickets.
It is possible that we can blame American obesity on Hollywood. I’m not being critical, I need to lose weight too. And I had a humongous soda as well—but I won’t make that mistake a second time! Who is calling the shots here? Who decided we needed anything this big? We don’t need anything this big—Jamie and I shared “my” soda and in two hours and twenty-three minutes we couldn’t finish it! And why do we pay for it? Do the powers that be in Hollywood think it makes us want to see Scarlet Johnasson and her ilk more—that’ well desire that image more? Or will it leave us depressed because we’re drinking huge sodas and eating bad food while watching thin and beautiful on the screen. What was the message supposed to be here? The thought process was like being written into a bad George Orwell novel, or Ray Bradbury. Shame on you, Movie industry. It was sobering. It made me want to go to the gym.
We managed to juggle our gluttonous fare, hand over our tickets, and get into seats only a row behind where we would normally sit. So, that was ok.
The preview trailers played: Men in Black III, The Expendables II, Brave, and a couple that didn’t hold my interest, Spiderman 8-million-and-one, or something.
I didn’t expect to like The Avengers: super-hero(es) action movie, yeah, sort of not me. But I did like it; I liked it a lot. It started slow, but I guess a movie that is sixth (maybe?) in a series needs to have a slow lead in. The script laid out the plot, and introduced the characters one by one (except Thor, who just sort of arrives, but he is a god after all and therefore should need no introduction, right?). Just as I was about to get restless, the story picked up. Well played.
It’s your basic the-world’s-going-to-end-at-any-moment-super-hero-action-movie. A testosterone-fest. And the “good” guys have egos the size of…Texas, and they don’t like each other much. But again, just as the muscle flexing begins to grate on my feminist nerves, the movie shifts gears. Very close to that point, amidst the good-guy in-fighting, I leaned over and whispered to Jamie, “They need an adult.”
I admit when the adult turned out to be Captain America, I was more than a little amused. The adult in this film is the guy dressed in the stripped pajama suit, representing the youngest, and in my opinion, most testosterone-flexing country in the world. I liked the irony. A lot.
I liked the referential-attitude of the film, it didn’t exist in a vacuum (The Wizard of Oz, The Lord of the Rings, Ghostbusters, to name but a few). And then, you know, there’s Robert Downey, Jr. with his snide, I’m-too-smart-for-you-attitude. I always like him. He’s always the smart-ass, snarky. I can relate to him. Well, maybe not in his incarceration days, but you know, to his characters on screen.
The Avengers has lots of action, surprisingly, lots of comedy, beautiful and tragic characters, a hint of romance, and for those who paid close attention, good irony throughout. If I wasn’t going to see Dark Shadows this weekend, I’d take the rest of my grandchildren to see this.
But, in the end Johnny Depp trumps Robert Downey in smart-assedness, and snarkiness. So, if you’re one of the six people in the US who hasn’t seen The Avengers yet go do it!—and for God sake, bring your own drinks—save the money to see Dark Shadows, after I review it, of course.