5 Burning Questions From ‘THE AVENGERS’
‘THE AVENGERS’ opening weekend has come and gone, and in its wake are previous box office records that it shattered on its way to claiming the number one spot as the best domestic opening weekend in box office history. According to /Film:
The Walt Disney Studios announced today that Marvel’s The Avengers posted an estimated $200.3 million in its domestic debut May 4-6, shattering previous records and positioning the film as the highest-grossing domestic debut of all time. The film’s cumulative global box office gross is an estimated $641.8 million over 12 days in release.
What makes this news even better is the fact that the film, itself, was great. It wasn’t just a giant, summer blockbuster movie hitting it big at the box office. It was a great film, years in the making that culminated in a funny, smart, and action-packed film. The writing was great, and each actor brought their A-game to their parts. Marvel did it right (you hear that DC and everyone involved with ‘GREEN LANTERN’?!).
As much as I enjoyed the film, I was left with a few burning questions when I left the theater. Now granted, I’ve only seen the film once (so far), so maybe upon further viewings some of these questions will be answered or at least mitigated.
WASN’T LOKI ALREADY ON EARTH?
In the post-credits scene of ‘THOR,’ we saw Dr. Erik Selvig meeting Nick Fury under, what we can assume was, the underground facility of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fury showed Selvig the Tesseract and told him about its unlimited power. In the wall reflection next to Selvig we suddenly saw a brusied and battered Loki step into view. We soon learned that Loki was controlling Selvig’s mind, which led me to believe he would use Selvig to gain access to the cube in AVENGERS. However, the opening of AVENGERS showed Loki meeting with the other and receiving the spear before returning to Earth. My question is, how did he travel across space from Earth without the Tesseract or the Bifrost? It seemed a little confusing to me since I assumed he was already on earth to begin with. I figured that was the point of showing him in the ‘THOR’ post-credits scene.
In both ‘IRON MAN and ‘IRON MAN 2’ we got glimpses of Captain America’s shield in Tony Stark’s work room, more so in the sequel. It looked as though Tony Stark was designing a new upgraded version of the shield for Cap, but we never saw any of his prototypes in AVENGERS. It looked as though Steve Rogers was using the same old shield he used in ‘CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER.’ But based on the appearance of the shield in the two IRON MAN movies, I was hoping for a cool new design; maybe lock-on targeting for shield throwing or a retrieval device that calls the shield back if its fallen or thrown somewhere. Marvel had a perfect chance to tie those appearances in with this movie, especially considering that Stark’s father, Howard Stark, was in charge of designing Rogers’ original shield.
HOW DID THOR GET BACK TO EARTH?
It seems there are a lot of questions regarding how the two Asgardians, Thor and Loki, got to Earth. When Thor was stranded on Asgard at the end of ‘THOR,’ I, like most people, wondered why Marvel chose to do this. A lot of people said that if Marvel spent any time in AVENGERS bringing Thor back to Earth, it would be a waste of precious movie time. Well, fans got their wish, and Thor magically appeared on the wing of the aircraft carrying Loki.
When Loki and Thor had their little exchange shortly thereafter, Loki asked Thor how much dark matter the All-Father (Odin) had to conjure up to send him back to Earth…and that was it. I assumed that Marvel’s decision to leave Thor on Asgard was because there was going to be a scene in ‘AVENGERS’ devoted to bringing him back. After all, we saw Jane Foster and her team gathering data and star maps at the end of ‘THOR’ in an attempt to find him. It would have been nice to see S.H.I.E.L.D. use her research to find another way of opening the portal between Earth and Asgard. Having Thor just appear because of “dark matter” felt like a cop out. How come when Thor asked Heimdel if Earth was lost at the end of ‘THOR’ the Asgardian gate keeper didn’t reply, “Fuck no. We got dark matter, baby!”
HOW DID THE HULK FINALLY CONTROL HIMSELF?
What made this character great was Mark Ruffalo’s interpretation of Bruce Banner. He finally brought a depth to the character we didn’t get from Eric Bana and Edward Norton, the two previous actors who portrayed Banner. Ruffalo was the star of the film, I felt, and Marvel would be nuts not to give the Hulk another solo film with Ruffalo leading the way. Having said that, I was torn at the end when Banner returned and became the Hulk to fight alongside the rest of the Avengers. On the one hand, I was amped to finally see the Hulk portrayed as a true hero. Yes, we got that in ‘THE INCREDIBLE HULK,’ but I didn’t feel as satisfied then as I did this time around. Maybe because in this one we finally saw the Hulk protecting people from a true enemy, whereas in the last film I felt it was more of a cage fight between Hulk and the Abomination. But the one thing I was curious about in this recent film was how the Hulk was finally able to control himself at the end? What stopped him from smashing fellow Avengers like Captain America or Black Widow? I’m not going to harp on this because I loved having the Hulk portrayed as a hero, finally, but it was still something I left the theater wondering.
WHAT WAS WITH THE HANNIBAL LECTER MASK?
This is a minor thing, but one I couldn’t help wonder about. At the end, when Loki and Thor go back to Asgard, why is Loki wearing a Hannibal-Lecter-type mask? While Loki is the god of mischief, we’ve seen no evidence in these films that he can cast any spells or curses, so was it just to shut him the fuck up? Most likely. It was a cool mask, but I wasn’t sure if it served any purpose other than to look cool.
Now that the opening weekend for ‘THE AVENGERS’ has come and gone, it’ll be interesting to see if it can hold onto the opening weekend record with the release of ‘THE DARK KNIGHT RISES’ just a few months away.
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