Agent Coulson Lives!

One year ago, I reviewed The Avengers, weighed in on the sexism debate, called Hawkeye the damsel in distress, and decided the real heroes of the movie were the non-superheroes. But I still had several unanswered questions.


Why Hawkeye?

Today I listened to Joss Whedon’s commentary on The Avengers, which answered some of the questions I’d asked in my review. I also got a chance to see some of the other scenes in a new light, from a writer’s perspective.

So, if listening to one man drone on about writing and directing a movie is not high on your priority list, maybe this recap is just what you’re looking for.

My biggest question was why Joss Whedon decided to send Hawkeye over to the dark side. He actually answers this in the commentary of the very first scene of the movie: He didn’t have anything for Hawkeye to do!

It really was that simple. After Firefly, he swore he’d never do anything with that many protagonists to keep track of, with each on requiring their own character arc. But then he goes and signs up for a movie that’ll force him to do exactly that. And it’s only his second movie.

So moving Hawkeye over to Loki’s team solved both problems. It gave Hawkeye something to do. And it removed one of the protagonists. And in so doing, it made Black Widow’s backstory and arc more interesting. Not that Jeremy Renner was thrilled about it.

In other words, the reason turned out to be, well, none of the possible reasons I’d guessed in my original post on the movie.


The Hulk as Werewolf

In my original post, I’d referred to the Hulk’s transformation as “werewolf-style” and was dismayed by how he suddenly and easily controls his powers by the end. That’s still one of my major complaints with the movie.

But the scene Joss Whedon referred to as the Hulk’s werewolf-style moment is when he chases Black Widow. A lot of people hated that scene, and it sparked some outrage, which I mentioned in my original post (so I won’t rehash here).

The point of that scene, though, is to show that the Hulk is not always the trump card. So much of the beginning of the movie is about the Hulk being just as dangerous to the good guys as the bad guys. So when he Hulks out on the carrier, it’s a resolution of built-up tension.

In other words, as Joss Whedon said, when you’re watching a Hulk movie, you’re waiting for the bullies to show up, so that the Hulk can smash them. But when he goes after a physically weak character who we, the audience, care about, things are a lot more interesting.


Evil Loki

Joss mentioned that he struggled a little initially with Loki being too likeable and sympathetic in the Thor movie. But in this one, it’s clear that Loki’s put some distance between himself and what happened and has moved on, in some ways. So he takes real pleasure in the chaos and suffering he causes.

Apparently some people didn’t get, or at least weren’t sure, that Black Widow was playing Loki. Even after the fact, they weren’t sure whether Black Widow was really interrogating him. The commentary mentions that  she’s pretending that everything Loki says affects her… but then it turns out that he really does get to her a little.


Agent Coulson Lives!

And so it turns out the Agent Coulson didn’t die after all, and is in fact going to head up his own show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The fan outcry for Agent Coulson to make it through was pretty amazing, considering how he started out as a very minor character. But Gregg’s portrayal is stellar, so I’m looking forward to it.

So those are a few of my reactions and impressions after listening to the commentary. It’s actually a very entertaining two hours because Joss Whedon is a fun character all on his own.

Do you still find The Avengers a fun flick, one year later? Oh, and if you haven’t already, check out the Honest Trailer. It’s hilarious!

Leave a comment below or find me as +Traci Loudin on Google+ or on Twitter and Goodreads!


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One response to “Agent Coulson Lives!”

  1. […] Also see my follow-up post, Agent Coulson Lives! […]