Within the last 5 years, we have been treated to movies starring Captain America, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Thor.  And those movies were set up to ultimately give us “The Avengers.”  Never before has Hollywood given us a big budget, high quality movie that has so many comic book heroes.  This is quite a feat, and it is one hell of a good movie.

When Earth is threatened by another world headed by Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston), super duper, U.S. spy organization SHIELD assembles Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) and The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) to help save us from creatures as warlike and savage as…humans.  The problem with this group of Avengers is that they’ve never worked with each other before, so there are lots of kinks to work out; issues such as trust, personality clashes, and different goals.  And while the Avengers are trying to work out the kinks, Hiddleston is making huge progress to open a portal between Earth and the invading world in order to usher in a vast army that is technologically superior to what puny Earthlings have to offer.

One very tense scene that shows the Avengers on the verge of breaking apart is my most memorable, movie moment of “The Avengers.”   The following dialogue between Downey and Evans is part of this scene.

Captain America: “Big man in a suit of armor.  Take that off, what are you?”

Iron Man: “Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.”

Captain America: “I know guys with none of that worth ten of you.  I’ve seen the footage.  The only thing you really fight for is yourself.  You’re not the guy to make the sacrifice play, to lay down on a wire and let the other guy crawl over you.”

Iron Man: “I think I would just cut the wire.”

Captain America: “Always a way out.  You know, you may not be a threat, but you better stop pretending to be a hero.”

Iron Man: “A hero, like you?  You’re a laboratory experiment, Rogers.  Everything special about you came out of a bottle.”

This is a brilliantly written scene, with amazing performances  by Downey and Evans.  A rare find in big budget, blockbuster, Hollywood movies.  And it is scenes like this that add a lot of substance to “The Avengers,” and substance is always what the audience connects to and remembers, long after the visuals and audio effects have faded from memory.

Second place for the memorable, movie moments of “The Avengers” is the scene when Hiddleston herds hundreds of people outside of an art exhibit and forces them to kneel before him.  After making a megalomaniacal speech about how humans secretly desire to be subjugated and ruled and enslaved, one old man rises to his feet, and with dignity and grace, defies Hiddleston.  That…is true power.  To think for yourself, to say “no” to something that you know in your soul to be wrong, to be willing to fight and die for what you believe in.  No gun, no army, no government can ever withstand such power.   Always question authority, as Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and even Captain America have done in “The Avengers.”

So, to all you comic book fans, movie fans, political activists, nerds, and addicts of special effects, watch and enjoy “The Avengers.”  I’ll be buying the BD when the price comes down to $10 — it’s that worthy.

M

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