Spoiler alert: certain interesting turns in the film will be mentioned in the following lines. Also, do not read if you didn’t know that the Avengers will ultimately triumph over the bad guy(s).
This version of Avengers was fun, although, as Hawk-Eye says somewhere, they have lost the element of surprise somewhat. But this is not a review, no. Just a few things that struck me.
1. America saves mankind. Again. ‘Nuff said.
2. Hawk-Eye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) has a secret, and a nice one. He has a “safehouse” tucked away in a countryside where live his pregnant wife and two children. Whoa. By the time the film ends, the third child has been born, and is very cute. This, in fact, was an element of surprise, especially for me, who assumed that if there was a part 2, then Clint and Natasha would pair up in it. But no, apparently, Natasha and Bruce are the ones who are struggling with their feelings for each other; Clint and Nat are just best friends. Alright. But a wife and children? Wonder how many people saw that coming. The other Avengers didn’t. And many of their surprise was mixed with envious awe. Clint had clearly got the best of the better world. Which brings me to my observation: no matter how far into the space you venture or how many sons of Odin you fight, a cosy home, a pretty and understanding wife, and cute little children remain the ultimate Desirables. Interesting.
3. There is a new bad-turned-good guy on the scene. In the long climax, he mocks Barton at one moment and dies saving his life a few minutes later. When Barton realises that he took the bullets for him, this new one’s signature line is also his last words: You didn’t see that coming?
I confess I was moved. Truth be told, all the points I have written about here are cliches, none so more than an initially non-cooperative figure finally proving his worth by sacrificing his life for those whom he began by criticising. But it worked on me. And it got me thinking anew about this strange thing called heroism.
People die all the time. And if it’s war, then it is surprising if they don’t. What is it, then, that is so incredibly moving, so heart-rending, so miraculous about yet another death? Well, he died for someone else! Why would he? How could he? How does one do that? And it is not always a question of dying for a friend, a loved one. It is apparently just a matter of valuing another life more than one’s own.
I enjoyed the witty dialogues, I wonder how long it will be before Bruce emerges again and Clint has to leave his home for another far-fetched adventure. Is Pepper out of the picture for good? I am also interested in what role the new Avengers will be playing in the next part(s), which I have no doubt are in the pipeline. But for some time to come, I am going to ponder mostly on this cliche, this miracle: a million acts of cruelty or baseness shriek for attention, but they pale and fade beside this one act of unfathomable nobility. What is this thing called heroism?