The Final Fight
So the team prepares for the worst. Even though they can guess what Loki’s going to do with The Tesseract, they have no idea what’s coming through that portal. Again, the brilliance of the writing shines through here. Cap (finally) shows the kind of leadership he’s known for, and orchestrates the counter strike. All of the heroes again shine, even when Dr. Banner shows up. Cap’s leadership, bravery, and dedication are all on full display. Iron Man’s power, snark, and true heroism are shown. The real breakout scenes belong to Hawkeye tho. He spent half the movie using his powers for Loki, but we finally see what a formidable hero he really is. And may I say, finally, finally, someone gets how Thor spins his hammer and flies right!
Another brilliant part of this final battle is that the team doesn’t win easily, and they don’t win without a scratch. No cliched endings here. Iron Man gets busted up twice in this film. Thor gets his butt handed to him but keeps fighting. Widow and Hawkeye are clearly risking their lives. Cap survives a close range bomb and a shot to the gut. Very dirty, very organic, very well done. The Hulk steals the show here with almost every scene he’s in. So, of course, the council’s decision is to nuke Manhattan. Kill millions to save the planet, because that’s the government’s only fall back plan in the history of ever. They unleash the nuke, but Iron Man intercepts it, and pushes it through the portal. He steers it towards the Mother Ship, watches it unleash its fury, and basically closes his eyes and prepares to die. He barely makes it back through the portal before it all goes white. He’s almost dead, but Hulk screams at him and he revives. Friends forever. Fury will reassemble. Shwarma.
1) Power Levels – Are Thor and Loki gods, or demi-gods, or not? If they are, then they got tossed around too easily by everyone else, except each other. I could see them struggling with each other as equals, but Iron Man and Cap aren’t matches for a demi-god, period. There’s also the issue of The Hulk’s power levels; we know that he’s the strongest one there is, and the angrier he gets, the stronger he gets. He took a full blow from Thor’s hammer and just shook it off. In one of the best scenes of the movie, Hulk tosses Loki around literally like a rag doll and calls him a ‘puny god.’ That whole thing was freaking great, but it negates part of Loki’s godhood threat. Because at the end of the day, The Hulk is still a gamma powered human. I kind of give a pass to Thor’s lightning supercharging Iron Man’s armor. I guess we can go with that. Not so much with Cap’s shield tho, because even tho it’s made of vibranium, it’s the force of Thor’s blow that should’ve hurt him way worse than it did.
2) The Hulk’s Temperament – When Dr. Banner first changed, trapped with the Widow, he was clearly struggling to fight it. As Natasha said, he hadn’t changed for a year. So he was also understandably angry at having to go through this nightmarish thing, one more time. I can understand why he attacked Natasha, because she was the one who recruited him. But. In the end battle, he changes at will, says that he’s always angry, and turns into The Hulk in a split second. Ummm….what? They did a good job with showing how much of a loose cannon Hulk was. That was true to the original Avengers early issues, they were never sure if they could count on him or not. We as the audience though are left confused as to whether or not Dr. Banner can control his transformations at will. Which undermines the Hulk’s whole character since the beginning of the film.
3) Cap’s Arc – Some will think I’m being nitpicky here, but Cap wasn’t really fully Cap until the end of the movie. They milked the “old man out of time” thing way too long for my taste. I don’t like how Cap took on Loki first and got beat, I would’ve rather seen him win a fight first. I wanted to see him use that shield way more than he did. Also, I called it a long time ago, I knew that the best Captain America we were going to see was Emil Blonsky in The Hulk. I KNEW it. That movie had him running at super speed, leaping and flying with altered speed, and recovering from death dealing blows. Avengers dropped the ball on all three; they just didn’t show Cap being super enough. At least, not for me.