The Common Good

'The Avengers' Lives Up to the Hype

Ladies and gentlemen, summer has arrived.

Dave Hogan/Getty Images
R Jonathan Ross, Jeremy Renner and Robert Downey Jr. at the European premiere of The Avengers. Dave Hogan/Getty Images

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This past weekend I joined the ranks of moviegoers and saw the action-packed and highly anticipated superhero movie, The Avengers, and the film lived up to its hype.

To those more familiar with the comic book storylines, please forgive me for any glaring reduction of the plot. I stand with you in my enthusiasm for the film, and I appreciate your full understanding of the respective stories leading to this reunion. 

Nevertheless, here is the story: Archenemy and adopted son of Asgard, Loki, makes plans for an all-out war between his world and ours. One hero is not enough to take down the hubris of this megalomaniac, and Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. assembles the best of the best for the task: Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Captain America, Black Widow and the Incredible Hulk. These heroes’ respective egos are tested as they forge a team to take on Loki’s army and avenge the earth of the evil invasion. 

The Avengers was an exciting adventure from beginning to end. The action held the trifecta combination of an all-star cast, great action scenes, and witty banter from everyone involved. Have you ever asked the hypothetical “would you rather” question of which Avenger would win in a face off—Captain America or Iron Man, Thor or the Hulk? Director Joss Whedon does not disappoint the audience in exploring such matchups, and New York proves itself again as the most resilient city for alien attacks through galaxy portals. 

If you are not into fancy gadgets or costumed characters, have no fear. This is first and foremost a superhero movie, yes. But the beauty of The Avengers is how each character makes the choice to move beyond the proverbial chip-on-the-shoulder and rise to the occasion. Tony Stark makes one more call to Pepper; Dr. Banner chooses between two equally real identities; Thor appeals to his brother’s misguided sense of kingship; Natasha Romanoff remains committed to Clint Barton as she makes amends for her ledger; and even Steve Rogers struggles with feeling outdated. Each of these characters brings a unique perspective and honest sincerity to their role in fighting Loki. In a telling moment, Agent Phil Coulson (an understated hero in his own right) tells Rogers that his Captain America uniform is fitting for this time, indicating perhaps that “maybe we need a little bit of old-fashioned.”

Indeed, Agent Coulson, we do. Whatever your preferred movie genre—be it indie, psychological thriller, standard RomCom—there is no substitute for the classic good-versus-evil fight with superheroes ready to save the day. The Avengers fits the bill in every way. Call it old-fashioned, I call it the start of what is: sure to be a great summer at the movies. 

Nicole Higgins is an adminitrative assistant at Sojourners. Follow Nicole on Twitter @RareBlackBirds.

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