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Great Heroes, Bad Villain
Marvel has embarked for much of the 00s decade on an epic quest: to pump out movies detailing the origin stories of their most famous heroes to make audiences familiar with them so one of the biggest gambles in cinematic history pays off. And pay off, it did. The action is spectacular, the characters are played by actors long comfortable and skilled in their roles, and the plot, while flimsy, doesn't matter.

The Avengers is an awesome superhero film, but fails in one critical area: the villain. The Avengers is about the greatest (Marvel) superhero team: consisting of a genius in a suit of Powered Armor, a sexy but deadly spy, the Norse god of thunder, a Super Soldier, a Nigh Invulnerable mass of green muscle, and an archer whose skills put Olympic athletes to shame. To choose Loki as the villain to oppose that Dream Team just perplexes me. "Let's assemble this team of our company's greatest heroes and put them against a person who was soundly defeated by one of the team's individual members.". My mind be baffled, good sir.

The way I see the conflict of the film is this: Thor vs. Loki in Film/Thor was the first match, and now Loki is going up against Thor again, but this time the thunder god has serious backup. What does Loki have to say to that? Well, for one, Loki hasn't Taken A Level In Badass since Film/Thor , but at least he's still got the wits and deceit to keep his foes running around in circles, right?

No. Loki, a person whose whole thing was his skills of manipulation bred from hundreds of years of experience, is outsmarted on the first try by a mere mortal. True, Loki has an army and can (somehow) now brainwash people, but he was only able to brainwash Hawkeye (arguably the team's weakest member) and a few scientists and soldiers, and his army was actually loaned to him by another villain (and that's leaving out the fact that the army needs the film's MacGuffin to even come into play), and even then the army is quite easily taken down by our heroes.

Loki is a laughable villain (The Avengers themselves pose a greater threat to each other due to infighting), and that drags down the film considerably, knowing that heroes are only as good as the evil they stop. However, the fact that I still consider the film one of the best ever just goes to show how much the non-Loki parts shine.

Except he was playing off that infighting, and hoping to use it against them. He was The Chessmaster unleashing his Xanatos Gambit, he was playing Xanatos Speed Chess. And he even managed to turn Black Widow's successful interrogation of him into another ploy to unleash the Hulk. That's why he's a threat. He's able to constantly work events and try to turn them to his favor. Plus, the idea Joss Whedon was going for here is that Loki's not completely right in the head after his trip through space that happened between Thor and Avengers. As for choosing Loki as the villain, that goes back to the comics, as Loki was the first foe the Avengers ever faced. Naturally, they decided to use that here, especially since everyone seemed to love him in the first Thor movie.
comment #23728 JamesPicard 7th Apr 14
Sorry, meant to say he WASN'T The Chessmaster. He had a plan, but he had to constantly work the pieces aroung to keep the plan moving. That's what I meant to say. Whoops.
comment #23729 JamesPicard 7th Apr 14
While I won't try to argue what you say (I partially disagree but that's not the point), I can actually answer your question as for why they chose Loki: he was the first villain the Avengers fought in the comic. It's a hommage, sort of.
comment #23730 Theokal3 7th Apr 14
Oh, then I guess that's okay then. I was just a little disappointed that Loki didn't seem the right "match" for the team.
comment #23731 Mr.Movie 7th Apr 14
Loki himself not being particularly threatening and needing to rely on another force he can't bring to bear until the end of the movie is actually a perfect fit for this film. This is the Avengers' first time working together, which means that the focus of the film needs to be on them working through their interpersonal hangups and becoming a functioning team. If it was the job of the individual character movies to establish these characters' identities, backstories, etc., then it is this film's job to establish the team's dynamic and relationships for the future Avengers movies. If they had to spend most of the film taking on a villain powerful enough to threaten the entire team by himself, a lot of that development would be lost or sidelined. Instead of a movie about a superhero team, we'd just have a crossover where a bunch of superheroes from different movies gang up on a guy.

The Marvel films are playing a long game. The Avengers wasn't the finish line; it was just where things got even bigger.
comment #23735 Wryte 7th Apr 14
^ Wow. I never thought of that before.
comment #23736 Mr.Movie 7th Apr 14
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