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Awesome / The Avengers (2012)

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Captain America: Dr. Banner! Now might be a really good time for you to get angry.
Bruce Banner: That's my secret, Captain. I'm always angry.
— The Avengers decide it's a code green.

This is, without a shadow of a doubt, a Crowning Movie of Awesome! Four years, five movies, one of the largest All-Star Casts in history, and a full billion dollars spent, all for the sake of this one film. It could've been a catastrophic failure, but they pulled it off. Not only that; they pulled it off spectacularly. Nearly every moment of the film deserves mention on this page, so let's get down to it.

    open/close all folders 

  • The film opening, narrated by The Other, provides enough continuity to satisfy any fan. Loki taking the Scepter, the flashes of the Tesseract... The opening essentially tells you everything you need to know about the film, without telling you a damn thing.
  • Coulson's priority at Project Pegasus is to get the people out. While Fury and Maria Hill are asking about the weapons and telling him to run, he isn't willing to leave until everyone has made it to safety (doubles as Heartwarming).
  • Barton proves why he's one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s best agents when he figures out why the Tesseract is acting up. Note that no one else, not even Selvig, who's been studying this thing for months, figures it out.
    Barton: If there was any tampering, sir, it wasn't at this end.
    Fury: "At this end?"
    Barton: Well, yeah. The Tesseract is a doorway to the other end of space, right? (Beat) Doors open from both sides.
  • Loki's introduction proves he not only Took a Level in Badass, but now he definitely poses a big enough threat to have S.H.I.E.L.D. bring the Avengers together.
  • Nick Fury stalling Loki so that the portal created by the Tesseract will collapse the whole S.H.I.E.L.D. facility above, and bury the new threat. Along with himself.
    Fury: Like the pharaohs of old.
    • The conversation before that is just one Badass Boast from Loki after another.
      Loki: I am Loki, of Asgard. And I am burdened with glorious purpose.
      Selvig: Loki? Brother of Thor?
      Fury: We have no quarrel with your people.
      Loki: An ant has no quarrel with a boot.
      Fury: You planning to step on us?
      Loki: I come with glad tidings — of a world made free...
      Fury: Free from what?
      Loki: Freedom. Freedom is life's great lie. Once you accept that... In your heart... [turns Selvig with his scepter] You will know peace.
  • The car chase between Maria Hill and Controlled!Hawkeye, all while the underground facility is collapsing around them. There's a reason why this woman is Nick Fury's second in command.
    • Even before the Chase Scene began in earnest, Maria Hill proved herself a competent woman. At first when Hawkeye shows up with Loki, she's confused, as well as a little suspicious by the answer — then as she's walking away (having a job to do), Fury radios "Hill! Do you copy? Barton has turned." Before he finishes speaking, Maria dives for cover, her feeling that something's wrong confirmed by his tone; the moment he says Barton, she instantly knows her suspicions were right. She then starts firing back and kicks off the Chase Scene. No waiting, no questioning; she just acts on the spot.
  • The sheer scale of the destruction at Project Pegasus; we've seen Tesseract-powered weapons in action before, but this one scene (shot from Coulson's perspective, no less) show's why it's a real threat.
  • Fury shooting out the door of a helicopter with nothing more than a pistol, trying to stop Loki.
    • And when Loki blasts it with the scepter, Fury survives by jumping out the door barely five feet off the ground.
    • The final moments of the scene:
      Fury: Coulson, get back to base. This is a Level 7. As of right now... we are at war.
      Coulson: What do we do?
      [Fury says nothing, only stares into the distance as the camera pans around his ever-more-determined face, while the main theme rises.]
      [cue the title card]

    Gathering Heroes 
  • Natasha Romanoff is tied to a chair, talking to some Russians. It's easy to expect her to bust free and kick her captors' asses. It is not expected that she isn't a captive at all, and is in fact preforming a successful reverse interrogation. She still kicks their asses, too- but she doesn't bother to bust free, she just uses the chair as a weapon!
    • Coulson, like Fury, isn't fond of negotiating with scum. His intimidation is completely deadpan and completely effective.
      Russian leader: [in Russian] You listen here-
      Coulson: [without emotion] You're at 114 Solenski Plaza. Third Floor. We have an F-22 exactly eight miles out. Put the woman on the phone, or I'll blow up the block before you can make the lobby.
      [the Russian shakily approaches Black Widow, giving her the phone.]
    • Natasha and Coulson's Casual Danger Dialogue:
      Coulson: We need you to come in.
      Black Widow: Are you kidding? I'm working!
      Coulson: This takes precedence.
      Black Widow: I'm in the middle of an interrogation, this moron is giving me everything.
      [Russians exchange confused glances.]
      Natasha just nods at them to affirm that she isn't bullshitting.
    • Nat's true Establishing Character Moment comes when Coulson informs her that "Barton's been compromised." She puts him on hold while she breaks loose, kicks the Russians' collective asses, and then walks away. The instant she hears her friend is in danger, she drops her old mission and is willing to do whatever she has to in order to help him.
    • On a meta level, this scene is perfect foreshadowing for Natasha's later conversation with Loki... except she (and by extension, Scarlett Johansson) are such good actors, everything she says is believable. They become two separate, amazing character sequences instead of foreshadowing and payoff.
  • Bruce Banner is on the run from pretty much every government agency, and is constantly fighting to contain a raging monster inside himself. He nevertheless finds the time to help sick persons in India for little pay (if any — he seems more concerned about the condition of the girl's "father" than about her money).
  • Bruce successfully goading Black Widow. Also, her response shows him S.H.I.E.L.D.'s position regarding "The Monster." She isn't some sacrificial lamb sent to lure him into a trap, but she doesn't shoot either; Fury isn't after his head.
    Bruce: I'm sorry, that was mean. I just wanted to see what you'd do. [grins]
  • Nick Fury both verbally flips off the World Security Council and provides the setup for the most epic character introduction in the film.
    Council: War isn't won by sentiment, Director.
    Fury: No. It's won by soldiers.
    • To wit: the music swells. We cut to a boxing gym; Steve Rogers is beating the crap out of a punching bag, while flashing back to the war and his resurrection. And then he hits the bag so hard it comes off the chain and breaks open.
    • When Fury comes to talk to Steve, he bets the Super Soldier 10 bucks that he can still surprise Steve. He does, later. (Just keep scrolling, the entry is on here.)
  • Tony's introductory scene is a Call-Back to the first Iron Man. He said he wanted to "look into Arc Reactor Technology", and here he is testing the first commercial Arc Reactor. "A beacon of clean energy", indeed.
    • A moment must be taken to acknowledge the Techno-Porn of the first time Tony takes off the suit. Hell, just the fact that Tony built a system to take off the suit as he's walking. It says something about how awesome and skilled Tony is as an engineer that he built a walking disassembly rig for his suit just so he could land and casually walk inside his penthouse without breaking stride. He designs a piece of incredibly complex machinery that would give most engineers fits trying to create, just so he can have a conveniently stylish entry into his private home.
    • Tony later announces - casually, mind you - that he became an expert in thermonuclear astrophysics overnight. In addition to reading up on the other team members. This version can never claim to have beaten Reed Richards in chess, but he's definitely one of the smartest beings in the world.
      • And to top it off it is all a distraction to plant his hacking chip, but he doesn't lie during it.
  • The Other manages to instill fear in Loki — and probably the audience, too.
    The Other: If you fail... If the Tesseract is kept from us... There will be no realm, no barren moon, no crevice where he cannot find you!
    You think you know pain? He'll make you long for something sweet as pain.
  • Every time two of the heroes meet. More are showcased in later entries, to keep chronology as best as possible.
    • When Steve meets Bruce just after, he treats the doctor like he would any colleague. Bruce even asks what else Steve's heard, but he doesn't care. In his words, all that matters is that Bruce can find the cube.
  • It's hard to believe, but there was a time when this page did not acknowledge the incredible sequence of the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier appearing for the first time in live-action. Seeing Cap flying over the ocean in a quinjet might've made some fans pause. Seeing the jet land on an aircraft carrier, some fans might've thought, "Okay, they're giving it a nod. No way they'd actually pull that off." And then the alarms start. Black Widow suggests they go inside, because it's "going to get hard to breath". Cap questions if they're on a submarine. He and Banner walk to the edge of the flight deck, and see a roiling ocean, as four large somethings rise from the depths to join with the carrier. Cue everyone with even a hint of comic book knowledge going, "Holy crap, hell no, they didn't, they fucking didn't! HOLY SHIT!"
    • Alan Sylvestri's score sells the moment more than anything — a soaring piece that is only rivaled by the movie's main theme. Indeed, The Helicarrier theme is one of the only pieces to be reused across films.
    • Two Words: Let's vanish. How do you make an Airborne Aircraft Carrier even more epic? Make it invisible.
    • Even Cap shows his appreciation. By giving Nick Fury 10 bucks.
  • Hawkeye tells Loki and Selvig that the Scepter has shown him his next target. It seems he's simply referring to the iridium mentioned a moment ago... except he's looking right at Loki when he says it. Barton might not have been as far gone as the Asgardian hoped.

  • Loki makes an awesomely-timed Dynamic Entry as the piece of classical music that's playing in the background reaches to its crescendo. The music in question is the First Movement of Franz Schubert's String Quartet No. 13 from Rosamunde.
  • The old German gentleman who decides he'd rather die than kneel to Loki: say hello to the Badass Bystander.
    • Word of God says that the old man is a Holocaust survivor and it gets better when you hear Joss Whedon's commentary, and learn the character was put in because he realized the scene would have Unfortunate Implications without it. Taking a flaw in your script and turning it into a stand and cheer moment? That's Whedon for you.
    • After the old man defies Loki, several other people in the crowd follow his example and stand up as well.
  • Cap's Big Damn Heroes moment, followed by a brief "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    Captain America: You know, the last time I was in Germany, and saw a man standing above everybody else... we ended up disagreeing.
  • Loki then shows off his fighting skills by curb-stomping Captain America, the Super Soldier. Another MOA for Loki in that is he is the first being to cleanly and single-handedly defeat Cap in a one-on-one battle in the Cinematic Universe.
  • Followed by Iron Man's Big Damn Heroes moment by flooring Loki with a double repulsor blast, followed by a Three-Point Landing embedding into the pavement. Set to "Shoot to Thrill" by AC/DC — a diegetic moment, since Tony casually hacks the hovercraft's broadcast speakers to play it. Tony knows how to make an entrance.
    Stark: [to Natasha on the Quinjet's intercom] Agent Romanov... You miss me? [cue BGM Override via the Quinjet's PA system]
    • Then, Iron Man shows off his weaponry by unsheathing them without firing, then gives this line:
    • As she hears Tony's voice, Nat's worried face instantly shifts to a victory smirk.
  • To give credit to Cap where's it due, when facing down an Asgardian who far surpasses him in strength and endurance, does he give up?
    Captain America: Not today! [kicks Loki in the face]
    • Though there isn't much damage he could do in return, Cap regularly manages to outmaneuver Loki (the Asgardian god with centuries-worth of fighting experience) and evade most of his attacks.
    • Cap also figures out Loki gave up too easily as well.
  • For anyone with more than a passing familiarity with Marvel comics, the very simple exchange: "Mr. Stark." "Captain." This is the Kirk and Spock of the Marvel Universe meeting for the first time, the glue that holds the entire Marvel superhero community together, the mentors of an entire age of superheros, finally together in one film.

    Forest Fight 
  • Thor's entrance into the film. As Cap, Tony and Natasha transport their "prisoner", a thunderstorm materializes around the plane. Suddenly, falling like a bolt of lightning, Thor plummets down out of nowhere onto the plane. He then smacks Iron Man aside, seizes Loki and flies away without a word.
  • Cap had already discovered he was no match for Loki. When Loki's "kidnapped" by Thor, Black Widow tries to talk Cap out of following ("they're basically gods"), he replies "Ma'am, there's only one God, and I'm pretty sure He doesn't dress like that." He knows he's no match for the new mystery threat, but that doesn't stop Cap. (When has it ever?)
  • A minor one, but the fact that Thor is the only Avenger to realise Loki's got a backer, just from one bit of Loki bluster. Especially given Loki spent the last film and this one pulling the wool over his brother's eyes.
    Thor: Who showed you this power? Who controls the would-be king?
  • Thor and Iron Man's fight in the woods:
    • Thor nails Tony with a hammer throw at the tourist comment, which ticks Tony off that he responds with a repulsors and a thruster proppelled knee
    • After soaking up Thor's lightning for five seconds, JARVIS tells Iron Man: "Power at 400% capacity." "How about that", says Tony, who then blasts Thor backwards.
    • Thor follows it up by quickly recovering and landing on his feet.
    • Tony then grinds Thor's face against a cliff.
    • Tony tries to goes h2h with Thor but is instantly overcome by his superior skills. As Thor tries to deliver the finishing blow, Tony rockets away, tripping him, before coming around to sock Thor in the face.
    • When Iron Man headbutts Thor, he staggers back a bit; When Thor headbutts Iron Man, he sends him flying. It's "blink and you'll miss it", but afterwards, Iron Man's helmet has a noticeable dent.
    • Iron Man seems to realize he's in over his head when Thor starts to crumple Tony's tankproof armor with his bare hands.
    • Captain America, during Thor and Iron Man's fight in the woods, orders both men to stand down harshly. Thor doesn't do so, and when Cap tells him to put his hammer down, the big guy takes this badly. As the god of thunder leaps and prepares to smack Cap down with Mjölnir, Cap's shield blocks it and... instant clear-cut. When the dust settles, Cap's no worse for wear.
      Cap: [calmly] Are we done here?
    • The initial attempt at ending the fight was quite awesome, even if it was unsuccessful. He shows up out of nowhere and smacks both of them with a well-timed shield toss.

    Attack on S.H.I.E.L.D. 
  • Tony is trying to hack into the Helicarrier's systems to figure out what S.H.I.E.L.D. is keeping from them, but he's having trouble. Steve finds out before he does, the old-fashioned way.
    • Then when they call out Fury later, they tear into his lies one after the other with expert timing. They may not like each other, but they are already united in doing what's right.
  • Black Widow tricks Loki into revealing his intention to unleash the Hulk inside the Helicarrier and thanks him for his cooperation — in other words, the best spy on Earth manages to fool the God of Lies. She walks in to talk to the Trickster God in a battle of wits with no real cards to play except for Loki's anger and confidence, and she walks out with exactly what she wanted. What's more, she does this even though Loki was fully-informed on her thanks to Hawkeye, who's undoubtedly familiar with her method of choice. Of course, Loki still gets what he intended in the end, so it's also an MOA for him.
  • During the argument between Steve and Tony that almost escalates into a full-blown fight, Steve tells Tony "Put on the suit, let's go a few rounds." To clarify, Steve Rogers will only consider this fight fair if his opponent has a suit of high-tech, fully loaded with weapons, Powered Armor. And on Tony's end, he's fully aware how physically superior a super soldier is, and seems to be entirely willing to go those few rounds with Cap without his armor. That dig about being nothing without it sure had nothing to do with this.
  • Cap slaps away a grenade thrown by one of Loki's mooks while jumping... across a broken catwalk over ten thousand feet of fresh air.
  • How fast is the Hulk? The pilot who "distracts" him by firing off bullets at the green giant tries to get out of Dodge by ejecting himself once the Hulk latches onto his jet... only for Hulk to immediately catch him and hurl him away himself.
  • Black Widow, a normal-ass (if highly trained) human being, facing down the Hulk and living to tell the tale. The fact that she was trapped in a small, confined space (probably the worst possible place to be dealing with the Hulk) and still managed to evade his grasp long enough for Thor to show up and even the odds just makes it all the more incredible.
    • Black Widow is in a state of shock after having nearly been killed by the Hulk. She's in a corner hugging her legs like a little girl, which is probably the last time this woman that's been trained as an assassin since childhood was so terrified. She hears from Fury on her comlink that the still mind-controlled Hawkeye is on board the Helicarrier. Still shaking, she quickly pulls herself together to go stop him. A great example of the adage that "Being brave doesn't mean you have no fear, it means you do the right thing in spite of fear."
  • Badly injured and unable to even stand, Agent Coulson lures Loki in close with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, then blasts him with a BFG that blows the Trickster God through at least one wall. Coulson readily accepted his own Heroic Sacrifice, foreseeing that it would galvanize the Avengers into a real team.
    Coulson: ... you lack conviction.
  • Thor vs. Hulk.
    • The Hulk nearly curb stomps every fight he has in this movie, from Black Widow all the way up to the alien Leviathans. Thor is the only one in the entire film who puts up anything like an equal fight against the Hulk. Thor might even have been able to manage a win eventually, but the fight was interrupted. Thor not only blocks an overhand strike from the Hulk, but actually starts to shove Hulk's arm back with both of his. The Hulk knocks Thor through a set of solid steel storage containers and an aluminum bulkhead. Thor picks himself up, realizes that the blow left him bleeding from the nose, and suddenly gives a berserker grin. And Thor uppercutting the Hulk into a fighter jet with his hammer without even looking, then drop-sliding under the plane wing that Hulk hurls at him to hurl his hammer at him to trap Hulk. Then he follows up with a flying knee and then tries to use his hammer to try to choke out Hulk.
    • For his part, Hulk also does very impressively. Up to this point, Thor has largely been an invincible hero. Hulk gives him the fight of his life. Hulk follows up with his own MOA, leaping onto the upper floor, slamming Thor through the floor and onto the ceiling, breaking his grip. It's a blink-and-miss, but Hulk had actually began to give Thor the "Loki-treatment" before the pilot distracts him. Fortunately, Thor escapes without critical injury, but if it weren't for the pilot, it might have been called the "Thor-treatment." There's also Hulk's insane durability; he tanks a blow from Mjölnir, to the face, and he gets up seconds later. The same weapon which crushed Frost Giants, slayed the Jotunheim beast, destroyed the Destroyer, and defeated Loki could not permanently put down the Hulk.
  • Nick Fury showing why he's the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. during the attack on the Helicarrier bridge, easily taking out a few fully armed men storming in. We waited to see him kick ass ever since Samuel L. Jackson took the role. We got our wish and it was awesome.
    • This is an awesome moment for two reasons, actually. He not only is holding the attacking troops off with nothing but a pistol, he's also cool-headed while under fire to realize that something's wrong, and they wouldn't just try and rush a single doorway after planning such an attack.
    • Although she's a minor character, Maria Hill proves herself to be among the more effective agents in S.H.I.E.L.D., from the Chase Scene against both Loki and Hawkeye to defending the bridge of the Helicarrier with Fury just after getting knocked back by a grenade at the start. Back to that grenade bit, she spots it and leaps to cover while pulling and saving a comrade with her without a thought. Then she does it again. She also gets small Big Damn Heroes moment when she takes out a mook about to shoot Fury with one bullet. In fact, after Fury, she was the one who kicked the most ass in that room. Justified: Fury wouldn't make someone his second-in-command for nothing.
  • Loki has trapped Thor in the cage built for the Hulk — which Fury notes earlier had unbreakable glass that should've been able to stand up to even one of the Hulk's punches. Thor smacks it with Mjölnir, and not only cracks the glass but shakes the whole room. What really sells this is Loki's reaction: he goes from gloating to startled, and takes a big step back with a look on his face that shows he was actually scared for a second. It takes him a few seconds of nervous laughter to cover it up. Later, he uses focus and the right angles to get his bearing in a box spinning and rotating at nauseatingly high speeds plummeting to the ground at terminal velocity — something that would be totally impossible for any normal person — and then he rockets out of the thing!
    • It also is a CMOA for S.H.I.E.L.D. for being able to built that cage, and when Thor fails to breach it easily, it lends more credibility to the idea the cage can hold Hulk for at least sometime.

    Suit Up 
  • Captain America talks down a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent trying to stop him by virtue of just being Captain America. Doubles as a funny moment like many of the other moments on this page.
    Captain America: Son, just don't.
  • A deleted scene reveals that Harry Dean Stanton was responsible for Banner changing his mind and going back. Not to mention that he gets outright philosophical at one point:
    HDS: Are you like, a big guy that gets all little, or a little guy that sometimes gets big?
    Banner: Y'know... I'm not so sure anymore...
    • And Harry Dean Stanton asking someone if they were an alien. Meta-CMOA.
  • Tony's speech to Loki. All of it.
    • Tony is the first one to make it back to Stark Tower in his heavily damaged armor and sees Loki waiting for him. Now, Tony's highly capable as Iron Man, but without his armor, he's just a civilian with a bad heart. But he doesn't even hesitate to walk straight into the building, remove his armor, and confront a god all by himself. Without his armor. Of course, a big part of Tony's Character Development has been that the armour doesn't make the man.
      • Tony's verbal sparring match with Loki as he casually offers him a drink.
        Loki: The Chitauri are coming. Nothing will change that. What have I to fear?
        Tony: [nonchantly pouring himself a drink] The Avengers. [seeing Loki's puzzled reaction, he rolls his eyes a little] It's what we call ourselves. Sorta like a team. "Earth's mightiest heroes" type thing.
        Loki: [smirking] Yes. I've met them.
        Tony: [smirking back] Yeah. Takes us a while to get any traction, I'll give ya that one. But, let's do a headcount here: Your brother, the demigod; a super-soldier — a living legend who kind of lives up to the legend; a man with breathtaking anger management issues; a couple of master assassins — and you, big fella, you've managed to piss off every single one of 'em.
        Loki: That was the plan.
        Tony: Not a great plan. When they come — and they will — they'll come for you.
        Loki: I have an army.
        Tony: We have a Hulk.
        Loki: Oh, I thought the beast had wandered off.
        Tony: You're missing the point — there is no throne. There is no version of this where you come out on top. Maybe your army comes, and maybe it's too much for us, but it's all on you. 'Cause if we can't protect the Earth, you can be damn well sure we'll avenge it.
    • Loki is able to Mind Control people by touching his scepter to their hearts. Then he tries it on Tony Stark and we hear a little tink as it bounces off his arc reactor... And they both stand there looking at it for a Beat — and then he tries it again. At which point Tony starts consoling Loki over his "performance issues".
    • Tony suits up in the Mark 7 suit while falling to the ground.
      • Also a funny moment, when the Mark 7 is deploying, it slams into Loki on its way out.
      • Something to note about the Mk 7. Joss Whedon wanted to use the circular arc light instead of the triangular one, so the Mk 7 was made. However, Joss also gave the Mk 6 a good run: trading hits with Thor, having more fire power than in Iron Man 2, and surviving the helicarrier turbine well enough for Stark to fly back to Stark Tower. This is prominent because when it comes to alterations in comic book worlds, creators tend to be... petty.
    • A slightly more subtle CMOA for Tony's Character Development: He doesn't mention himself, even when it would have been pragmatic to scrape up every second of long-windedness he could because he was stalling to activate his next suit. The only time Tony makes reference to himself as one of the Avengers is with the word "we". This could also be his willingness, were his suit not ready in time and Loki killed (or, for all he knew, turned) him, to discount himself from the head count of Avengers (and in the latter case, he's completely confident in the team's ability to put him down, if it comes to that). There's another option, which is that part of the reason Loki was letting him speak and stall at all was because Tony was seemingly completely at his mercy, and the last thing that would help with distracting Loki from him rearming himself was him bringing up what a threat he was. The true test of what was on his mind, himself or the team, comes when he's all suited up, and he gets an opportunity to finally add himself to the list.
      Iron Man: And there's one other person you pissed off. His name is Phil.
      [repulsor blast]

The Battle of New York

    Avengers Assembled 
  • How strong a leader is Cap? Before Banner and Stark show up, they all initially come together to set up a plan. Cap insists they work as a team, but Thor and Hawkeye object — saying they'd rather deal with their own issues with Loki. Cap's response? "Save it." He then goes on explaining his plan as if neither of them had even said anything, and despite having only met him that day the superspy and warrior prince both drop the issue and listen.
  • The money shot of the trailer, and the movie, as the heroes circle the wagons and get ready to fight (take note that before that point, they were never ALL on screen together. This is the first legitimate comics crossover in the history of the big screen).
    • The shot was awesome enough in the trailer, but the theme there made it feel anxious and uneasy — the implication being, "Shit, the Avengers are in some kind of trouble." Hearing it with Alan Silvestri's main theme playing in the movie proper, it's a complete "HELL YEAH!" moment, with the exact opposite implication; that of, "The Avengers are ready to kick seven kinds of ass."
  • A very subtle one, but before the awesome shot showing all the Avengers as the camera circles around them, we see the Chitauri all stop to growl and snarl at them. This is a hardened alien army that exists just to exterminate life without a second thought, and they've all stopped to turn their attention to six people. You know the Avengers are officially getting started when they've proven themselves a threat to such a force. Made better by the Hulk defiantly roaring back.
  • Cap's orders, period. One could look at the concept of just six people, three of them close-to-normal humans, defending the entire island of Manhattan from a massive alien army, and laugh. And you'd be right. It shouldn't work. But Cap's strategy makes it perfectly sensible and believable, keeping the Chitauri contained while placing each member in the unique position where their unique abilities can be at maximum effectiveness:
    Romanoff: Guys.... [a new wave of Chitauri is coming through the portal]
    Stark: Call it, Captain. note 
    Rogers: Alright, listen up. Until we can close that portal our priority is containment. note 
    Barton, I want you on that roof, eyes on everything. Call out patterns and strays. note 
    Stark, you've got the perimeter. Anything gets more than three blocks out, you turn it back or you turn it to ash. note 
    Thor, you've gotta try and bottleneck that portal. Slow 'em down. You've got the lightning; light the bastards up. note 
    You note  and me, we stay here on the ground, keep the fighting here. note 
    And Hulk? [Beat] ... Smash. note 

  • Thor's fight with Loki, especially since, for a moment, it seems like Loki might actually be swayed to the side of good... and then he stabs Thor, declaring that the thunder god's sentiment makes him weak. Thor's response is to strike Loki before dropping him face-first into the ground, then taking out the knife. And then... no followup. He just fights the whole battle wounded, not a word of complaint.
  • Thor bottlenecks the portal. How? He lands atop the Chrysler Building, summons a thunderstorm, uses the building as a lightning rod, and fires an enormous blast of lightning into the portal so powerful it blows up several of the Leviathans outright.

    Iron Man 
  • Iron Man is having trouble getting through a Leviathan's shell, so he comes up with an alternative strategy:
    Iron Man: Ever hear the tale of Jonah?
    JARVIS: I wouldn't consider him a role model.
  • After two movies' worth of Captain Obvious and Deadpan Snarker moments, JARVIS scores a personal CMoA by being ahead of the game just as he needs to be.
    Tony: Jarvis, put everything we've got into the thrusters!
    JARVIS: I just did.
  • Iron Man catches the nuclear missile and tosses it into the aliens' spaceship. Even better when you consider he spent his first two movies giving the middle finger to the arms industry and the government. Talk about a nuclear deterrent.

    Captain America 
  • In the final battle, Captain America gets a great moment when he commands the cops to rescue the citizens, but one cop asks why they should be taking orders from him. Cap then responds by taking out several attacking Chitauri by himself. The fact that Cap was able to figure out precisely what needed to be done right down to the exact street he needed the perimeter to extend to is an MOA for Cap himself. Even with the distraction that is fighting off an alien army, Cap is still The Star-Spangled Man with a Plan.
    • Fridge Brilliance: Cap's a native New Yorker. He might not know the modern city, but the grid was in place when he was around, including Grand Central. He knows the terrain.
      • And he does know the modern city. A deleted scene shows him eating at a cafe sketching the skyline that includes Stark Tower. And wouldn't your mind just dwell on all the details that have changed?
    • The cops themselves: Outnumbered by an advanced alien armada, they still stand their ground, pull out their sidearms, and open fire. 'New York's Finest' indeed.
  • In this deleted scene, Cap manages to save a family from a Chitauri trying to kill them by doing what he does best: throwing his shield. After they're saved, his sense of authority and Living Legend status really shines through in this exchange:
    Captain America: Get underground.
    Father: [grabbing his son] Yes, sir.
  • Captain America saves a room full of innocent civilians from the Chitauri by himself. On a TV report after the battle, one of the civilians that Cap saved thanks him for his heroics. She was also shown having seen his unmasked face before, so she'd be able to recognize his alter-ego.


    Black Widow 
  • Black Widow not only kicks her fair share of Chitauri ass — frequently with their own weapons — she also gets to close the portal.
  • To get up to the portal, she jumps off of Cap's shield and catches a ride on a speeding Chitauri glider. By stabbing a couple of knives into the pilot and perching on his back. Then she drives the Chitauri glider with the pilot she just stabbed.

    The Hulk 
  • The Hulk joining the climactic battle.
    Captain America: Doctor Banner... now might be a really good time for you to get angry.
    Bruce Banner: [turning and smiling] That's my secret, Captain: [drops his smile] I'm always angry. [Hulks out and takes out an alien Leviathan with one punch.]
    • This really warrants elaboration. The Leviathan is the thing chasing Tony when he says he's "bringing the party to you." It's a giant, armored, whale of a monster that's shrugged off everything Iron Man has thrown at it. The Hulk doesn't just One-Hit Kill it, he stops it cold with one punch.
    • To further elaborate, it's also a CMOA for the writers and Banner, as they've actually managed a consistent and well thought-out character arc for Banner. At the end of the last movie he was in, he began willingly transforming and trying to control, or at least work with, the Hulk. Now, as he's alluded to several times throughout the movie, he's mastered it by mastering himself. He's accepted the anger as a part of himself, and in doing so can willingly transform at any time. Because of this, the Hulk is no longer an uncontrollable monster, but rather a useful ally. Banner has mastered the Hulk, which is awesome in and of itself, but even more importantly, the writers have mastered his character arc. So, it's three CMOAs at once.
    • Banner's Reaction Shot warrants a mention. Every other Avenger has a major "Oh, Crap!" reaction when they see a giant flying-whale-serpent tearing down Park Avenue, but Banner just looks at the Leviathan, looks at the rest of the group, and starts walking towards the Leviathan with this wordless expression on his face that says "Chill, guys. I got this."
  • Here's another one for Banner, when you consider how quickly he Hulked Out to take down the Leviathan. The long, painful-looking transformation on the Helicarrier? That was all Bruce fighting the change!
  • There was just something about seeing the Hulk smashing his way through the Chitauri, especially at one point when an alien Leviathan is headed for an office building full of people. The camera pans inside and hear stomping as the Hulk makes his way through. Everyone gets the heck out of the way before he smashes through the window and onto the beast. And when he latches onto the Leviathan, he manages to make it turn away from the building at the last second... by grabbing one side of its jaw and using his own mass as a pendulum.
  • During the final battle, the Hulk confronts Loki, who goes into a rant about how he is superior to all of them and refuses to let them win. Or, he would have said that; let us just say that the Hulk cares not for his rant. And then the big guy snarls "Puny god." at Loki before rejoining the battle. Made all the more awesome in that they are the only decipherable words spoken by the Hulk in the entire film. Everything else is just grunts and bellows of rage. The sight of Loki embedded in the floor afterwards is what makes this moment. He's just left staring silently up with this great shocked/terrified, "What the flying hell just happened?" look on his face. And as the camera pans out, the only sound he makes is a long, high-pitch whimper.
    • The moment gets even more awesome when you remember how Loki had singled out Banner on the Helicarrier, taunting him in earshot of everyone as "the beast who makes play he's still a man," and reminding Banner who the cage was really made for. It's extra fitting that "the beast" is the one to give Loki a faceful of karmic comeuppance. Better still when you recall how Loki has gloated over/taunted them all by this point: Captain America in Germany, Thor during their argument, Black Widow when he was imprisoned (granted she was bluffing, but he was still trying), Tony Stark in Stark Tower, and Hawkeye, who he's been controlling for most of the film. Then he tries it with Hulk... and it lasts all of three seconds.
    • SFX actually named this the second greatest ever moment in sci-fi, horror and fantasynote . It beat iconic scenes from the likes of Back to the Future, Alien and Star Wars. That's how powerful this scene is.
    • This is also a minor CMOA for Asgardian physiology. Anyone else would have been pulverized. Or rather, more pulverized. Well, Frost Giant physiology. "He's adopted." It's also a sign of great acting talent when Tom Hiddleston managed to keep a straight-face while being filmed wheezing in a crater. Well, after a few takes. They're on the blooper reel. Not only being able to do it so straight faced, but to make it sound like he's actually in pain.
    • This is also a CMOA in a meta-sense for the writers in the lead-up to this sequence. In theaters across the globe, when this moment happened, the audience exploded into near-deafening applause because of how many people were looking forward to the moment Loki gets his due and how well they pulled it off. Joss Whedon, through his long and illustrious career writing, producing, and directing several successful films and TV series, mentioned on the commentary that he considers this moment his best. It was probably a joke, but there are several who would agree without irony.
  • The Hulk saving Iron Man as he helplessly plummets back to Earth after flying a nuke through the portal the Chitauri were coming from, his suit out of energy.
    • Pay attention when the Hulk shouts Tony back to life in the end — the arc reactor's light is off at first, then comes on again when Tony does. Percussive Maintenance be damned, the Hulk may be the second most qualified person on Earth to handle arc reactor technology! And before he does shout, watch him. It looks as if he's quickly thinking it over, making you remember that inside the giant green rage monster is the mind of one of the greatest scientists in the Marvel universe.

  • The Oner that follows each of the Avengers in the final battle. The DVD commentary reveals that The Oner nearly didn't make it in. Joss was told, "We're not sure we can fit this shot into the movie," and responded, "But... this shot is the movie."
    • It starts with Nat flying around on one of the Chitauri gliders. Then Iron Man flies up beside her, blasting the crap out of every glider in the squadron. Then he flies down to the street and goes back-to-back with Cap, culminating in him bouncing his repulsor off Cap's shield and send some Chitauri to an early grave, a la Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Tony then blasts back into the sky, skimming up the side of a building — while Hawkeye is on the roof, shooting at the aliens clawing their way up to him. Hawkeye dodges a couple laser shots, then launches a long-range arrow into head of a Chitauri piloting a glider. The glider, along with two Chitauri still riding it, crash into the side of a Leviathan... where Thor and the Hulk doing their own version of Back-to-Back Badasses. They perform an off hand Combination Attack that goes perfectly without either character so much as glancing at each other to pull it off. Hulk rips out a chunk of the Leviathan's armor and drives it into the thing's head. Thor decides to follow this up not one second later, using Mjnolir to drive the spike, and a thunderbolt for flavor, into its brain. This drops it out of the sky and into the side of a building. It ends with a CMOA punchline as Hulk sucker-punches Thor, just 'cuz.
  • Nick Fury telling the World Security Council exactly where they can stick their orders to nuke New York City.
    WSC: Director Fury, the Council has made its decision.
    Nick Fury: I recognize that the Council has made a decision, but given that it's a stupid-ass decision, I've elected to ignore it.
    • Fury then stops one of the planes from flying with a rocket launcher. And even more impressively, he's such a good shot that the pilot survives. It doesn't take with the second plane, but still. It gets better; Fury made that shot despite only having one eye. No depth perception and a limited vision field, and he still pulled it off.
    • The Council gets one in an odd sort of way, by out-thinking Nick freaking Fury when they followed standard delivery procedure and ordered two aircraft to launch the nuclear strike. And technically, they were right. The nuke did end the invasion, just not in the way the Council intended.
  • Selvig gets a quiet but crucially important moment: Despite the fact he was under Loki's mind control, he still subconsciously managed to fight back enough to put a backdoor sabotage into the portal device. Without that, they would never have been able to close the portal — plus, it just shows his sheer strength of will. Selvig comes round note  in the middle of an apocalypse he made possible, on the edge of a tall building. Natasha approaches him, cautiously, staring over the edge, clearly ready to start talking him down from the ledge, enough so that she doesn't realize why he's yammering about the scepter at first. But it turns out Selvig's only thought is for closing the portal... and he's staring directly at the solution. It's a great, if subtle bait and switch that shows how strong a person he is.
  • When the fighting started, one policeman reports to his superior that the National Guard was at least an hour out. By the time Fury is appraising himself of the situation, there are already military forces starting to join the fight.

    The Resolution 
  • The closing scene of the Avengers parting ways, and Thor returning Loki to Asgard. The smug bastard spent the whole movie killing people for kicks and taking every moment to rub everyone's noses in it. Seeing him defeated and being led away gagged and bound while the Avengers look on might be one of the greatest moments in film. The wide grin on Clint's face really makes it sink in.
  • Who honestly thought they'd go into the theater and ever expect to see Thanos, the Mad Titan? Definitely an awesome moment for Marvel. Everything about that scene shows that Nick Fury succeeded magnificently in his plan to make mankind known across the cosmos, as something not to be messed with.
    The Other: To challenge them... is to court... death.
    • Even better is the Slasher Smile he gives. This is something Thanos knows all about.


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