47 Great Movie Moments #27 – The Avengers

Continuing with this series of 47 moments in film that I love (Why 47?), today, for #27, we continue with the tone established last time when we talked about our first super-hero film.

The Avengers (2012)

Directed by:  Jon Favreau

When a celestial menace threatens the earth, a group of superheroes must learn to come together to defend the planet from evil.

The Set-up

After Loki, the so-called “god of mischief” has broken into our world and taken over the minds of a group of scientists and soldiers, a collection of super-heroes are activated to stop him.  Tracking him to Germany, Iron Man and Captain America are able to capture him.  They make to return to SHIELD headquarters in a plane piloted by their colleague, Black Widow…

The Moment

Suddenly, Thor suddenly shows up and breaks into the plane.  Iron Man tries to stop him but Thor just pushes past him and grabs Loki, his adopted brother, looking to return him to their home in Asgard.  Iron Man follows, over Captain America’s protests, with a simple plan:  “Attack”.  Captain American grabs a parachute and makes to follow, but Black Widow tries to tell him not to bother.  “I’d sit this one out, Cap….These guys come from legend, they’re basically gods.”

Captain America replies, “There’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that,” and then he leaps out of the plane after them.

What I love about this, aside from just the fact that a guy from the 1940’s plausibly shares my monothiestic views, is the way this positions Captain America’s character.  In the Avengers comics, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America are sort of the high trinity of characters.  Before Spider-Man and Wolverine joined, they were the most popular members, the three that for the longest time had their own titles, the core of the team from both an internal perspective and for marketing considerations.  But of course, Captain America is vastly out-gunned by the other two; he’s much more in the strength class of someone like Black Widow, or Hawkeye.

Except for his personality, and his conviction of character.  That’s what transforms Steve Rogers from a “street” level hero to a guy ready to face down cosmic threats, and this is moment that locks him into that position.

The Payoff

When the aliens finally attack New York, it’s Cap who is the clear choice to lead the team into battle.  It’s never something that is ever even questioned.

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