Avengers Month: 15 Most Memorable Scenes Leading Up to the Avengers
As we eagerly await the premiere of The Avengers Shifty and I present our countdown of the 15 Most Memorable Scenes Leading Up to the Avengers.
“I Am Iron Man”- Iron Man
The scene itself is relatively small and calm compared to the rest of the movie but its impact was a lot more significant. Up until now we had seen superheroes with super secret identities. Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent wouldn’t dare announce to the world they were actually crime-fighting legends. But Tony Stark marches to the beat of his own drum and this scene exemplifies that. Not only did it prove that Tony is unique among other movie heroes, but it set the bar high for the next film. No one but Robert Downey Jr. could have brought this much life into the role of Tony Stark, and this scene proves that. The quick segue into Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” let the audience walk out of the theater feeling pumped up and wanting more.
Steve’s Transformation- Captain America
Steve Rogers is a scrawny asthmatic guy from Brooklyn who dreams of enlisting in the US army to fight the nazi’s. With the help of Dr. Abraham Erskine and his secret serum, Steve is transformed into a super soldier—complete with advanced speed, strength, and reflexes. Not to mention a fancy powerful shield. What’s so great about this movie is not just that we get to see Captain America kick some Nazi butt, but we also get to know Steve Rogers for who he is on the inside, before he gets transformed. This is that exact scene, when Steve changed shape (but not heart). It’s a pivotal moment because it not only creates the titular superhero but it acts as a transition from the first part of the movie to the second, and consequently the first part of Steve’s life to the second. And also, it’s really cool to watch, just ask Peggy Carter.
Tony Returns to the Middle East- Iron Man
At this point in the movie we’ve seen Tony build the original suit, we’ve seen him bust out of the Middle East and we’ve seen him give it a test flight but we were missing the ass-kicking abilities of the Mark III suit… and boy did we get it. We’re first treated to the infamous “suiting up” sequence as the armor is literally built over his body from the ground up in the most satisfying way possible. We get to see the intricacies of the nuts and bolts being tightened within the product that’s about to be unleashed on the world. Tony Stark then flies halfway around the world to save innocent civilians and get his revenge on the terrorist group that captured him. We were eagerly waiting to see the gadgets and weaponry that was put into the Iron Man suit in action.. and we were not disappointed. The plasma canons were there as well as facial recognition missiles and ones that could destroy a tank. We were even treated to the hand to hand and the brute strength of the suit to bust through cement walls. This scene had everything we could want from a big screen Iron Man action scene and it brought out the fanboy/girl in all of us.
Black Widow Kicks Butt- Iron Man 2
When Scarlett Johnansson was cast as Black Widow in Iron Man 2, people came out of the woodwork to complain about everything; her acting, her lack of action experience, her looks. But the moment I saw this scene I knew that all those haters would have to eat their words—and most of them did. Today almost everyone agrees that ScarJo did an impressive job as the intense and serious super spy that works for SHIELD. The scene is chock full of amazing (and original) action that proves not only how awesome the character is, but how dedicated to the role Scarlett turned out to be. Knowing how amazing e she could be with just this small amount of screen time, I am super excited to see her with a bigger role in The Avengers.
Thor and Co. vs the Frost Giants- Thor
This was our first glimpse at Thor in action on the big screen and we were curious to find out what it would look like to see an Asgardian demigod destroy hordes of mindless henchman. Would it look cheesy? Would we buy into the action? Would Hemsworth own the role of cocky and arrogant leader? All of those questions were answered in remarkable fashion as Thor, Loki, Sif, and the Warrior’s Three whooped an ungodly amount of ass on the frost giants within the first 20 minutes of the movie. All of Thor’s trademark moves were there including the hammer throw and lightning strike, and all were incredibly satisfying. You could literally feel the strength and sheer force of his hammer with every swing he took at his enemies. We also got an introduction to the fighting styles of the Warrior’s Three, Loki’s cunning ability to outsmart his enemies (with some foreshadowing of his birthplace) and Sif’s deadly and masterful wielding of a blade and shield, all while remaining strikingly seductive. All of this added up to one of the most satisfying action scenes in not only the movie, but the entire Marvel canon of superhero films.
Attack on the Race Track- Iron Man 2
This action-packed scene from the sequel to Iron Man is not only an exciting adrenaline rush, but it serves as an important introduction for the villain Whiplash (Mickey Rourke). We had already realized he was a crazy man with a big grudge against Tony but this scene showed how dangerous he really was. The first face off between our hero and the new villain proved that despite Tony’s confidence, he was anything but indestructible. We also got to see a brand new Iron Man suit-on-the-go with the new suitcase-turned armor that Tony used to suit up in his battle against his foe. We also got to see Whiplash’s pretty sweet weapons. And like most Tony Stark scenes, there were moments of comic relief placed just right. A combination of character development and action-packed adventure make this scene worth remembering.
Thor sacrifices himself- Thor
The entire character arc of Thor sees him go from a headstrong, arrogant, cocky individual with a big ego to the Guardian of Earth with a selflessness for the human race. It’s one of the better arcs in the Marvel universe because the titular character is essentially completely different at the end of the movie than he was in the beginning. This transformation is sealed when Thor is stripped of his powers and bravely confronts the Destroyer sent to Earth by Loki. He knows that he can’t defeat this behemoth and asks forgiveness of Loki while bargaining him to take his life in exchange of the human characters he just met. When Thor is thrown down in a bloody and pulverized mess he is seen lying on the ground expressing with his last, dying words a joy and satisfaction that the violence is over and Jane is safe. It’s the ultimate sacrifice that caps off the transformation to honorable hero in an epic and dramatic way. The revival of Thor is than met with Odin’s speech into Mjolnir as he comes back to life encased in his armor and ready to return to Asgard and bring the fury to Loki.
The War Montage – Captain America
This entire sequence covers so much ground that it could have been the entire focus of one Captain America movie. This montage zones in on Rogers as he and The Howling Commandos lead the troops into enemy territory and take it to the Nazis. These battles have everything from Captain America cleaning house with his shield to Bucky Barnes sniping enemy soldiers to Cap and co. taking down a massive German tank in style. The time that lapses from start to finish isn’t very clear but judging by the war films of their missions and the constant moving pieces of the Army map I’d say it’s over a year or two. One of the things that I really liked about this scene was the individual actions of The Howling Commandos which was downplayed a little too much for my liking. They all had their own unique traits and styles that they brought to the battlefield, and we got to see the entire team in action.
Tony Stark Tests His Suit- Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr. is a one man wrecking crew in Iron Man as he can literally hold your attention without speaking a word. His charismatic charm and abundance of energy as Tony Stark was the highlight of the movie and cemented Downey as an A-list Hollywood sensation. A lot of the sequences here are RDJ acting alone as he is dealing with immobile robots and a computer that had its voice added in during postproduction. It’s a testament to him as an actor that he was able to carry these scenes in such a convincing and hilarious way. One of these sequences is when Stark is developing his new Mark III suit for the very first time. We’re treated to the hilarity of his robot “Dummy” that can’t figure out when he should or shouldn’t hose down Tony with a fire extinguisher. This brings out some of the funniest one-liners in the movie as well as some scene-stealing physical comedy as well (notably when Tony launches his thrusters at 10% and sends himself spiraling into a wall). This was a glimpse inside the Tony Stark that was missing in his terrorist cell which is the light-hearted hero doubling as an absolutely brilliant engineer. The sequence finally ends with an exhilarating trip through the skies of the California coast as Tony takes his new toy out for a spin, ending back in his workplace with the infamous “Yeah, I can fly” line.
Hawkeye’s Cameo- Thor
There are plenty of awe-inspiring scenes in the movie Thor but this one is unique because it gives us one of the best cameos of all time. When Thor breaks into SHIELD’s encampment to retrieve his hammer we see a lone archer in the wings, waiting to take his shot at the Norse God on command from the already-established character Agent Coulson. Marvel fans were ecstatic when they realized it was none other than Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, master marksman of The Avengers. Not only was it exciting to just be introduced to his character, but his presence was another hint at how badass The Avengers would turn out to be. His line “I’m starting to root for this guy” put a smile on many a Marvel-fans’ face.
Steve and Abraham have a Heart to Heart- Captain America
“The serum amplifies everything that is inside so good becomes great, bad becomes worse… this is why you were chosen. Because a strong man who has known power all his life will lose respect for that power… but a weak man knows the value of strength, and knows compassion.” This is what Dr. Erskine revealed to Steve Rogers the night before his super soldier procedure, and it’s the internal message of the movie. The reason why he was chosen was because he will stand up for what’s right and be good for the sake of just being good. Captain America is a true blue hero in every sense of the word and it’s his unbreakable morals that guide his actions. This scene fleshed out the human element in the film and gave us new insight to our villain’s past as well as a hint at our hero’s future.
Brazil Chase Scene- The Incredible Hulk
Bruce Banner has been hiding out in Brazil trying to stay out of the US Army’s eye and learning to control his anger problems and penchant for beating people to a pulp. When he accidently leaves a clue to his location, they find him and chase him through the streets of Brazil. The scenery alone is fantastic and the camera work gives you an in-the-scene feel. We witness Banner’s struggle with controlling the Hulk inside him, even as he is pursued by multiple parties. This scene is a great introduction to Banner and where he is in his life, not to mention a great introduction to The Hulk when Banner finally loses control of the gamma radiation in his body.
Loki learns of his past from Odin – Thor
Thor was the most ambitious of the 5 Avenger films because instead of selling us on a hero in an impossible circumstance we had to be sold on an entire world. We had to buy into the fantasy aspect of Asgard with its frost giants, magical spells and demigods that opened portals to other realms on a rainbow bridge.. in space. This is most likely why we’ve never seen an attempt at Thor on the big screen before as it’s just too massive in scale and ambitious from a storytelling perspective as well as a filmmaking standpoint. In order to buy into this world we needed to buy into these characters and Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins did exactly that. They brought a Shakespearian presence to the cast with their acting chops that could rival any Oscar contender in Hollywood. Their credibility was shown in their meeting of the minds as Odin revealed to Loki that he was a descendant of the frost giants and had been adopted into the family. This scene is the catalyst for Loki’s turn as all of his fears have been realized. His quiet doubts of a lack of love from Odin are brought to the surface as well as his bottled up thoughts of favoritism towards Thor. Hiddleston’s tearful and anger fueled reaction is heartbreaking to watch as both actors give off more in their subtle expressions than most can in a full monologue. This scene cemented Thor as a movie that was more than just a comic book adaptation, it was a film with an emotional essence at its core.
Heimdall’s Strength- Thor
There are few things in movies that audiences love more than the stoic bad-ass. You know who he is.. he’s the character that can destroy anyone in his path and knows this, yet remains honorable while showing respect to both his enemies and allies. Idris Elba seemed to harness that ability with his performance as Heimdall, the scene-stealing bad-ass who guards the rainbow bridge in Asgard. Heimdall is all-hearing and all-seeing in his abilities to detect a disturbance within the city limits on their planet and we totally bought Elba’s stern gaze as he sat calmly within a mountain of golden armor. Towards the end of the film Loki sabotages the bridge and encases Heimdall in a massive block of ice while sending him to his imminent doom… right? WRONG. Heimdall literally wills himself from within the ice block and quickly dispatches of the two guards in the transport room, opening up the pathway to Earth and bringing Thor to Asgard to stop Loki. It was the type of heroic bad-assery that is reserved for the star of the movie, but Heimdall doesn’t roll like that.
Lou Ferrigno Cameo- The Incredible Hulk
Everyone loves a cameo, and what’s better than the biggest cameo we could find? Literally. Lou Ferrigno is the massive body-builder turned actor who portrayed The Incredible Hulk during the live action TV series’ 5 year run. He later reprised his role as The Hulk in 3 more TV movies and the animated series in 1996, so it was only fitting that he returned in some kind of cameo to pass the torch to Edward Norton. The scene is brief but it’s a light-hearted, humorous moment that was done with the best intentions.
Honorable Mentions: Every single after the credits scene. And of course, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer One-Shot