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September 21 2012

Joe Abercrombie reviews The Avengers. The British fantasy writer and film editor has mixed thoughts on the film.


Black Widow’s significant contributions all seemed to consist of tricking men using her sexy/vulnerable feminine wiles.


Uh... did he watch her opening scene escaping from kidnappers? I don't think it was just "feminine wiles" that left that group of men bloodied and broken.
And she really messed up some Chitauri, too.
Plus she was the one that closed the portal!
And used neural reconstruction on Hawkeye.
I've noticed that other reviewers have said things like this, and I find myself asking if they are normally this nakedly sexist, or if they truly just missed 80% of her performance.
I hate how many people dismiss Black Widow's contributions. One of my main problems with Joe Abercombie's The Blade Itself was its absence of well-rounded female characters. There are only two (along with a couple of minor, minor ones) and one is VENGEANCE and the other I think could be interesting, but we only see her through the pompous ass's point of view so she lacks a voice.

Also, I hate the term feminine wiles. If a male character uses his wit and uses people's assumptions about him against them, he's considered cool. If a female character does it, it's feminine wiles.
Normally I'm okay with reviews bashing my favorite films, because everyone is entitled to their opinion, that said, let's analyze why this guy is just... wrong.

"Black Widow's significance all seemed to consist of tricking men using her sexy/vulnerable feminine wiles"???

Excuse me, what movie are you watching? In what instance in that entire film is this above statement true? The opening scene, Natasha convincing Bruce to join the team, her using her WITS and her "vulnerability" to fool Loki which isn't easy to do considering he's the God of Mischief... If anything, she took the female stereotype and turned it on its head... Natasha even has a line about how she didn't convince Bruce to join them by batting her eyelashes at him. I could go on. I believe in everyone having an opinion... But this is just WRONG. If the reviewer were writing an easy defending his thesis, he would have no evidence to back himself up.

And honestly, Loki's my favorite character in the Marvel cinematic universe. It's a combination of having great character development in Thor and Tom Hiddleston's great performance(s). However, Loki is NOT "the hero of the film". Like, what on earth is this guy talking about? I could understand if he thought this during the film Thor, but in no way shape or form is Loki even an antihero in Avengers. And Loki is definitely not outmatched against The Avengers... He's a God... Does this reviewer know nothing about these characters??

And the bit about The Hulk being inconsistent.... No. The Hulk did cooperate with The Avengers, but he definitely still had moments of uncontrollability. Case in point? Him punching Thor, smashing the Chitauri, frowning when he realized Cap was giving him orders but smiling when he realized he was just going to smash things, pummeling Loki, saving Tony but immediately throwing him off of him. Bruce even tells Tony earlier the reason the Hulk is a burden is because he can't control it.

Honestly, this review in just invalid. Sorry, guy. But you honestly don't know what you're talking about.
I'm not coming to Joe's defense, as much as saying I think I understand where he's coming from regarding Black Widow. He wanted her to have more screen time. Keep in mind, his book Best Served Cold was a sorta text version of Kill Bill. The main character kicked major ass: broken, bloodied, never defeated. I so love a strong warrior woman. He wrote Monza Murcatto very, very well.
I'm not coming to Joe's defense, as much as saying I think I understand where he's coming from regarding Black Widow. He wanted her to have more screen time.

kazzmere - Only Captain America and Iron Man got more screen time than Black Widow. Girl did good!
It's funny, because even though we only really get snippets of Black Widow & Hawkeye's backstory there's still a strong sense of the bond between them. Unless you've read the comics (which I haven't), you don't know much about them at all, which gives them less depth, but you do get enough information to understand what drives them, and why they make the decisions they do.

And Black Widow kicks ass!
Seems like Joe just really doesn't get it. For one, the criticism of Black Widow's story is laughably offbase to the point that I wonder if he was fully paying attention to her when she was onscreen -- while Black Widow's use of feminine wiles in espionage is a feature, she's certainly not only that (and even if she were, so what? Being a manipulative mastermind is pretty f***ing BOSS). For two, he makes it sound like it's a bad thing that we can relate to the villain rather than seeing it as a complex gamechanger that adds emotional resonance to the conflict.

[ edited by Emmie on 2012-09-21 22:33 ]
I approve of your post, @Emmie. You are spot on.

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