Why, yes, I did just get back from seeing a 10:30 am showing of The Avengers. The great thing about only having four days of class a week is that my Friday is free. I expected to go into the theater with only a smattering souls around me. Alas, that was not to be. It seems a local school had the bright idea to take sixty middle school kids into the showing. This wasn’t how I planned to spend my Friday morning.
However, I must admit that the kids were well behaved – or maybe I just sat underneath a speaker that drowned out their talking. I enjoyed the movie, especially the scene after the first round of credits (none of the kids knew who that villain was). The final ending, after all the credits had rolled, was also a favorite. However, I could tell that I’m a New Yorker because what seemed most far fetched to me was that such a shop could afford Mid-Town rents. Aliens, superheroes, and fantastic weaponry – that seemed perfectly normal to me. But that final shop? Sheesh. Only way it exists is if it’s rent has stayed frozen the same amount of time that Captain America was.
I saw the movie at the Magic Johnson AMC theater in Harlem and the crowd was mostly African American and Hispanic. It was interesting looking up on the screen, in 3D, and seeing very few folks on the screen looking like us. I know that’s a consequence of this movie being The Avengers and the Marvel Universe being as diverse as the ELCA is. Yet I did notice that the audience identified mostly with the Hulk. It wasn’t Captain America who got the biggest cheers nor Iron Man; it was that big green guy. I know he was written well (it seems like he was the director’s favorite) but seeing a bunch of minority teenagers scream as the Hulk saved the world was quite a treat. By the end, I was glad that all those kids were there. They pointed out the importance of a character like the Hulk even in this post-modern world. A character, full of rage, completely green, and typically buck naked, was the most important part of the film for those kids. I don’t recall seeing a Hulk cutout in the lobby. They might want to get on it and put that guy out there.