First – if you haven’t seen the Avengers movie you may want to move along.
I’m totally serious.
Okay, let’s continue…
Like most of the North American population I saw The Avengers this weekend – with a husband who’s a rabid comic book fan it was more a case of “how many times” instead of “do we want to go?”… and we loved it.
But I was irked by one particular part of scripting that once had me again wondering why Joss done what he done… basically, killing off a main character to invoke emotional response not only from the audience but also the other characters.
Whedon has a track record of this. I *love* Firefly but *HATE* the movie Serenity because of the (IMO) needless deaths of Shephard Book and Wash. Two major characters from the television series that died for no real purpose other than to tick off the audience. Neither death really changed the focus of the movie and seemed to be more along the line of “I can so I will!” instead of actual plot developments.
He’s also done this with Buffy. Tara, anyone? A minor character with a great backstory and Willow’s girlfriend, breaking down *that* barrier and she gets killed by a wayward bullet.
Flash forward to the Avengers and Agent Phil (we’re gonna miss you!) Coulson. Here’s a guy who lucked into the BEST part-time acting job of all time – a few lines in Iron Man, a few in Thor and suddenly he’s got a job for life…
… or until Joss finished this script.
Now, don’t get me wrong – it was a gallant death, a macho death and all that. But was it needed?
I say “No”. I think having Coulson severely injured would have served the same purpose as having him killed. We know Fury doesn’t mind jerking emotions around – when Hill calls him on Coulson’s bloody near-mint Captain America trading cards he doesn’t flinch at the truth. So why would Coulson’s near-death be any more powerful than his actual death? Wouldn’t it be *more* powerful to have the Avengers assemble (yes, I went there) at Coulson’s hospital bed as he recovers and either vow there to take on Loki’s army or afterwards, telling him the job is done and all’s well?
I think Coulson’s death was another cheap trick, again, out of Whedon’s scriptwriting school of cheap emotional twists. Kill off someone that everyone loves and yank the audience’s emotions. Again. Yawn.
Coulson deserved better.