The Life Of Someone Who Didn’t Like The Avengers

You are a Joss Whedon fan. You loved Buffy. You sometimes have dirty dreams about Nathan Fillion. You are okay with the fact that Nathan Fillion was played by Jeremy Renner in The Avengers, because you could be convinced to have dirty dreams about him, too. You considered going to see The Avengers at midnight but you went the next day and even blew off some plans to see it in the middle of the day so you could spend the rest of your night talking about how awesome it was, because (like every other human being on the planet) you expected to find it unbearably awesome. You won’t watch Dollhouse because you’ve heard it’s not that good, and you can’t bear to see Joss like that. You want good things for the people you love.

But the awesome never came, the good things never came. And all that time spent avoiding Dollhouse was for naught.

You didn’t hate it, but you wanted to like it more, and you knew that thinking it “wasn’t terrible” wouldn’t be good enough. Like that time that you saw The Dark Knight and pointed out the badly-choreographed fight scenes to your friend who proceeded to have a hissy fit in the theater lobby. You know that only utter devotion to The Avengers’ awesomeness will be acceptable, so you hope no one brings it up and prey that they don’t. You know that, as a film critic, you will eventually have to write about it and plan to publish it under an assumed name. You will mail that piece from in an unmarked envelope from an unspecified location somewhere near East Timor.

And then you will disappear. You will make up a fake identity and move to one of those island nations where Republicans keep all their escort money and change your face to look like Saddam Hussein. You can start over.

Except that you don’t have the money for that. You barely have the money to eat. So, you find little things to comment on that you did like. “That Hawkeye sure looks good in a tank top!” “Captain America hates chicken shawarma. Hilarious!” or “Scarlett Johansson’s rear end is a terrific actress.” Or you find ways to hint at your dislike of the film, without ever actually saying anything unkind about it. You tell people, “If anything, it showed that Joss Whedon, who gave Robert Downey Jr. all the good dialogue, would be the perfect director for Iron Man 3.” “Considering all the work needed to weave those four different movies together, Joss Whedon made the best Avengers movie possible.” “It was like I was watching four movies! Hey, have you seen Inception!” or “I can’t wait for the sequel.”

You aren’t a good liar, and so you practice lying about the film in the mirror in case people call you out on not liking it. You ready your shocked, aghast, flabbergasted and surprised faces, like you’re in a Spanish soap opera. You buy a glove to slap people with. You work on your I’m-in-an-episode-of-Smash drink throw. You perfect your impromptu yawn that says, “Wow! I am suddenly too tired to finish this conversation” or you go back the gym and hit that treadmill hard, in case you need to flee from your assailant. You watch Runaway Bride, Marathon Man and Chariots of Fire to get tips and old tapes of Walter Payton and Barry Sanders to perfect the perfect stiff arm. If you get trapped by a mob of angry comic book fans, you scream: “Look! It’s Alan Moore and he brought scones!” And then you book it the other direction and don’t look back. Never look back and don’t stop running. Pretend it’s like Speed, except that you are the bus.

You get outed by one of your friends for not liking it and then spend most of your time defending your right to not like things, because you have an opinion. You mention that you didn’t like Forrest Gump, The Prestige, Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Artist, Forgetting Sarah Marshall or Full Metal Jacket and couldn’t care about The Usual Suspects because someone already told you the ending. You tell them that not everyone has to like the same things, because the Rotten Tomatoes message boards are not real life, and doesn’t that make life more interesting? You hope this will make it easier for them, to make it okay, to show that my not liking it doesn’t make Joss Whedon a bad director or me a heartless jerk. You mention that even Joss mentioned that he had problems with it, and you tell them how much you respect him for it and how much you were touched by his open letter to his fans.

This has the opposite effect. You will now have to defend not liking The Avengers AND Forrest Gump for the rest of your life. Your name will be synonymous with “stabbing kittens” and posters of you will be put up all over the neighborhood. Children will no longer be allowed to play with you and strangers won’t look you in the eye. This is your life now. TC mark

image – The Avengers


More From Thought Catalog

  • Michael Koh

    Going to just come out and say Scarlett Johansson’s butt was not that great in this movie. There I said it. I’ve been butt spoiled, what can I say? 

  • Christopher Michael Luna

    “and prey that they don’t” should be “and pray that they don’t” unless I’m missing a pun.
    Also, yeah, the movie wasn’t very good. But I will say that it was entertainingly bad.

  • Confused Billiam

    I’ll admit, I was one of the nerds who went to the midnight showing in costume.  And yeah, I had an epic time.  But I haven’t gone back to see it again yet.  I’m afraid without the hype it may turn out to be lacking.  I dunno, perhaps I’ll like it just as much.  But I respect that, in the most roundabout way possible, you reminded us that it’s very possible not to like something popular for legitimate and personal reasons and that we shouldn’t get bent out of shape about them.

    Aw, crap, did I just post a balanced response to a touchy-subject article??
    Um… um… crap… um…


  • Sorry

    Sorry, “prey” =/= pray

  • Karel Kerezman

    I enjoyed the hell out of the movie, but I’m the last person to give someone crap about not-liking it, or even outright-loathing it. Dear gods, if we all liked the same things and/or were forced to march in lock-step about what entertains us, this world would become awfully effing dull, wouldn’t it?

  • mia nguyen

    If you didn’t like The Avengers you’re going through the first stage of grief: denial. I’m terribly sorry, but Chris Evans has a body that can turn any heterosexual into a homosexual.

    • Bobby

      Not just his body… He’s got one of those things called “everything about this man will make you guy…”
      Trust me…I’m a victim.

      • Bobby

        That awkward moment when I got “guy” and “gay” mixed up… 

  • Josh

    You are my spirit animal.  I also cannot stand Forrest Gump. 

  • Aphelus

    Great article. Joss Whedon would be the Bacchus in my personal artistic Olymp, and with “The Avengers” and Dollhouse, with me, it’s exact the other way around. “Dollhouse” is a masterpiece and I didn’t watch the Avengers because of the fear to get terribly disappointed – and ashamed. Ashamed for both of us, me and Joss. Sigh. PS: “Forrest Gump”, “Curious Case…” – agreed, the others – whatever, but “Fight Club”???!?!?!?!??! How dare you!!!! :-D

  • Marissa Zane

    As both a Joss fan and a lover of the Avengers, I think people’s opinion of this movie hinges more on their opinion of superheroes and the previous movies than Joss in general.

    As in, I watched Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Captain America, and Thor in the days leading up to the movie so the build-up was fucking epic. But if I wasn’t that interested in the movies or the whole superhero thing in general, the movie would have probably been pretty meh.

  • Jake Braithwaite

    Did I write this?? I feel EXACTLY the same way. I fight about Forrest Gump daily, and spent my walk home from Avengers defending that it was “fine, but not exceptional.”

    You are not alone.

  • Miss.N

    I didn’t like it, too dedicated to the story of the comics. They under developed the characters which was a disappointment

  • repo

    mm.. I didn’t like Avengers (because I don’t dig superheroes mostly), I was bored and a little bit ashamed of Dollhouse and I thought Forrest Gump was pretentious .. I also have dirty dreams about Nathan Fillion and can’t make myself have dd about Jeremy Renner. I think Joss Weadon should dedicate the rest of his life to spending his Avengers money on making indie movies starring Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk. So there.

    • repo

       fuck, how did I spell Whedon? I’m a tard, obviously
      And Benjamin Button was pretentious AND boring

  • Fangirl Of Slash

    The more times I read this article – the better it gets.
    Am completely in love with your references and witty humour!
    Cannot wait for that review from East Timor XD

  • Shane

    On the opposite end of the spectrum – I liked ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’. It was great fun and full of visual imagination. I did love Avengers though but agree about The Dark Knight – been complaining about that for ages. My wife is usually the best critic – at the 90 minute mark of Dark Knight, she exclaimed “I’m fed up with this movie now” and went off to read a book.

  • Benjamin Rhau (@brhau)

    I was once introduced to someone as “That guy who hasn’t seen Avatar.” Bring it.

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