As I said on Friday, part of what made The Avengers work so well as a superhero movie is that writer/director Joss Whedon subverted the tropes of an ensemble film: Rather than combine their powers from the getgo, these people spent most of the movie getting in each other’s way and leading to some awesome mini-fight scenes. That sly style stuck through the post-credits scenes, which have become a given with Marvel’s superhero movies. But while the “zingers” at the end of Iron Man, Thor, and the others usually featured Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) approaching each of the would-be Avengers to set up this awesome movie that just came out, The Avengers‘ post-credits scenes hit both what we expected and what we never expected. (Spoilers abound!)
First, you had the typical zinger setting up the next few movies’ conflict: A shadowy figure intones about how they’ve underestimated humans, saying, “To challenge them is to court… death.” He turns toward the screen so we can see his ugly red mug and disturbing smile, and it’s none other than nihilistic alien (?) Thanos! All of my comic book friends were shitting themselves at this point. (Also, it’s believed that Alexis Denisof was also in that snippet, playing Thanos’ brother Eros.)
So everyone in the theater was buzzing throughout the credits, excitedly predicting what role Thanos could play in either Iron Man 3 or The Avengers 2. But we all knew to stay put, since there had to be an extra scene after the actual credits. We jiggled impatiently in our chairs until we hit the end of the credits, and…
The Avengers. Eating shwarma. Saying nothing. It was comedy gold.
See, near the end of the film Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) wisecracked, “There’s a shwarma place a few blocks from here. I never tried it, but I want to.” That was typical Whedonesque dialogue, but actually seeing the odd juxtaposition of superheroes quietly appreciating this tasty food was the perfect payoff. It’s an absurd tableau in the same way as photos of celebrities eating McDonald’s on Oscar night, but it also demonstrates Whedon’s ability to align the supernatural with the mundane.
This must have been the final scene that the cast shot at the Los Angeles premiere. Although Whedon denied it, various outlets reported seeing the actors in full costume and fight makeup, and others said that due to the quick turnaround it was just a “curtain call.” Yeah, that’s about right.
Bonus: Here’s a remixed version of The Avengers trailer, by YouTube remixer Mike Relm.
Photo: Tasty Chomps