Marvel’s The Avengers changed the game. It was a culmination of five films, bringing beloved characters together and forcing them to team up to save the world. If you’re like me, you’ve probably lost track of how many times you’ve seen this movie. And if that’s the case, you may have noticed three pretty clever lines that not everyone caught.
This movie has a way of coming back around, a sense of symmetry that makes it that much better. There are three lines in particular that stand out of examples of this and that make this.
1. A little old-fashioned…
When Cap is being brought in by Coulson, the latter mentions that he had a little input on the uniform, to which Cap replies:
“The uniform? Aren’t the stars and stripes a little old-fashioned?”
Coulson doesn’t even blink. He responds confidently to Cap:
“Every thing that’s happening, the things that are about to come to light. People might just need a little old-fashioned.”
This line does so much more than just boost Steve’s confidence a bit. It comes back much later in the movie.
After Loki’s escape from the Helicarrier, where he “killed” Coulson, the whole old-fashioned thing comes full circle and takes on a much bigger meaning.
Nick Fury delivers his iconic “There was an idea…” speech while describing to Cap and Iron Man the idea to bring the Avengers together. An idea that Coulson believed in. He followed it up by saying:
“It was an old-fashioned notion.”
Fury’s objective is obviously to motivate the Avengers to work together and take out this threat. Fury later tells Maria Hill that “they needed a push,” referring to the bloody trading cards he threw on the table in this very scene.
However, the use of ‘old-fashioned’ creates a bit of a cryptic motivation as well. Nick is using Coulson as the catalyst for the team to come together, but when you put together the two ‘old-fashioned’ lines, they become needed on a much bigger scale. People might just need a little old-fashioned. And the Avengers coming together is an old-fashioned notion. People need the Avengers to come together. It’s simple math.
Early in the movie, before the team starts being brought together, Fury is shown speaking to the council. He’s trying to convince them to allow him to assemble the Avengers, calling them a “response team.” He tells them that he believes that they can be exactly what they need. They respond:
“War isn’t won by sentiment, Director.”
A fine point, but Fury has a clever retort:
“No, it’s won by soldiers.”
This seems nothing more than a perfect segue to Captain America working out, but as you could guess by now, it comes back much later in the movie.
During “The War” (as Loki calls it), Thor meets his power-hungry brother on Stark Tower. Loki’s army is already tearing up New York, and Thor makes him look at the chaos. Loki tries to explain that it’s too late and that they can’t stop it. Thor responds by telling him that they could stop it together. Loki responds by plunging one of his daggers into Thor’s rib cage before uttering one word…
Thor literally tried to win the war with sentiment! Too bad he wasn’t in on that meeting earlier, it could have saved him some time. This is the moment in the movie where there is no going back. The war is going to happen, and the Avengers are now the soldiers.
Bonus: After Coulson dies, Tony and Cap get into an argument that includes Tony shouting “we are not soldiers!” Sorry Tony, looks like you are now.
3. Breathtaking anger management issues…
This one is on a much smaller scale. The two parts are within a few minutes of each other, both happening within “The War.” Tony speaks to Loki in Stark Tower, and lists all of the Avengers and mentions the Hulk as…
“…a man with breathtaking anger management issues.”
You may have laughed this off as a quick joke and it was, but it also comes back later on. Everyone remembers the scene where Loki tries to talk down to the Hulk, before he gets picked up by his foot and repeatedly slammed into the floor. It’s maybe the funniest moment in the movie, but Tony’s line from before comes back with this, as kind of a joke within a joke.
After Hulk walks away and drops his “puny god” line, we see Loki on his back with his eyes wide open, making a groaning noise as if he’s struggling to breathe. He literally had his breath taken by Banner’s anger management issues.
You can watch Marvel’s Avengers on Disney+ now and for some added commentary, check out our watch-along live blog.