I cannot wait to see Scarlett Johannson's portrayal of The Black Widow.
Everyone knows I have action heroine fever. (Don't look it up, it's not a diagnosable condition, just a raving fangirl obsession mode.) But I'm fickle. The portrayal of an action heroine, especially one that I know and love from a comic, has to be done just so. It has to be respectful of the print character, though I don't demand that it sticks to it precisely. After all, comic books themselves are a genre that allows multiple universes and versions of any given character, so I go into a movie expecting variation. But there has to be a level of commitment from the actress to the director and it all has to flow from the writing.
If I sense for even a moment that they're just prancing a character out as eye candy for the male members of an audience, my eyes are rolling so far around in my head that it's painful.
In the last Iron Man movie, Johannson played The Black Widow exactly as I expected her to be. Tough. Human. And always slightly irritated at having to pretend that she's less awesome than she is. You know, it's easier to blend when you keep a lid on your sweet self-defense movies and knowledge of multiple languages. There wasn't enough of her as a character, but that's just one of the reasons why I can't wait to see her again in "The Avengers."
So here are my reasons why I can't wait to see this character back in action...
1. You have to respect her lack of superpowers. In the goosebump-inducing trailer, the camera circles the Avengers at one point and we see them all showing off their special skills. The Hulk rages, Captain America raises his shield, Iron Man preps his elite weapons and Thor wields his God's hammer. What does she do? She LOADS A HANDGUN. That's all she has. Fighting skills and a gun. She's the Batman of this team, lacking any kind of superpowers and still able to run with the big boys.
2. She's the only woman on the team. As if it weren't enough that she's the only one without some kind of extra special ability, she's also the only chick. Awesome.
3. The curves! One of the many reasons why I love this casting is that they chose a shorter woman known for her voluptuous figure. Though sometimes I laugh when people talk about her "curves", but I'm glad they chose an actress with a distinctly feminine silhouette. She's absolutely teeny tiny of course. I'm pretty sure she would look like an action figure if she stood next to me. But I'll take the womanly shape over the brittle boned-look of an actress starving herself to death any day of the week.
I miss the Amazonian woman in the landscape of film and TV. Buffy was amazing, but tiny. (Not that there's anything wrong with that! But body shapes tend to go in and out of style, just like clothing or hairstyles. In the nineties, rail thin models like Kate Moss rules the world.)
In the comic world, it's not unusual to see a bulky lass running around and saving lives. You've got She-Hulk, you've got Wonder Woman. They're all svelte, but there's so much more wiggle room for body shape in comics. (Don't get me started on gratuitous cleavage...) There are so many body types in real life. And the teeny tiny skinny women of the world deserve to be represented too. But we all know there's not as many average to large sized women portrayed in the media as there should be. Again, I would hardly call Johannson's figure "average". She's absolutely stunning. I'm just saying...am I spending too much time talking about this? I am. Just, hooray for curves. That's all.
What gets you pumped up for The Avengers?