It should probably go without saying that below are SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS THAT AWESOME MOVIE IN THEATERS NOW.
You’ve been warned.
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That’s called a spoiler space, y’all…sure you want to go on?
Okay, cool. So I’ve talked more than once about the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet here. I’ve been using the beat sheet and other stuff to plot Beast for Camp NaNo, but today I
took a break to squee wildly went to research structure at the theater, watching Avengers again.
*gibbers in incoherent delight for a bit*
Ahem. So at one point in the movie, it smacked me in the face–they were “storming the castle.” Oh, hey, they’d just assembled the team, and this was that beat and that…
- Opening Image: Joss Whedon
obeys no masterdoes what he wants which includes not quite following Blake Snyder’s beat sheet, so the very first image is not, I think, the one I need to go with. I’m going to call Nick Fury stalking through the complex getting reports of disaster and danger the opening image. The world’s in trouble, and it’s deep. This is where we start.
- Theme Stated: Yeah, I think Loki said it, but I need to watch it again to catch it. So much awesome, some bits pushed other bits out of my brain.
- Set-up: The audience now knows what we need to: Tesseract very dangerous, and we got nothing to fight this, but Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. are gonna try.
- Catalyst: ho shit, Loki’s got the tesseract! And Hawkeye’s badassness
and buttserving him with all apparent loyalty. We are so screwed.
- Debate: Now the question is–what in hell is Fury going to do about Loki having the tesseract? Coulson asks (more politely than I’ve put it).
- Break into Two: we have the answer. Fury is going to collect the people he wants in the Avengers. We’ve met Hawkeye, now we’re meeting the rest.
- B Story: This is one of the things that hit me as I pondered, because I didn’t see how it worked the first time. The B story is the heart of the story, it’s what helps solve the A story (the main plot) and it needs to be kicking in here. I think, though, I’ve got it–the B story is the “normal” people, the ones who need the Avengers to fight for them. Ably represented through much of the movie by the adorbs Agent Coulson.
- Fun and Games: This is where everyone screws around. Well, I think it’s more about figuring out where people fit. We get the team together, people show off a bit, argue, jockey for position in a group of not-friends not happy to be where they are…Tony Stark wonderfully snarks… ahem.
- Midpoint: Loki makes his move, and with a not-so-great but not horrid bit of teamwork from the gang, is captured. They’ve come this far–they managed to catch him instead of just fighting each other. It’s even, as Blake Snyder says it should be, a false victory. In public, even.
- Bad Guys Close In: In-fighting, and man is it fun. The not-yet-Avengers don’t trust each other, don’t trust Fury or S.H.I.E.L.D. and are too damn busy arguing to even notice that Hawkeye-as-bad-dude is upon them until he shoots at them. Then it really DOES all break loose, with a little added momentum from the Hulk.
- All is Lost: Coulson, awesome dude, is dead. The team is scattered, the helicarrier badly damaged, and it’s been an all-around Bad Day. It’s a false defeat, though.
- Dark Night of the Soul: It’s false because it pulls the Avengers together. Working together on the engine pulled Iron Man and Captain America a little closer, then the loss of Coulson unites them more. Iron Man figures out Loki’s goal, and we–
- Break into Three! Without consulting Fury, Captain America pulls together what’s left of his team. He’s taking charge.
- Finale: it’s here too, in all its glory–the Storming of the Castle. Assembling the team. Executing the plan (stop them! Any “them”–the army, Loki, the tesseract…) High tower surprise (the plan didn’t work! Loki’s army has come, New York is being flattened, the B story people are in danger!) And then the Dig Down Deep–that moment when they are all standing together, surrounded, knowing they’ve got to change something because they’re getting nowhere fast, and Iron Man says it. “Call it, Cap.” In other words, “We’ve come far enough to see the need to change. We’re a team finally and you’re the leader. Call it, Cap.” And oh man, does that final battle make me happy…
- Final Image: Nick Fury on the bridge of his helicarrier, surrounded by blue skies and puffy clouds. Bookending the movie, the opening image come around again but the opposite… We learn it’s okay to let the Avengers wander off–they’ll be back when we need them. (For the second movie, may it come soon!)
And there you have it. One fantastic f***king movie, hitting all the beats, right down the line. Formulaic? Not even close. A ton of fun? Hell yeah.
Disclaimer: Absolutely all of this is just my interpretation both of the beat sheet and Avengers. You’re welcome to argue with me. Knowledge of the beat sheet a plus, but not necessary.
Now to get the hell back to work on planning Beast.