Saving Face for Hollywood Superheroes

What does this new photo from Marvel’s upcoming summer blockbuster The Avengers tell us about Hollywood suits and what they think of audiences? It reveals that studio suits are stupid — and they think you are, too!

In this scene, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans) are standing shoulder-to-shoulder, ready for battle. Only Cap isn’t quite ready… because he doesn’t have his mask — a mask that serves to both conceal his identity as protect his head in throes of combat. Both sensible precautions.

Unless you’re a Hollywood suit who paid a ton of money to hire Evans, and you want his pretty-boy mug up there onscreen. Otherwise, how does the audience know this isn’t CGI, and that Evans is really in that suit? More importantly, how will you, the moronic ticket-buyers, know that Evans is even in this movie unless you can see his face?

This “reasoning” also explains why Robert Downey Jr. keeps his Iron Man face mask open so much — even though Tony Stark built the helmet to close and protect his face. (Talk about irony: The other new Avengers pic feature Iron Man flying with his mask engaged!) And it’s also why Jeremy Renner‘s archer, Hawkeye, forgoes his iconic purple cowl — and why  Michael Keaton‘s Batman spent so little time wearing the cowl in Tim Burton‘s Batman movies (which aren’t related to Avengers in any way; I’m just pointing out how the practice crosses corporate lines). Hollywood money men apparently think you’re as dumb as they are.

But of course the American movie-going public is smarter than that. Evans already introduced us to the Star-spangled Sentinel of Liberty in last summer’s fortuitously named Captain America: the First Avenger. We know what Evans looks like. He looks like Cap! Let him wear the mask.

Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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