All credit due to my girlfriend for pointing out the utter aesthetic horror of the haircuts on display in the new Avengers film. It says something that the Incredible Hulk has the best hairdo in the movie (along with the best scenes), with everybody else looking like they just stepped out of a Melrose Place re-reboot casting call.
Let us examine more closely:
Tony Stark: The charm of Robert Downey Jr.’s performance is that he plays Iron Man as an insufferable cheese-ball, so it seems a little off-message to insult the character’s style, but jeez louise was that impeccably razored goatee distracting. The movie had plenty of close-up face-shots of Stark inside the Iron Man suit, commenting on the action around him, and I kind of imagine Downey Jr. just recording all of them in one go and taking a few weeks off. Showbiz!
Pepper Potts: I realize this is based on a comic book, but is that really her name? It sounds like a side dish at TGIFriday’s. The amorphously red shade of Paltrow’s hair not only doesn’t match her skin tone, but also does not match any color in the natural spectrum of light.
Hawkeye: Hey look! It’s the Joey Bishop of the Avengers! If, when making an all-star superhero film, you’re going to significantly feature a superhero that nobody has ever heard of, one who, incidentally, has no actual superpowers, and then proceed to dress him in a short sleeve leather mock turtleneck, it might help if you didn’t give the character a hairstyle that makes him look like he walked out of a Supercuts, circa 1991.
Thor: I’ve never understood how Norse gods were squeezed into the Marvel pantheon. Are they supposed to literally be the gods from Norse mythology? I do remember that when growing up, nobody ever really liked Thor the comic book character. The reason why is clear: Thor is a big, young, blond dude. No matter what he does, no matter how many people he smacks with his magic hammer, he’s still a pretty boy. He’s basically Roy Stalin from Better Off Dead, or the kid from the Dragon Dojo in The Karate Kid. Pop culture has taught us to dislike blond pretty boys.
Captain America: Chris Evans, the actor behind the Shield of Captain America, reminds me of the dumb guy love interest from Steve Martin’s Roxanne. That same well-tuned blank stare and anonymous good looks.Throughout the film, I kept expecting him to head back to the fire station or show up under Daryl Hannah’s window.