Re: The Official Rate/Review Thread for Marvel's The Avengers! (TAG SPOILERS!!!) -
The Coulson line was just a bittersweet moment for Phil to get in his fun little badass moment before leaving us. It's the thing that makes people in the audience go "haha, awww..." The drama's still there, ask the heaps of people upset by his death in the movie. I guarantee that nobody watching the movie viscerally thought, "Yeah, I felt bad he was dying for a second, but when the character made a joke I just didn't care anymore."
How his offhand remark can even be considered a joke doesn't even make sense. It's humorous and gets a laugh, but a joke that does not make. Reminds me of when people were saying that Darcy was "making puns" throughout the Thor trailer. Really, puns?