I saw Age of Ultron on Saturday morning. My initial reaction once the mid-credits scene concluded was something along the lines of “WOW. JUST WOW.” The whole theater even burst out clapping! It was wonderful and I am still devastated, delighted…and very apprehensive about what is going to happen in the upcoming films.
This post is probably going to be a bit spoilery, though I won’t be gratuitous about it. If you want to see this movie with a blank slate, you should probably exit faster than Quicksilver and his adorable Eastern European accent. But if you have seen it, or if you haven’t seen it but you’re like me and you’re not ultra-sensitive to light spoilers, then read on. I won’t ruin the end, don’t worry 😉
IMDB Synopsis: When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.
MY (slightly scattered) THOUGHTS ON AGE OF ULTRON:
1. The Avengers are just drop-dead awesome.
This may get a “duh” response, but it is interesting to see how each character has developed over the past few years. My Asgardian Prince Charming, for example, is definitely the new “Elrond of the MCU.” He’s grown so much in wisdom and leadership skills since his first solo film, and he makes good use of his knowledge of the wider universe in this one.
Steve, meanwhile, has finally accepted and grown into his role as the “boss.” He seems much happier now, like he’s finally comfortable with the 21st century and with his new friends, especially Thor and Natasha.
When Thor stepped on the Lego house and glanced at Steve with a “Shhhhh” expression… 😀 😀 😀
As for Clint Barton…HE IS A WONDERFUL PERSON AND HE IS OUR NEW FAVORITE AND IF THERE WERE MORE CLINT BARTONS IN THE WORLD WE SINGLE GIRLS WOULD ALL HAVE WONDERFUL HUSBANDS, THE END.
Who would’ve thought that he’d be the most clear-headed daddy-figure of the team? Not to mention that he’d have that adorable farmhouse…and that absolutely wonderful wife?! We’re convinced Laura Barton homeschools her kids. And that she played an integral role in Natasha Romanoff’s rehabilitation after Clint snatched her out of her life as an assassin.
Speaking of Tasha…I have a newfound love, respect, and sympathy for her. I don’t understand why people think this film turned her into a “weakling.” Natasha hasn’t become weak; she’s simply developed a healthy vulnerability with the people she loves. That is NOT a bad thing. And the next time I hear of someone saying that “Ehhh, Black Widow is a feminist–she should be getting married and having babies instead of running around with the Avengers,” I’m going to Hulk-smash them. Because maybe she would like to have that and can’t. You never know, do you?
Bruce Banner needs a hug and he needs to hang out more with Thor and Steve and Nat, and not so much with Tony Stark. Because unfortunately he lets Tony lead him around by the nose. And yes, I do approve of the Good Ship Banneroff…though I’m sadly not sure it’ll go much farther than it did.
Only Tony still frustrates me, to be honest. He has good intentions and he wants to protect his friends, I have no doubt about it…but the path to hell is paved with good intentions. And unfortunately, he has too much of an ego and not enough common sense to keep him off that path.
2. Ultron is the sassiest bad guy since a Certain Recalcitrant Frost Giant.
Which isn’t surprising, given the fact that Ultron’s artificial intelligence system is a mix of Tony Stark and JARVIS. That kind of Sass Factor ought to be illegal. But his combination of snark and cruelty is about ten notches higher than that of the aforementioned Frost Giant, because for all I want to grab Loki by the collar and shake him sometimes, he still has a heart. He still shows sympathy and remorse (sometimes) and I think there’s still some hope for his eventual redemption.
Ultron, however, has no heart. And he sets himself up as a god in ways that even Loki wouldn’t dream of doing.
3. I liked the Maximoff Twins waaaaaaaay more than I thought I would.
Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, AKA the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, are such tragic figures. You just want to swoop them up and give them a big hug and tell them it’ll all be okay.
I still don’t like Wanda’s superheroine name, and some of her mental powers are weird–but she’s more like Violet Parr from The Incredibles than a sorceress. And she does seem like a dear. I think she’ll really flourish now that she’s finally among people she can trust. Her brother Pietro (older than her by twelve minutes–he made a point of mentioning it, so I will too) is the sweetest speedster than ever was. Both of them just need cuddles and Disney movies and extended vacations at the Barton farm.
4. THE VISION IS SO COOL.
The Vision: making androids swoon-worthy since May 2015.
He’s kind, he’s noble, he has a delightful sense of humor, and his purpose in life is to protect…well, life! I will NOT spoil the Vision’s origins, you’re just gonna have to go see the movie for yourself–but I did really like him. His end scene had me wanting to throw my fists to the theater ceiling shouting “YESSSS!!!”
I just wish they hadn’t used such biblically-charged dialogue to describe an AI. But if he was just philosophizing, then okay, I definitely get that. I didn’t study philosophy as a homeschooler for nothin’ 😉
5. We’re gearing up for the Infinity Wars.
Ever since…well, Captain America: The First Avenger, at least, we’ve been hearing about these ancient, magical, energy-packed stones and substances such as the Tesseract, the Aether, the Orb, and now the Mind Stone. Now we know they’re Infinity Stones, which, to be perfectly honest, remind me of the powerful Chaos Emeralds in the Sonic the Hedgehog video games. (90’s kids get it.)
If a villain ever gets his hands on all the Infinity Stones, he’ll have unlimited power. In The Avengers, Loki had the Mind Stone in his Scepter (that’s how he brainwashed Hawkeye), and used the Tesseract’s power to bring in the Chitauri. The Dark Elf Malekith, in Thor: The Dark World, tried to plunge the universe into total darkness with the Aether. In Guardians of the Galaxy, Ronan the Accuser wanted to destroy his enemies with the Orb.
In Age of Ultron, the focus is on the Mind Stone in Loki’s scepter. Somebody Really Good And Honorable gets the Mindstone, thank goodness–but Another Important Person with less than honorable intentions really, really wants to get his hands on it and the rest of the Stones, too. Or rather, he wants all the stones on his hand. Ahem.
6. We’re also gearing up for the Civil War.
Without giving too much info, Age of Ultron concludes with a somewhat-reshuffled Avengers team. It’ll be interesting to see who’s on what side next May. (Captain America: Civil War comes out on May 6, 2016–exactly one year from this Wednesday. I will see you there.)
7. If you’re looking for a Certain Recalcitrant Frost Giant in this movie, you’re fresh outta luck.
Although his influence so permeated this movie, it’s a wonder he didn’t show up with a flash and a bang of glorious purpose.
Joss Whedon promised he’d be in the deleted scenes on the DVD, though. Which is generous, considering we have to wait longer to find out how Loki survived getting stabbed through the heart than we’ll ever have to wait to find out how Moriarty survived shooting himself in the head. Marvel is meaner than Moffat.
Why no, I’m not bitter.
8. And also, there are few things better in life than the sight of Nick Fury drying dishes.
I think I’ll just leave it at that.
9. Wrapping things up here, ‘cuz this is getting long. Almost every supervillain believes in evolution…including Ultron.
You name ’em. General Zod and Faora-Ul in Man of Steel, nearly every Spider-Man villain, Red Skull…they’re all devout believers in evolution. Even Ultron believes that the next step for man’s evolution is their total extinction and replacement by robotic artificial intelligence. As my friend Rachel said, ” ‘Survival of the fittest’…allows an amorality about life and death that works really well for villainy.”
By contrast, the Avengers value life so much, they’d rather make a last stand against Ultron than run away from a situation that seems utterly hopeless. They’d rather race across dangerous streets and save little children than huddle in the safety of a rescue ship. They’d rather stay in a doomed city than leave thousands of innocent victims to their fates. The Avengers protect the weak and the innocent are a proud to do so.
10. But unfortunately no superhero film gives the ultimate solution to their villains’ warped philosophies.
While they’re often conservative and even Christian-based, our favorite superhero films still fall short of offering true, everlasting hope. They call for saviors, but great heroes like Thor and Captain America and the Vision can only go so far in fulfilling that role. They rescue the physical world from the physical consequences of destructive worldviews, but they can’t cure sinful natures. Only the Mightiest Superhero can do that.
11. And yet at the same time, feel free to enjoy and admire honorable fictional heroes!
It does the heart good to know that people are watching flawed but still-admirable characters displaying character qualities such as:
unflinching value for human life (Steve)
celebration of family (Clint)
courage and loyalty (Wanda)
leadership in crisis (Thor)
love for one’s friends (Tony)
It just doesn’t get much better than that in the superhero world.