My wife and I caught Avengers: Age of Ultron over the weekend. It wasn’t as strong as its predecessor, but it was a generally fun film. I feel strange saying this about a 2.5 hour movie, but I think it needed to be significantly longer, given the amount of story they were trying to tell.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED
Okay, one of the biggest problems I saw was the emphasis on big flashy action scenes over development and story. I think the movie does a pretty good job, considering the number of characters it has to deal with, not to mention threads connecting to various other films both past and present, as well as Agents of Shield. But too many things were rushed or glossed over. Thor and the Glorious Pool of Glistening Pecs is a good example. What was that about? How much of his vision was supposed to be real?
Ultron had much more personality than I expected, and I loved his snark. But he wasn’t scary. In the first Avengers movie, we had a villain we’d met before, someone whose backstory and motivations we understood. Ultron comes out of nowhere, because apparently the mindstone is a computer matrix for AI that wants to wipe out humanity. Also, city-meteor! He should have been much more terrifying, and he just wasn’t. He never felt like a genuine threat.
Hawkeye was wonderful. Love the snark. Love the Scarlet Witch-stopping arrow he smacks onto her forehead, and his comment about not doing the mind-control thing again. Love that he has a family. (Though the family didn’t seem to have any existence outside of him; what do they do when he’s not around? Just hang out and hide from the world?) I loved watching him bring the more down-to-earth human being vibe to the team. My favorite bit was his conversation with Scarlet Witch. “…and I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes sense.”
Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver: I liked them both more than I expected. Quicksilver and Hawkeye played off of each other so well, and I’m bummed we won’t get to see more of that. Once again, I would have liked to see a little more backstory and character development, but I thought what we got worked. (Though erasing the characters’ Roma heritage from the comics is a problem.) I particularly liked the choreography for Scarlet Witch when she’s using her powers. I definitely want to see more of her character.
Hulk and Black Widow: Honestly, I just wasn’t feeling it. Bruce Banner and Tony Stark have much better chemistry. There’s been a lot of discussion about Black Widow’s post-shower talk about being sterilized and being a monster. I think at best that was clumsily written, and at worse it’s an asinine suggestion that to be a sterile woman is to be monstrous. I’m leaning more toward bad writing, but either way…meh.
The opening battle was one of my favorite parts of the movie. We got to see the chemistry and development of the Avengers as a team, along with plenty of banter. “Language…” It was just plain fun.
Tony Stark’s prima nocta joke. Was it in character for Tony? Maybe…I’d like to think he’d grown up a bit. But it was also gross and completely unnecessary.
Vision looked a little goofy, but I liked him. His handing Mewmew over to Thor was perfect. Like Ultron, I think we need a little more understanding of just what the hell he is, but I like him. I particularly appreciated his teamwork with Thor. (“I am mighty…I am running out of things to say!”) I also liked his conversation with the last Ultron bot at the end.
The ending was interesting. I don’t know what they’re doing with the Hulk, but I liked his choice to leave. I wasn’t sure about the Hulk calmly riding along in a cloaked quinjet, but leaving the team made sense. He’d been exposed as a monster, and then Natasha basically betrayed him by pushing him into that pit to bring out the Hulk. Totally in character for her, but also not okay. I thought that was a very powerfully written scene. I also liked seeing the beginning of a new team.
So, what did the rest of you think?