Age of Ultron came out in 2015 and is arguably the worst Avengers film out of the 4. It may even qualify as the worst MCU film. I remember seeing it in theaters and being absolutely mind-blown by the missteps it took. While it does have some good moments, overall the film felt like a total trainwreck. Joss Whedon absolutely destroyed any character development made in the previous films and reduced some characters to almost nothing. On paper, it should have been a good film, but once he got his hands on it, it became rough. I’m going to pick it apart in this review and also note the good moments.
Before I analyze the characters, I want to go through some other things. The intro to the film is very dramatic, and still involves the original Marvel logo. Then we jump straight into a battle scene, which has some rough looking CGI compared to normal. This film had some easter-eggs and some mentions that just refer back to the previous films. We see Stan Lee saying he can handle Thor’s alcohol (which he can’t), but it seems Steve can! There are mentions of Wakanda and Vibranium again, and we meet Klaue who plays a bigger role in Black Panther (we also learn how he loses his arm). Rhodey and Sam appear in the film as well, Rhodey coming later on to help them save the city and both appearing in the end as new Avengers. After the first set of credits, we see Thanos finally get out of his chair and put the Infinity Gauntlet on (he is looking very purple). The film ends with “The Avengers Will Return,” giving us no clues about the next steps in the MCU.
Out of everyone in the film, Tony was the only one who was still himself. He made comments, jokes, and quips at almost every opportunity, continued to do his best for the team, and still had all his flashy tech. He also has strong banter with Bruce, which means their friendship has grown and they understand each other better. In retrospect, Ultron was his fault, but the intentions were not evil. Tony wants to protect everyone he cares about and the world, and everything he does is to make the world a safer place. He saw the path they were going down in his vision and wanted to change it, he could not have predicted what Ultron would become. Vision was what he intended when making the program, not Ultron. At the end of the film we see Tony pondering his future with Pepper as this battle has really put things in perspective for him. Honestly, I don’t think RDJ would have them let fuck up Tony Stark after the time and dedication he’s put into the character.
While Steve still has aspects of himself that ring true to the other films, (his morals and dedication to doing what is right), there are aspects of him in this film that didn’t make sense. For example, “Language.” Really Steve? Or should I say Joss? Because all Tony said was “Shit,” and if he’s actually spent any time around Tony he would have been used to this by now. Although the running joke of them mocking him for it throughout was entertaining. Later, Steve nearly lifts the hammer, because he is worthy, which is foreshadowing to Endgame. In Steve’s vision, he’s back in his time after the war had been won, with Peggy wanting to dance. However, it’s riddled with violence then an emptiness, showing how Steve no longer is that person and he has to find a new path. An entertaining moment during the battle with Ultron: he aggressively planks to decapitate one of the robots. At the end of the film, Steve begins training the new Avengers, because he’s not sure what he can do with his life and he knows this is where he needs to be. It felt left very open which in theory can be good, but there really should have been character development in this film because Steve is still figuring himself out and his path. I was disappointed that not much happened for him, especially after what we saw in The Winter Soldier.
Thor remains fairly comical throughout the film; his time on Earth shown through his obvious friendship with Steve. However, he didn’t have much in the way of character growth and remained fairly stagnant throughout the film. In his vision, he sees Loki walking around in a cloak (signifying that Loki isn’t really dead) and he begins to glimpse the Infinity Stones. He later goes to see the rest of the vision, which is when he discovers that someone is making a weapon to yield these stones and decides he must go on a journey to find them. The end of the film is him returning to Asgard (or possibly going elsewhere?) to begin his search for the stones. This is meant to lead us to the next Thor film, Ragnarok, but because of the tone of the film it feels somewhat disconnected.
Natasha, this is where I have a bone to pick with Joss Whedon. This man had the AUDACITY to reduce her to nothing more than a woman who can’t have kids. And on top of that, he wrote her so she thought she was a monster because of it? Fuck that. Natasha is an incredibly strong person and she’s not a monster just because she’s infertile. Women are more than baby-making machines; they are strong individuals who can do what they want with their lives and are not monsters because they can’t (or decide not to) have children. Joss Whedon is a sexist fuck who shouldn’t have been allowed to write anything relating to Natasha’s character. She ALSO doesn’t need to be with something? And Bruce was a stretch if I’ve ever seen one. The only good thing we got out of the film for her was learning about her past with Red Room. It’s clearly a dark part of her past that still haunts her to this day, and I’m curious to learn more about her in the official Black Widow movie.
Now Clint is interesting in this film because he goes into “dad-mode” somewhat but also develops more in general. We learn that he can maybe play drums (as he’s messing around with drum-sticks in the tower), that he doesn’t tolerate mind-control BS anymore (naturally), and he has a humorous side in relation to Pietro (tolerates the kid but clearly frustrated with being called old-man). He also is somewhat of a motivational speaker as he talks to Wander in the house about becoming an Avenger. However, I take issue with his secret family. It felt like a MAJOR cop-out so they would have somewhere to go, and isn’t really canon. I am aware that there is this version of his family in one strand of the comics, but in the main comics this family doesn’t exist. Therefore I do not consider it canon and am angry about it (you can disagree but this is my blog). I’m curious what his vision would have been though, or do we see what he would become in Endgame regardless?
I don’t have much to say on Bruce that I haven’t already through the other characters. I suppose the lullaby makes sense, but it feels like Bruce could have easily come up with a better way to switch back. The entire thing just felt like a con to trick us into thinking Bruce and Natasha would make a good couple, which they don’t. Bruce also helped design the Hulk-Buster armor, Veronica, because he knows how volatile the Hulk can be should things get out of hand. I respect this because he’s taking precautions, just like Tony was, which is why I think he understood better than the others why Tony created (somewhat by accident) Ultron, and later helped creat Vision.
The twins, Wanda and Pietro Maximoff: “He’s fast and she’s weird.” In the comics, they are some of Magneto’s children, which is why they have their powers. However, in this film their powers originate from Loki’s scepter. This film only touches upon Wanda’s powers, showing her ability to manipulate people’s mind and the matter around her. Later, after Pietro dies, we see her power explode out of her, which is a better insight to her capabilities. This brings me to my next point, why did he die? He’s supposed to be fast, and if he’s fast enough to push Clint out of the way he’s fast enough to MOVE them both out of the way. Plothole! Also, another bone to pick, their beef with Stark isn’t direct beef with Tony. Yes, he made weapons and they were sold on the black market, but it wasn’t him selling them! If they had paid any attention to the news they would have known that and stopped blaming him for their parents death. They work with him later in the film, but Wanda still seems skeptical about Tony.
The Age of Ultron…more like the long-weekend of Ultron. He clearly represents the extremist side of humanity, those who think humans need to evolve or die. However, he acts like a psychotic child throughout the film, throwing fits when he doesn’t get his way and using phrases that adults wouldn’t typically use (you would hope). He doesn’t want to be compared to Tony Stark, or called one of Stark’s, because he believes he is a unique individual who is nothing like Tony. However, he is directly connected to Tony as much as he wishes he wasn’t. I would argue that Bruce had some role in his creation as well, but this gets brushed aside. I must say, James Spader was an excellent choice for Ultron.
Now his counterpart, Vision. Vision is an odd creation because he is spawned from Ultron, JARVIS, and the Mind Stone. He is worthy of Thor’s hammer because he is a young, pure being who has not experienced life or anything yet. He even admits that he does not know much since he’s only a day old. He just wants to do what is right and even though he sees humanity destroying itself, he sees the beauty in them. He also saves Wanda, which foreshadows their romantic relationship later in the films.
Overall, I would not recommend watching this movie. You can honestly watch the other films without having seen this one, because you’re not missing out on anything. I had to take several breaks while watching it because I got angry, worn out, or just bored with it.
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