If you can’t tell by the title, I wasn’t overly impressed by Avengers: Age of Ultron. I’m not saying I didn’t like it. I did. I just thought it could have been…better. A lot better.
A lot, a lot better.
So, bear with me because I’m going to lay it all out for you here. We’ll talk about what worked, and what didn’t. What was awesome, and what was lame. Then you can all comment and call me a nerd or whatever.
Alright. *knuckles crack* Let’s do this.
Oh, by the way, spoiler alert. In case you didn’t read the title.
EVERYTHING (WELL, NOT REALLY) WRONG WITH THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
Let’s be honest here for a second. Ultron really was a blow-hard of a villain. I’m sure I could think of a ton of other A.I. in film who are way more terrifying antagonists than Ultron. Have you even seen 2001: A Space Odyssey? Wait, you haven’t? Really? REALLY?? Get out of here.
Anyway, he wasn’t that great, and I think I know why. To me, Ultron was kind of all over the place as a character. When we first see him, he doesn’t understand what he sees or what he is, but he quickly understand what his resolve is (i.e. destroy the Avengers).
Remember that scene when he crashes the Avengers’ little get together? That was one of the most resonating scenes of the whole movie. That is the moment where Ultron truly felt like a villain, and he was terrifying.
Fast forward four or five minutes, and now he is ten feet tall and absolutely intimidating. Yet…he’s intimidating, and it’s because Ultron’s whole dynamic has changed. Now he’s whimsical and he cracks jokes. His entire being (literally!) has changed from that first scene.
But, BUT!” I hear you cry, “The reason Ultron is like that is to reflect his relationship to Tony Stark. You see, Ultron is merely a reflection of Stark’s recklessness, and that is personified through his humorous, albeit morbid persona!”
First off, you are a very elegant speaker.
Secondly, I could see that reasoning IF IT WAS EVER BROUGHT UP IN A MEANINGFUL WAY!
Sure there’s the scene where Ultron freaks out for being compared to Tony Stark (which was actually a good scene), and Scarlet Witch makes an off-handed comment about Ultron being like Tony Stark…but, that’s it.
The parallelism is a moot point if it doesn’t ever have any substantial impact on the story.
Which it doesn’t.
Not even a little.
If the movie had developed on these ideas, it would have made Ultron a stronger character. Reversely, if they had kept him cold and ruthless, that also would have made him a stronger character. The Ultron we got is kind of wishy-washy and his motivations are just a bit too vague.
I will say, though, when we says the little “no strings on me” poem, that’s creepy. And awesome.
2. The Character Development Kind Of Sucked, Too
I understand that in a canon universe like this your characters can’t radically change. More or less the characters have to be the same personality wise.
But, that doesn’t mean they can’t learn something.
Like…say for example, maybe you shouldn’t rush into building hyper-advanced A.I. that may or may not try to destroy the world. But, I mean, that’s just one example.
That’s also not saying there wasn’t any character development at all. I really liked the dynamic forming between Bruce Banner and Black Widow. It was a romance that I actually found rather believable. But…that was it, really. No one else changed.
Captain America didn’t learn anything.
Tony Stark didn’t learn anything.
The Hulk realizes things he already knows (i.e. he’s a monster that is very difficult to contain).
No one changes in this movie whatsoever (unless you count dying as a character change).
The only person who seems to be a little different is Black Widow, and it’s not even a good change. It just seems like in this movie, as a clear symbol of feminism and the power of women, Black Widow was significantly weaker in this movie. It’s not necessarily because she falls for Bruce Banner, but rather some of the implications that come with it.
Remember the scene during the climax where Black Widow is freed by Bruce Banner? What does she say? She doesn’t say “Let’s kick some robot ass.”
She says “Go be a hero.”
As if she isn’t one.
As if only men can be heroes.
(A side note, kudos to my best friend Mac for pointing this out to me.)
As a character who has regularly taken an active role in these movies, especially during fights, this is totally against her character and what she stands for.
And don’t even get me started on the part where they start talking about having a family.
You know, because that’s all women want when they fall in love: a farmhouse and three kids. Nothing else. Not ever.
3. Now That I Think About It, The Action Kind Of Sucked Too
Well, it didn’t suck necessarily. It just…wasn’t amazing. It looked very nice and cool things happened, but it wasn’t something new. We’ve seen fight scenes like that before in these movies. Oh, there was a giant army of robots at the end of the movie? Too bad no one has experience fighting robots.
*Re-watches Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3.*
THEY’VE TOTALLY DONE THAT BEFORE!
But they’ve never had to save the whole world before. Wait.
*Watches Avengers for the ten millionth time.*
THEY DID THAT TOO!!
This movie literally brings nothing new to the table. Well, it introduced The Vision, and that was basically the only perfect thing about the movie. They nailed that character. Bravo.
But, yeah. Nothing else. Remember when Marvel Studios and Disney took a risk and made Guardians of the Galaxy? Remember how crazy awesome that movie was?
Yeah, Age of Ultron isn’t anything like that.
It just wasn’t creative enough, which is sad because I know how creative Joss Whedon can be.
I was just disappointed. That’s all. I can honestly say I have Prometheus syndrome (that nasty disease where the trailer for the movie is actually better than the movie) from Age of Ultron. Maybe it’s my fault though. I was honestly expected more of a character movie. I thought, as the in-between movie, it would take some time to develop some issues among the cast. I thought it would touch on more personal issues that they may not have time for in the real end of the world showdown that will be Avengers 3. So maybe it’s my fault I didn’t enjoy the movie as much.
I also thought they would touch on the ideas that will show up in Captain America: Civil War. They didn’t do that either, but I can see how the events of this movie will lead into that conflict. Anyway, it’s not my favorite Marvel movie, but it’s still not bad.
Until next time!