“Avengers: Age of Ultron” – some thoughts

Well, it’s Avengers: Age of Ultron day, and I just got back from the theater.

There will be **spoilers**, so if you don’t want to know, change the channel.

Where to begin?

Well, I find it odd that Tony Stark now has an army of drones, a la Justin Hammer from Iron Man 2. And he calls it the “Iron Legion.” Really? That doesn’t really feel like a Tony Stark move to me. Yes, he used his suits as a force in Iron Man 3, but the Iron Legion?

Seems pretty militant for Tony. Almost unnecessarily so, even in light of the impending Civil War. Just sayin’.

Hawkeye has a what? With who? More importantly than that little development, however, is the fact that, not only does Hawkeye have a purpose in this film (something he sorely lacked in the first film), but that it is, in its own way, pivotal to the movie. Not in the way that some critics are putting forward, where he somehow “steps up” and “takes control.”

No, I think it’s more important in that Hawkeye gives regular people a role in the battle for the world and allows it to be framed in a way that everyone can understand, even Thor. Hawkeye is a metaphor for humanity as a whole, traveling among forces beyond his control, much as Tony likes to assert that humanity is just blundering along, waiting to be swallowed up by that next superior force.

Unlike Hawkeye, however, Tony makes a mess of trying to fix that disparity of perceived power. Hence, Ultron.

Nice to see Ruffalo stretching Banner even farther this time. God help me, Ruffalo impresses me more and more every time I see him. And not just painted green.

Banner’s relationship with Black Widow was a nice touch. Understated, but filled with emotional tension, not sexual tension. Something Whedon actually does really well with his characters. Two flawed people finding a way to be happy(?). I would have liked a little¬†exposition on the “lullaby,” though.

Speaking of Agent Romanov, a nice glimpse into her past. Everyone knew that it was horrible, growing up as she did, but the whole “graduation ceremony” thing? Head fake from Whedon, right into a completely logical, yet “eww,” revelation.

Captain America. Poor Cap. Nice to see Hayley Atwell, though.

Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver? Okay. Just okay. I think Elizabeth Olsen did a fine job portraying Wanda’s evolution from orphan to troublemaker to Avenger, but Quicksilver just felt….. extra? For the second time, I’ve been disappointed by the character of Pietro Maximoff (see X-Men: Days of Future Past).

The Vision/JARVIS. A solid evolution, even if we don’t get the original origin of his brain patterns. Like so much in the MCU, it is a construct that is its own Alpha and Omega, it’s links to the comicbooks tenuous at best, and non-existent at worst.

James Spader made the leap from logical robot to casual-talking megalomaniac almost too quickly. That “evolution” was pretty abrupt.

Speaking of casual, the last thing I’d like to talk about is the humor in this movie. It’s everywhere. Now, I love a good zinger as much as the next guy, I really do, but damn, Joss!

Literally, it’s almost as if there was a fanboy writing the script going “You know what would be great here? One-liner!”

Oh, wait. There was a fanboy writing the script.

I loved the whole running “pick on Cap” jab, though. That’s funny. It’s reminiscent of him not getting any of the pop-culture references in the first film. But literally, if there was a joke or snide remark to be made at any point, by any character, it feels like they just went, “Yeah, go for it.”

All I’m really doing at this point is nit-picking a fun, entertaining, action movie. Overall, I thought Age of Ultron played out pretty well over its¬†2.5 hour running time.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is going to destroy the box office this year. Go give them your money and have a good time.

It’s totally worth it.

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