I finally got around to watching The Avengers: Age of Ultron a few weeks ago. Since I watched it around a week after its release, I sadly heard some spoilers as well as the many complaints. Luckily, I avoided anything too spoilery and managed to go in to the theater without too many preconceived notions.
It sadly wasn't the strongest Marvel movie to date and it wasn't as good as the first Avengers film, but it was still a great movie and I definitely enjoyed watching it.
The plot was mostly strong. The villain- Ultron- could have been better (he was no where near as strong as Loki in the first Avengers film), but the character interactions and the climax (and denouement) were all very strong. I especially enjoyed the focus of the Avengers on protecting the people caught in their crossfire. In some stories (which I avoid anyway), it seems like the heroes don't really think about the people around them, so this was nice (especially since most superhero/superhero groups don't do this). The humor was also as perfect as ever and I laughed a LOT in the movie. I especially loved Iron Man going "go to sleep, go to sleep!" and Vision picking up the hammer and everyone being all "WHAT!!??"
The ending was especially powerful, what with showing of Black Widow and Captain America training the new Avengers team- which awesomely consisted of a very diverse group (a woman, two African-American men, and a human/robot entity). I can't wait to see this new group in action! :D
Characters (I'm going in an order of who was in the movie the most, not in my order of favorites).
Tony Stark had some great moments in this film and I enjoyed how his character continued to develop. Even though he was wrong in creating Ultron without consulting the team (except for Banner, who shouldn't have gone along with it), I can understand WHY he did it- he was scared that the world would get screwed over if a treat came up that they couldn't deal with alone (which, considering how he used to be a selfish jerk, is really quite impressive). He needs to learn that the fate of the world is not solely on him, but I think by film's end he's started learning that lesson.
I also really liked his relationship with Captain America and it should be interesting to see how their new-found closeness affects them in the upcoming Civil War film (where the two are pitted against each other).
Can I have some of your super strength, Steve? Please!? :)
Captain America proved even more in this film that he's a good leader and why he's one of the two chosen to train the new group of Avengers. He also did a great job in handling the evacuation of the town. I feel like his good leadership qualities are one of the reasons he was nearly able to lift the hammer. He also had some great humorous moments, like when he says "language" at the beginning of the film and everyone keeps giving him grief about it XD (not sure why language would bother him- he was in the army after all, so he probably heard it all before) Didn't get why he said "if you die, walk it off", since that is logically impossible (I guess it was supposed to be funny? I just don't see the humor. Oh well).
Black Widow was still awesome as ever! While I had a couple of complaints about things 'involving' her character, her character overall was awesome and it was nice to see an awesome, kick-ass female in a superhero movie again (it's been getting better lately, of course, but still- not where I want to be yet). It was great to get a glimpse at her past (though we got more from Agent Carter), and now I think we really need a Black Widow movie (like, seriously). I did have one issue with the film that was a bit sexist. In one scene where she is talking to Bruce, she pretty much acts like she's a monster because she was sterilized (and was forced to kill people, but the sterilizing seemed to be the part she was most upset about- at least, in my perspective). This in of itself isn't a problem- often times, victims do blame themselves for what happened to them, and this actually would have been a very interesting topic to delve more into with her character. The problem is that Bruce didn't contradict her and say "no, that doesn't make you a monster." Because, being sterile in NO WAY shape or form makes you a monster (seriously, women aren't just their uteruses). For a longer description on why I don't like it, go here (one of my favorite bloggers explained it well).
Really, that was my only issue in regards to the film's presentation of her. The more important issues with sexism in Marvel and in the industry in general are much more pressing (such as Black Widow and other female characters being left out of merchandising for the movies, the EXTREME lack of female-led works, whitewashing of certain characters, the fact that female characters/characters of color/LGBTQA+ characters- when they appear- always die first -_-). So people, don't blame Joss Whedon, he's at least TRYING (and we've seen that he actually cares about his female characters and gives them agency). The problem is much larger than one person.
Hawkeye gets much more screen time in this installment and it's definitely appreciated since we got very little of him in the first Avengers film. We learned a lot more about him, and seeing his family was a very nice touch; he seemed devoted to them, and I'm glad his wife and children knew everything and weren't kept in the dark (in fact, the scenes where the Avengers were at his home were some of my favorite). He definitely had some great moments and I liked how he related to Scarlet Witch (more on that in her section), as well as his funny running gag with Quicksilver (which turned out quite sad).
While I really liked his character in the first Avengers movie, I just didn't find him as interesting this time around. He seemed a tad out of character and for some reason more uncontrollable than in the first movie(at least, that's what I took from it). He did have some good moments- and I will always love Mark Ruffalo's performance-, but I felt like some things could have been done better with his character. Though, I did enjoy his friendship with Tony and I liked the idea of his romance with Natasha in theory (just wish it had been implemented into the plot better). As my friend James from JandJ Productions pointed out, it made sense for them to get together (both have something about themselves they don't like and since Natasha is a warrior, she probably needs someone who is unlike her to help her see other sides of the picture; just like Bruce needs someone to control him if he get out of hand).
Sadly, my favorite Avenger didn't have as much to do this time around. He did have some funny parts- and I loved seeing how proud he was of his girlfriend (it was so cute and endearing :) ). He had some cool action scenes through out the movie, his interactions with Vision were priceless, and the running gag with his hammer was a lot of fun.
One thing I didn't get was why Maria Hill made the testosterone comment when Thor and Tony were going on about how cool their girlfriends were. Like, they obviously think a lot about their girlfriends and are bragging about them. Isn't that what everyone wants from their spouse/significant other?(if they have one). For them to be proud of them and their achievements? Aw well, it's her loss if she can't see that she's being silly :p .
Looking forward to seeing more of Thor in his upcoming film :)
I LOVED HER SO MUCH, YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!
Like, I think she was one of my favorite parts of the movie. Finally, we have a girl with superhero powers in a major superhero movie. She has a great character arc and I look forward to seeing more of her in the upcoming film (just wish they'd cast actors of the right race- from what I've heard, they weren't; of course, I could be wrong).
One thing about her that really stood out to me was her scene with Hawkeye before she goes out to help (where he says "if you step out of that door, you'll be an Avenger"). Usually, this kind of talk is given man to man, but here it was given to a woman and I just loved that. It takes the stereotype, turns it on its head, and it turns out so very well. I really wish we could see more of this in fiction- more times where women are treated just as competently as men. In most films, Hawkeye would have encouraged her to stay in room and be safe- here, he lets her decide what she wants, giving her the agency to make her own choices. And it pays off- with her becoming the hero he knew she could be.
And that is beautiful.
Also loved how she ripped Ultron's heart out. >:)
Quicksilver isn't in the film too-too much, but what scenes he does have are good ones. His running gag about Hawkeye not seeing him coming was funny and ended in a tragic enough way. I just wish his death had been given more gravity than it was.
I hadn't known too much about Vision before this movie, but I really liked him. He was naive, but poised in a way that is relatable. I thought it was cool how he was created, how he could lift Thor's hammer, and I'm interested in seeing if his romance with Scarlet Witch plays out like it does in the comics (from what I've heard). I mean, to be honest, it was Scarlet Witch and Vision who ultimately defeated Ultron so they're MEANT for each other XD.
Overall, another good installment on Marvel's awesome run of new films. Not as good as The Avengers, Thor, Iron Man 3, or Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but it tells it's story right, is exciting, and is just a, plainly, a whole lot of fun.
Looking forward to Civil War! It's just going to be awkward, because I'm pretty sure I'll agree with Tony, while we're supposed to be on Steve's side. Oh well. :P