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Ten for Ten, Marvel Studios Films: #5 Age of Ultron

November 12, 2017

This is my favorite of the two Avengers films released so far. I know I'm in the minority here, but I loved the chemistry between the team. They felt like a family here, instead of a bunch of superheroes working together. Part of that is the build up of the characters form their solo adventures post-The Avengers. I think the other part is that Whedon had built up the introductory part, and could now focus on the things he's proven best at. In all his shows it's been his cast of characters that people have become attached to. Whether it's Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, or Firefly fans love the interpersonal dynamics of those characters and I think Ultron reflects that. i even l liked the Bruce and  Natasha romance aspect. I think it was something Whedon planted the seeds of in The Avengers, and then expanded in Ultron. Thor: Ragnarok even references it as being still an anchor for Bruce to revert from being The Hulk. Which is even more interesting with the fact that the big guy might not be as big a fan of the Miss Romanov. As for Ultron himself, I loved him as a villain. He's actually one of my favorites in this universe. James Spader's voice alone grabs my attention every time he's on screen. A lot of people feel he falls into the under developed villains category  within the Marvel Films. I disagree, for the get go he awakens alone, in darkness, and is told he's designed to save the world. He's very much Frankenstein's monster. A creature born of science, who's creator abandoned him. It's this anger and detachment from Tony, The Avengers, and humanity that drives him to his ultimate plan to cause an extinction level event that will give him a chance to reshape the world. Vision is the opposite, he awakens to the whole host of Avengers. Yes, some of them were ready to take him down, but the fragment of Jarvis, helps give him context of the good within those around him. This is all within one movie, Loki's whole backstory only comes into play if you watched Thor.  As for the Maximoff twins, they too were angry at the world, at Stark but once they had more information they realized the error of their ways. Much like many others, I expected Hawkeye to be a casualty of Ultron's anger. I still think Pietro made more sense to the overall narrative. If Hawkeye/Barton died it'd have sucked because we got introduced to his family and they seemed nice. Yet, he played a small role in The Avengers so fans weren't particularly attached to him. Pietro/Quicksilver however, impacts Wanda's character development. We seen the impact that hurt has on her in one of my favorite scenes where she crushes all the Ultron Bots in one powerful moment, then again when she "kills" the main body of Ultron. Her decisions going forward will be framed by the loss of her brother, where the Barton family would get a funeral scene or Cap delivering the bad news, then be forgotten. It's not a perfect movie, the Hot Thor Tub Machine sequence is unnecessary and could have been fit into his vision from earlier but it doesn't break the movie. 

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