Finally, after getting through all of those (awesome) season finales, I get to finish looking at the characters from Avengers 2. Here’s my previous general impressions post, and my look at Black Widow and Hulk. And as Age of Ultron generated a lot of discussion, even about topics that don’t often get much attention, there are plenty of other different perspectives out there worth hearing–I’d link to some of the ones I’ve come across, but I need to run off to lab for a bit. Then sleep. Then con.
Without further ado, I’d like to please finish my impressions of the Avengers team before something else comes up, especially since Bookcon is in less than 12 hours.
Tony bears the brunt of the blame for the entire movie, given that he created the bad guy. Nice one.
There was no particular focus on his relationship with any other characters. The focus was on his relationship with himself. Interestingly, Tony didn’t really learn anything from his mistake, which sets up his role in Civil War.
He has a crisis for a while, then decides to fix almost accidentally destroying the world by doing the same thing, but better. I’m pretty sure Vision being better than Ultron was luck, not planning on Tony’s part. The thing with AIs is that they think for themselves, so you can’t always predict what conclusions they come to. Which is how Ultron came to be in the first place. The creation of vision was an act of faith on Tony’s part. Yet he got to pat himself on the back for being right all along, when actually, he was only right this time.
He also didn’t get as much character work in this film–makes sense, since he can get it in other films. What this film does do with him is set-up his differences with Tony.
We get to see them come down on opposite sides of an issue, and see two resolutions. One where Steve was right, and one where Tony was right. That’s nice, and it doesn’t teach either of them anything. Rather, it provides both of them with material to reinforce their original ideas and feel justified doing so. That’s an explosion waiting to happen.
We do also get a sense that he’s out-of-place, and feels that way. When Wanda got into his head, he saw the past and a beckoning for a life that was beyond him now. When Tony decides to do the same thing that nearly ended the world in the first place, the only people standing on his side are his former enemies–against Tony, against Bruce, and against Clint, who has reason to believe he isn’t in his right mind (but he is). The only teammate he’s had time to develop any kind of friendship with is missing. And Thor shows up out of nowhere–and also sides with Tony.
Poor guy. Bruce Banner wasn’t the only one left out in the cold this movie.
Much has been made of the revelation that he’s got a secret family, and now we’ve got a window into his personal life. But somehow, that revelation didn’t strike me as surprising. Weirdly for me, I always kind of assumed he was in stable long-term relationship. For me, his most powerful scene was his pep talk for Wanda.
Here is someone who stood against him and his, tried to brainwash him (which he’s got kind of a thing against), and is as responsible as Tony Stark for Ultron. Who’s now ostensibly on his side, and having a freak out about how much of what’s happening is her doing. And of course, he just brushes it aside, skips over the blame game, and giver her her options. One of which is to step outside and be an Avenger.
And it makes perfect sense that he’s the one to have this conversation with her. That he’s the guy who’s going to step away from the past and tell someone who’s made mistakes to focus on the future. Because he’s done it before. We already know that, from the previous movie, from Natasha.
It was a nice scene that just fit his character, was made for his character.
Thor didn’t have that much to do in the movie, character progression-wise. But he did get to party with his friends and get into a pissing match with Tony about who’s girlfriend is more successful, so that’s nice.
He also made the scene where everyone tries to pick up his hammer possible, which was awesome.
The new Avengers, or rather, the new Avenger.
These characters are great, and their relationship as siblings is the greatest thing about them. They manage to convey mostly through body language just how much the two of them have been through together, how dependent they are on each other, and how much they mean to each other.
Because of course, they’re the only thing the other has left in the world, aside from hating Tony Stark. Losing everyone else that mattered to them would only make their bond more desperate. And desperate is a good word to describe them in general, because that’s what it would take to hand yourself over to a human experimentation program with no indication of an actual success rate.
And yet, Wanda had enough hope left to challenge Ultron when she realized he was planning on attacking all of humanity. Pietro could recognize when SHIELD was doing a good thing, evacuating civilians. And both of them jumped into the fight to protect the locals from the devastation caused by Ultron’s army.
Wanda even had time (somehow) for a breakdown from her crisis of conscience, given that the creation of Ultron was ultimately her doing–she allowed Tony to take the scepter in the first place, after whammying him into obsessing over his worst nightmare.
While we totally did not have time for a Vision in this movie, it was also utterly essential to have a Vision if we were going to have an Ultron. How’s that for a conundrum? Even as I tiredly took in the concept of another new character by this point in the movie, I had to acknowledge that he had a purpose here.
People have been talking about the dangers of artificial intelligence for how long in sci-fi? Vision balances out the discussion on AIs, with the reminder that thinking creatures will all come to different conclusions. Which may or may not be that the human race needs to be annihilated.
And having a scene where Vision and Ultron debate their philosophies is just awesome.