Saturday, September 19, 2015

At Least There Was Plenty of Ultron

So I got to see Avengers: Age of Ultron. I guess a SPOILER warning is potentially necessary. It was OK, I laughed at some parts, I do enjoy it whenever the Avengers start doing c-c-c-c-COMBO MOVES (or "power moves" as Teen Titans Go! puts it). I don't think I've ever cared about the Vision so his popping up didn't do much for me, and his being the one who can throw Mjolnir around actively pissed me off. I am an irate comic fan and I demand Captain America smacking fools with Mjolnir!

I was really tempted to type that all in caps, and you'll never know if it would be in jest or not. Neither would I.

I had mixed feelings about Ultron. I'm not really a big James Spader fan - nothing against him, but nothing for him, either - so that casting didn't sway me one way or the other. The early part of the movie, where he's trying to be sort of charming or friendly, but gets homicidal, it made sense if I rationalized it that Ultron is still young and his personality isn't yet fully formed. He's still learning, gaining experience from his encounters with people, who mostly are scared of him and respond with violence, which confirms his initial assessment of human. But I suppose I'm too used to an Ultron who had already settled on exterminating humans. The part at the end, when he's mocking the Avengers' attempts to save the day, responding to Tony's attempt to stall by pointing he's stalling as well, calmly describing how he'll kill Thor while he has him by the throat, that felt like Ultron to me.

I missed a lot of the stuff about Hawkeye's family because Alex' sister called him, and when he mentioned I was visiting, she wanted to talk to me. So I was distracted for awhile, probably missed some character development there. I did like that Hawkeye got more focus. Him as the guy who is "only" human on the team, dealing with a whole new level of threats compared to most of his SHIELD career. It feels a bit like part of Natasha's arc in the first Avengers movie, where she clearly didn't feel comfortable in this world of out in the open superheroics.

It is really hard to focus on typing this with Dad watching Abbott & Costello while he's complaining out loud about some poorly footnoted book he's reading simultaneously.

I didn't really buy into the Bruce/Natasha thing. Maybe I missed something in there during the phone conversation. I think I definitely missed the part where she mentions she can't have kids, and thinks that makes her a monster. That's in there correct? I seem to recall a lot of people being unhappy with that development. Seems a poor decision on Whedon and Co.'s part, if true. I mean, she was a government assassin/spy for years. She probably did plenty of shit one could consider monstrous, if that's really the kinship you want to develop between the two. They've each, at some point thought they were doing the right thing working for SHIELD or the military, only to be disillusioned by either Thunderbolt Ross' ambition or the reveal of HYDRA's manipulation of SHIELD. It seems like the struggle to continue to do good in the face of the recognizing their past efforts were warped could be a connection. How do they get it right the next time around?

Captain America understanding Pietro and Wanda's reasons for volunteering to Strucker's experiments was a nice touch. I continue to be impressed with how the directors and Chris Evans handle Steve Rogers. Also, very glad to see the Avengers determined to save everyone if they can. They don't manage it, but they again make a real effort to minimize civilian casualties and concentrate the danger upon themselves.

So overall, there were parts of the movie I enjoyed well enough, but it wasn't quite the overall enjoyable experience I found the first Avengers film. I actually wonder if the way they're tying all these movies together is starting to work against them. Another Infinity Gem shows up, and it feels like it's just another step on the road to a showdown with Thanos, and less its own story. On some level with me, that recognition undercuts Ultron as a threat.


SallyP said...

I liked the movie... especially the part where they are all at the party and trying to lift Thor's hammer.

I never got the feeling that Natasha considered herself a monster for being rendered sterile, I thought that was more of her way of calming Bruce down, because neither one of them could have kiss. The monster part was more from the stuff she was trained for in the Red Room, where they turned her into a master assasin.

But yeah, the Vision left me a little cold. I preferred Jarvis.

CalvinPitt said...

Well, that would make sense to me, but I could have sworn I saw people online up in arms about why she considered herself a monster. Maybe I misread what they were saying.