My Avengers: Age of Ultron Die-Hard Fan constructive critique (MAJOR SPOILERS and some fanboy whining AHEAD)


Seen it

So on Thursday 23rd May, I had the pleasure of watching the midnight showing of Avengers 2 : Age of Ultron.

.

the_avengers__age_of_ultron___ew_cover_art_by_ratohnhaketon645-d7rbptp

.

I remember I wrote a little tidbit about the first one when it came out, and because this film is out early in the UK (compared to the US launch of May 1st), I thought I would share my views on it as well.

But as you can expect, there will be seriously heavy spoilers for this going forward, so if you don’t want to know anything about the film at all, I would suggest you go FUCKKING watch it, then come back and see what you think

It is only very very long and detailed (nit-picky at points) so Die Hard Fans only

Also note, just because I can pick a film apart doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. It’s all about being able to be objective folks…so don’t hate on my hating 😉

.

Overall verdict

Now overall, I did like it but there were a lot of thing wrong with this film and unfortunately it didn’t live up to the hype of its predecessor.

Actually, I will rephrase that,

There were a lot of missed opportunities that could have been utilised to make this just as great as the first.

Then again, it never could with regards to the nostalgic feel of seeing all these characters interact with each other for the first time on the big screen.

What it could have striven for, was perhaps to be a more competent film, with a better natural flow between characters, a suitable narrative and the heart of a great villain holding all together, while there being tangible sacrifices and having real things at stake.

Unfortunately, this was only ever going to be a bridge film.

Ever since Thanos was highlighted at the end of the Avengers film, it’s become painfully obvious that the Infinity War/Gauntlett face-off is going to be Marvel studio’s main event.

Everything we’re seeing in Phase 2-3 is gearing up for that showdown, so up until that point, all films are nothing more than filler material to get us there or showcase the rest of the infinity stones before Thanos gets his hands on all of them.

So the following films are not likely to really drive the plot of the universe forward in any grand scale

i.e. all the phase two films

.

  • Captain America: Winter soldier
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Antman
  • Iron man 3
  • Thor- the dark world

.

If you look at these films all as a collection in comparison to the first phase of films which were all sets ups for the Avengers, you can see that most of them are somewhat stand alone and don’t feed directly into the narrative of Age of Ultron (even in their end of credit scenes, which were all tie ins in phase one).

I tend to think this hurt Age of Ultron a bit.

I personally think each phase should have the Avengers related film wrap it up, tying all the elements of it together.So the Avenger films should feel like the final chapter to a graphic novel per say. But in this case, it’s not, instead it is the middle of something bigger, thus Age of Ultron misses it’s nicely tied bow.

So with that, Age of Ultron was never going to be anything more than a warm up for the main act. I think everyone knew that coming into it and you could see that they tried alot of things but also held it back from its true potential, probably saving all their big money shots for when the Infinity War double bill comes out in a few year’s time.

Saying that, did they play it too safe? Only time and revenue sales will tell. I personally don’t think it will make as much of an impact as the first film, albeit it will probably still reach close to a billion, if not cross it, while keeping most people happy.

.

Build up

Now I don’t know whether it was a strategic thing but it’s to no surprise that in the weeks running up to Age of Ultron’s celebrity premiere, there were the following trailers/teasers released by a range of studios

.

  • Terminator Genysis
  • Ant-Man
  • Fantastic Four
  • The Tomorrow People
  • Batman v Superman
  • Jurrasic World
  • Star Wars

.

Now say what you want but the last three are HUGE franchises and I think they took a little bit of wind out of the sales of the Avengers 2 hype.

You could see that Marvel Studios tried to respond by putting out a whole influx of released clips of the film beforehand. I always avoid these but I think the tactic itself just wreaks of desperation to hold the public’s attention past one’s fifteen seconds of fame.

Ever since this tactic was used with films like Spider-Man 3 and X3: The Last Stand, I’ve known that it’s a marketing ploy to keep us interest in a product that a studio doesn’t have 100% confidence in.

So maybe going into it, I was already a little bit open to the fact that it may not meet the bar it set itself.

.

The difference between being great and greatness…

So I’m sure there will be plenty of people who are telling you what they loved about this film, but for me I will concentrate on the things that stuck out for me as negatives.

If you want to read an arse kissing article, feel free to go and find one. This will mainly consist of constructive critique and untapped potential in the narrative structure.

I’ve had about 18 hours to digest it all and I have already put together a list of things I picked up on that also didn’t help its cause.

Please note, while I am not a specific Avengers fan, I have been reading marvel comics for over 15 years and grew up on the golden era of all those fantastic shows on Saturday mornings, so I’m well versed in this shit.

So with that, let’s do this

.

 Hulk vs Iron man Fight Result

What…the…fuck….?

.

.

Now, this moment completely took me out of the film and I had to cover my mouth and just think of the reaction of the fanbase world wide.

Iron man beat the Savage Hulk, in a one to one fight. No gimmicks, no ‘turn him back into Banner’ tricks, he BEAT HIM PHYSICALLY. He actually sparked him out, cold. That’s like your aunt beating Usain Bolt in a 100 metre sprint with stilt legs.

Now one can argue that VERONICA, or the hulk buster suit, was specifically designed by Banner to take down the hulk, so technically it was Banner that helped Stark win that confrontation but still.

This is the hulk, who was throwing around Asgardian Gods like they were nothing, taken out by…Iron man of all people. The man who once had a confrontation with Thor,  the God of Thunder, who was laughing off the entire experience….

I do also think it’s fair to say that Tony won that pretty comfortably, at no moment is his life at any real risk.

Normally in these situations, the Hulk would have ripped out of his Hulk Buster suit and Stark would be hanging on for dear life and then something would save him (or he would re-strategise). The buster suit is nothing more than a means of buying him more time to subdue the Hulk, not the solution to the Anti-Hulk problem completely.

I realise that Marvel’s cinematic universe is really one giant Hand Job to Robert Downey Junior but for fuck sake. This is nearly as bad as making Samuel L Jackson a leading Jedi in Star Wars just because he asked for it.

Everyone loves their favourite heroes to tussle but give credit where it’s due, Stark does not have the technology nor the fighting prowess to take the Hulk in a physical confrontation. This was just a case of making one character look bad in order to hype another one.

From that moment on the Hulk was Emasculated to the third wheel in a love triangle and didn’t play any further specific part in the film

I don’t know why Marvel are removing the Hulk from the avengers core (Cap/Iron/Thor), actually I do know why, it’s because they aren’t going to pay for his own movie franchise but to compensate, they should at the very least respect him when he’s on screen.

The average viewer wont get to see him for 3-4 year stints at a time, so make his claims to fame grander for the rest to compensate, it’s fair.

In any case, this scene completed renders Tony’s famous….

.

We have a Hulk line

.

USELESS.

Why have a Hulk when I can manufacture Hulkbusters for everyone, now even little James could defeat the hulk in a fight just like yours truly *wink to camera* 🙂

Unnecessary Jobbing for no hype pay off (i.e. Why didn’t Tony recall the uniform to help in the final confrontation, probably because Disney wanted to sell more toys with yet another different colour patterned Iron man suit which really doesn’t do anything special to the other 8 suit variations he’s had before).

.

Banner being Stark’s bitch

I think this point really goes well with the first one but Banner literally had no backbone in this entire film.

Bruce Banner’s entire motif really goes with the whole

.

‘You don’t know what you are doing, playing with things outside of your control and you’ll never be able to control or harness the power you seek’.

.

Bruce is a walking poster boy for not fucking with things outside of your comprehension.

I reiterate, He is an walking “anti-meddling in powers out of your control” guy.

Yet he lets Stark bully him into creating nearly TWO sinister beings that were capable of mass destruction. One right after another ‘Hulk-level being’ is let out loose on the world.

Then he gets beaten up by Tony and never mentions anything about it.

You wanna make that scene relevant? Throw in a light scene at the end where Hulk goes for Tony in the same way he went for Thor in the first film. Make it comically relevant or something, don’t just ‘forget’ about it.

Seriously Banner, grow some balls, with this current behaviour. there is absolutely no indication as to why Black Widow would find you attractive. Yes, Banner is a pacifist, that is fine but you can be against violence and anti/hulk without being a complete pussy.

Except for Reed Richards, all the top minds in Marvel universe have a shared mutual respect and operate on the same level.

Banner, McCoy, Xavier, Pym, Stark, Maximus (although he is mental)

You don’t get this respect here, instead it feels like it’s the popular boy in school who gets the weaker minded ones to do his bidding and take the slack if it all goes wrong.

I mean I’ve always understood the misconception the Hulk had of Banner by call him ‘Puny’ but in this case, he really is…

I mean Banner used to be the mother fucking Gamma-MAN (I’m always angry BITCH), but I think he’s had a real big dose of Beta behaviour syndrome… completely unnecessary in order to give Ruffalo some stuff to do on stage.

Banner should have been completely against what Tony was doing. If you want tension, have Tony bring forth a hulk personality who can help him in the labs while Banner is asleep, it helps grow all characters involved without any of them coming across as a side kick. Simples

.

Teched up Cap

This is a simple thing that has been shown time and time again in the comics, cartoons and pretty much any incarnation of the two characters.

Tony is forever trying to get Cap to tech himself out and roll with the current times with gadgets and gizmos.

Captain America always refuses and decides to rely on his trusty old shield and himself in order to get the job done. Instead he tries and gets Tony to rely more on his natural skills and abilities.

They ALWAYS reach a standstill on this subject.

Now, how does it then look when in the first scene of the movie, you see that his Shield has been teched out, obviously an upgraded present by Tony Stark.

.

capdoeshisthorimpression-128081

.

Cap’s shield is like the last thing he would ever want modified. I mean EVER. It is completely out of character.

This is never addressed in the narrative and is clearly a means of selling toys, which is a real shame because Marvel ends up selling out one of their key characters in the franchise and missed out the opportunity to uncover why Cap treats that thing more as an extension of himself than anything else.

All for the love of coin and the push to sell toys.

It’s the Spider-Man bike in Ultimate Spider-Man, all over again *shudders*

There’s actually a great video on youtube that goes over this much better than I ever could, I urge you to watch it

.

.

Also I know a lot of people will say, it happened in the comics,

.

s320x240

.

Well guess what also happened in the comics, CAP got rid of that quickety quick.

Why not have it that Cap removes them after getting his ass handed to him by Ultron, who manipulates the tech on them, during their fight in Seoul?

.

No Sustained Civil War tension build up between Cap and Stark

Now we all know that the next time we will get to see Robert Downey Jr on the big screen as Tony Stark will be in the Captain America Civil War film.

.

captain america iron man civil war

.

Now throughout this entire film, I thought they would be setting up the tension for this conflict

But what happens after they’ve been fighting and blasting each other over the creation of ANOTHER POTENTIAL HOMICIDAL ENTITY?

I’ll give you a clue, it rhymes with FUCK ALL.

They also forget that Tony was willing to waste the inhabitants of this random island city to save the world while Cap was willing to let the world explode in order to save a few folk.

Roll on about 20 minutes and they are shaking hands and being best friends all over again, no harsh words or looks. These two are worse than Iceman and Maverick from Top Gun. Even worse since Cap literally DOES have a wingman…

Now they don’t have to be at each other’s throats all the time but there does need to be a healthy level of condemnation towards both of their practices.

There was more genuine stress between them in the first film and they didn’t even come to blows then.

Let’s take this into consideration, if your teammate blasted you into a wall with a repulsor ray or flinged a shield at your skull, you’d be pretty pissed right, even if it was the end of the world, it wouldn’t be something you’d just forget. Even the Hulk remembers a good hit to the chops.

Why oversimplify the end in order to give a happy “drive away into the sunset” ending?

Who is that satisfying in the end, when you’ve already billed to the world they will scrap next time they see each other.

.

Hawkeye’s final moments potential

This is nothing more than an observation but they went into great detail to talk about Hawkeye’s regeneration and how his wife wouldn’t know the difference. It got me thinking, wouldn’t it have been interesting if Hawkeye did infact die and Tony re-grew him in synthesized form and sent this piece back to his wife and kids.

It just felt like an option they could have played out. Having him die a heroic death but also having his family get the happy ending seems like something that viewers would find hard to swallow if they realised it was infact a lie, manufactured by Tony Stark.

.

Vision not actually being more Jarvis in a human body (shame)

Now for me, this one nothing major, just a shame.

Jarvis has been a loved member of the MCU since it started and has helped become one of the most Iconic AIs in fiction (alongside some greats like Al and Cortana and SKYNET).

So I thought it would be great to actually see him as Vision. Same voice and demeanour, give Jarvis a form and roll with that.

The Vision we get seems to be a somewhat child of Jarvis and Ultron, modified by the mind gem  and some Asgardian magic to boot.

The result is that when Vision appears, I end up having no affinity for him.

.

.

In the comics, his first appearance is villainous and he does a nice turn at the end to become good BUT here, he’s just good from the get go.

No, that’s not right, not good or bad, rather direct. It’s almost forced.

In the same way Ultron gets the logic bomb of ‘all humans must be destroyed to obtain world peace’ within seconds without giving the viewer time to see it through his eyes and have him learn this over increased exposure to humanity.

As a viewer you find it very hard to warm up to this, especially if they are not heavily featured later on.

They ended up trying to take two things and merge them but personally I don’t think we get either a decent representation of Vision OR Jarvis from that moment on.

They should have at the very least kept the electronic iconic voice.

Or have Vision be an offset of Jarvis, with a want to AVENGE the death of his parent programming etc.

But having Jarvis coming back and wanting to kick Ultron’s ass and taking the codename Vision would have been pretty badass. We all love revenge based second encounter fights, this one would have been sweet as hell.

.

NO impact of Jarvis’ Death on specifically Tony Stark.

Jarvis has been in the Marvel Cinematic universe from the get go and is no doubt Tony Stark’s greatest invention and arguably his most loyal friend.

And when Ultron apparently kills him off, you heard this massive MASSIVE sigh across the audience.

Jarvis’ passing had the potential to be far more heart wrenching than Agent Coulson’s.

We only needed to see it from Stark’s side to seal the deal, even a single silent tear would have been all it took. What do we get?

Absolutely nothing.

I mean what an absolute waste of an opportunity to draw the viewer into the story.

Coulson’s death was the catalyst for the Avengers settling their differences in the first film and coming together, it was a well written strategic move since he had featured heavily as a supporting character in multiple films up to that moment.

Jarvis has a MUCH bigger impact in the fan base, heck, I got my brother to come and watch the midnight showing of this because I told him Jarvis was getting a real body.

Why not utilise that in the same way?

That was a big shame, there should have been a scene, say the first time Tony tries to fly the Iron man suit or use it and he calls out to Jarvis and he’s not there, then breaks down (seeing it as the start of the road down the vision he had seen on the beginning of the film).

So instead, they decide to have Tony continue on, unphased by the whole thing, more caught up in his own delusions.

Not only that but when it comes to the end and Vision appears, you find out Tony’s got a Harem of operating AIs ready to go and puts on his Personal Porn star one, FRIDAY to help him through the rest of the film.

There’s no teething time, there’s no reaction to Vision, they get stuck right into it

Considering this is really an origin story for Vision, I just don’t think they nailed the emotional aspect of this transformation and I think it’s because Jarvis’ lost was under played.

.

Tony’s retirement in Iron Man 3 is ignored.

 Now ignoring Iron Man 3 would in most people’s eyes would be a good thing, heck you could probably get Knighted for it in some countries but they chose to acknowledge some parts of it when they highlighted quite clearly (well not so clearly) that Tony no longer had an arc reactor in his chest.

So no more glowy t-shirt merchandise for Disney and Marvel to flog.

This is fine but the one thing they didn’t address was the fact that Tony made a big deal out of destroying all of his Iron Man armour and not wanting to be Iron Man anymore

Unless of course they state, this film happened somewhere in between the end of the final fight of Iron Man 3 and the final scene in it.

Completely plausible since he looks like he’s in the same gear and car but unlikely since according to Thor, events appear to be happening under a real world timeframe.

So I wonder why is it that Tony decided to come back and be part of the team again?

Nothing major, I just thought they would have taken the time to address it. It might be self explanatory since he was actually retelling the events of Iron Man 3 retrospectively to Banner, so that very last scene in Iron Man 3 might be the answer to all this

Banner told him to sort his shit out and suit up. It would be nice to make that official though. Otherwise it just makes Iron Man 3 seems like a melodramatic mid life crisis for Stark and his Ultron project being his equivalent to buying a flashy sportscar and putting highlights in your hair.

.

Missed potential Centurions reference.

Now I know this is stupidly tiny and more of a wish but considering that Stark now has suits and weaponary out in space, ready to beam down to him at a whim, it would have been nice for him to have an AI operating it called Crystal and for him to go

.

‘Power Extreme’

 .

Again nothing major, just some fan love I personally thought would be cool, I keep stroking my inner fanboy telling him that a Centurions film will be out soon.

Oh how we’d love to see Wild Weasel on the big screen.

I will make my Jake Rockwell tattoo socially relevant one day…

 

Tony doesn’t care he’s just created SKYNET 2.0

Tony’s general reaction to the creation of Ultron, his escape through the internet, the loss of all the Avengers info and the death of his AI, was…unnecessarily over non-challant.

.

.

It’s the equivalent of walking into the kitchen, finding your child with a Gun in their mouth counting back from ten, and sidestepping them to get some juice out of the fridge.

In the comics, we get something very sobering, we get this.

.

Screenshot_2013-01-16-11-38-16

.

It’s almost alien to what we got.

I watched that scene cringing thinking, seriously, is this the right reaction to this, especially considering Tony’s vision of being the cause of everyone’s death?

He sees Ultron as the solution, not the problem but in the narrative, he never tries to convince  Ultron of what his original programming and role should be. They never share that moment when Tony describes what the real threat is and his purpose against that, lost development for both parties).

Ultimately all it did was undermine Ultron as a threat. None of them reacted to his intial premise or his acts in any way that made him appear like a credible villain only the Avengers could stop. Instead he came across as a ‘when we beat him’ type villain, rather than a ‘If we beat him” type villain.

I’ll get to the importance of that in a bit.

EDIT 1: It’s just funny how responsible Tony feels in the first film when he realises his weapons are being used in conflicts out of his control, this is the same situation but with a much different reaction. Considering he sold off all his arms stuff, there is nothing to suggest his reaction would be any different now than to when he was first imprisoned in Afghanistan.

.

CGI Drones

So in the first film, they were mainly against the Chitauri which are special effects generated baddies and again in this film they are against Fodder Ultron, which are fictional special effect baddies as well.

To put this simply, No one cares how many storm troopers Luke kills, it’s the fight against Vader that counts.

Now I don’t know whether this is a Hollywood or American culture thing but there is an apparent proportional relationship between numbers and threat levels.

Again this is highlighted in the comical scene, when Thor says ‘Is that the best you can do’, and hundreds of Ultrons show up and ‘Cap’ goes, ‘You had to ask’.

Now personally, I’ve always felt the opposite, the threat is higher the fewer fodder are around. Just look at old films like the terminator, the predator and the original Aliens, or the majority of horror films, if you don’t believe me. Each had just on Antagonist which was more than enough.

Having a singularity is far more menacing, especially if everyone is attacking in unison and  still getting nowhere.

For some reason, Hollywood now thinks more is more when it’s actually less.

They also think keeping everyone in the same scene is boring so they space them all out, only pairing them up on screen in twos or threes but essentially they are always doing the same thing and it does get repetitive. Essentially it feels like a story padding section to draw out the action sequences.

I can assure you that none of those unit Ultrons were given enough development or dialogue for people to care about their defeat.

Infact one point I would like to make, that is clear in the first film and highlighted again here, is that Clint never acknowledges a shot, or the impact of taking a crazy shot and landing it.

This is because Renner can’t see his targets, can’t acknowledge when his shots have hit or how they’ve hit because when they are filming, he’s just aiming at thin air all the time.

For a better example of reaction shots of archery, look at Kevin Costner in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. Every time you pull he pulled back his bow, you were invested in whether it hit it’s target or not.

To put it in wrestling terms, there is no one at the other end to sell his awesomeness to the audience, which is one of the reasons why he has the smallest fan base. Most of his fights have been against CGI entities.

With CGI vs real life actors, there is still limited investment in the scene. You could kill a thousand CGI drones and really, no one cares because we have no emotional investment in them being there or not.

Plus the robots never actually did anything.

I always think Captain America looks better taking on real threats and interacting with other humans rather than ploughing down computer generated effects. His fights at the beginning of this film and all the way through both of his own films are among the highest quality in the Marvel Universe, why always waste him on drones and CGI.

Just look at his fight with Ultron on the roof of that Van in comparison to both of his fights with Bucky and the one with the leaper in Winter Soldier,

.

.The difference is so clear and that’s why emotionally people will respond better to Winter Soldier than to this film (the confrontations anywho).

I know Cap CAN be seen as an issue power wise but don’t always relegate him to crowd control and mook clean up, or CGI villain battering.

.

No Hulk/Thor Interaction

One of the best parts of the Avengers is the continual internal friendly tussles between the Hulk and Thor, they made for great moments in the first film and I thought they were going to build up on their friendly rivalry going forward.

Now I know that the Hulk Buster scene was one of this film’s major ‘Hulk’ showpieces but it would have been nice to have seen Thor just share a seen with him.

I think because they were pushing for the love angle with Natasha, we very rarely saw the Hulk interact with anyone else.

It was almost as if the film was broken up into sections of two by two

.

  • Twins together
  • Natasha/hulk
  • Stark/banner
  • Cap/Natasha
  • Hawkeye with either his wife or wanda
  • Jarvis/Ultron

.

I think Thor was one of the odd ones out which is why when not fighting, he spent a large part of the film just kinda dossing around with a dreamy Idris Elba and wearing hoodies with colleague professors.

Perhaps have him as the first line of defence against taking out a raging Banner before Iron man comes in, who knows, maybe a little arm wrestle tussle.

If you watch Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, you always see them scrapping but it doesn’t have to even be a scrap, a drone head count competition, anything, a ‘ heavy object carry’ team up.

Wouldn’t it be great if both of them helped just drop that island back to where it was and actually show Thor as being a physical powerhouse for once?

.

No real Full Team up strategic interactions

In any case, the film was guilty of what occurred in the first film and lacked any real strategy from the team, they were all just left to do what they did back and never really attacked in any  group formation.

Don’t get me wrong, they had some nice team up power plays, but they weren’t ‘Full Team’ plays.

In any case

This might just be a practical thing of getting everyone in the same place together BUT everytime we do have these team money shots, they are all either doing their own thing at the same time or hurdled around something for those spinning panoramic shots, which look nice but really don’t do much…

.

Hawkeye’s Family/Natasha’s love interest

Now I know exactly why they decided to go down this angle in this film but it was overkill.

Trying to all of a sudden give both characters with the smallest fan base romantic interests in the narrative is…..pointless, especially since there is supposed to be this….grey area chemistry between them.

I know Clint has a family in the comics and in the ultimate universe, it’s the death of them that really makes him go super badass but trying to make him come across as the heart of the team, because he’s married when there are some members he’s still never spoken too, hahaha, get the fuck outta here 🙂

Giving a character named ‘The Black Widow’ a love interest just sounds a little stupid. I was waiting the entire time to hear she was just using it as a weapon to keep Banner under check, perhaps under orders from Fury but it seems like it was legitimate.

The funny thing is that Scarlett and Mark have no natural chemistry and each scene they are in feels like they’ve been paid to flirt with one another, oh wait, that’s exactly what happened.

Don’t get me wrong, if there’s one thing marvel can’t do properly, it’s romances in their films BUT Hawkeye’s and Natasha’s relationship with Banner are some of he worst I’ve seen in any superhero film to date.

Both were pointless and neither helped drive the narrative forward, rather provided plot devices for why we won’t see any of these characters in any other upcoming marvel films.

I just don’t see why this love event has happened Relatively out of the blue (and by relatively out of the blue, I mean she has been in four marvel films and there is a period between the avengers when she looks like she wan’t Captain America’s flag pole of justice.

Also, wouldn’t Hawkeye’s wife throw a fit since he was under mind control last time he was out with his chums

.

Ultron’s Personality is lost in execution

Now this may be a tidbit but one of our greatest fears of AI are their rational mind. They think on a logical scale, since that’s what they’ve been programmed to do, they don’t interact with compassion.

Just look at hoe ED209 mowed down that executive because he thought he was carrying a gun in the original Robocop film.

One of the biggest reasons why SKYNET was such a threat in the Terminator franchise, alongside all the terminators is that they are out to fulfil a function and they wouldn’t stop until they finished.

They are cold.

Now, you don’t have to be cold in that classic computer manner in order to portray true menace on the big screen BUT Ultron was a little bit lost, almost bad stand up comedian lost, almost Maddeline Mccan lost…

.

.

I know that Ultron is obsessed with evolution and they touched upon this a little bit but not fully in the film.

Had he realised a flaw in his programming that made him too human and he wished to cleanse it from him self through updates to his programming OR his updates inadvertently made him more human based on the fact he was subconsciously designed to be more human and thus this was the main focus of his dismay, then fine.

He could find humanity is the problem, yet he can’t cleanse it from himself let alone the world and all his attempts, make him more human and therefore more villainous. That is something we can bite out teeth into.

The possessiveness in achieving his directive etc.

In anycase, the Ultron we got was not personally menacing, nor did anyone really react to him in that way. Everyone’s first interaction with him was physical confrontation. No one engaged him on an ethical one.

When we talk about AIs, I think they should be…overwhelming physically, that’s one of the points to allow their ethics to be explored.

You can’t beat technology with a stick and you can’t reason with it, or bribe it, and you are left with this overall helpless feeling.

That should be the motif of any computer based villain, the helpless feeling of knowing you can never reason with it and it will never stop.

We never get that

Let Ultron wipe a fictional village off the face of the earth during one of their confrontations, then we could see he means business.

.

A Speedster killed by Bullets

Now this one does get me.

We clearly see in the film how Pietro perceived bullets. One came through the glass floor when Natasha shot at him on the ship and it was just like ‘oh cool, a bullet’, Pietro, was happy to just watch it.

Then they graze him in the field and I’m like, ok, this is a funny scene since the guards were told to hold their fire and he still got hit. The bullets are moving at a similar speed to him at some points, no biggie.

Then all of a sudden they are fast enough to catch him by surprise. Not actually by surprise, he sacrificed himself knowing they were coming, meaning lack of time to react was a definite factor in his demise and there was apparently no physical way he could avoid them.

But let’s review this. Pietro doesn’t have super strength. He has super speed, so whatever he does, it would still take him the same relative amount of time to complete.

So just to clarify, Pietro had enough time to find a car, drag it into position, then hoist it up on his own and angle it so it deflected the bullets away from Hawkeye and that kid. If you tried to say lift a car and put it in a place, it would take even a strong fit person a few minutes, most fit people, 10, up to twenty, many people couldn’t do that on their own, so it’s not an understated feat, he’s not cap who just throws motorbikes around and can hold up falling cars.

Now you know what doesn’t take all the effort, moving two people out of the way, it takes relative seconds and no energy whatsoever. As demonstrated when he got those individuals out of the way of the crashing train in Korea.

So if time was really short, why on earth would he choose to do that?

The fact is they killed him off in a stupid manner.

Now, if they say he could only use his speed in relatively short bursts, then he’s vulnerable or perhaps, he needs to overtly slow down to ‘compensate’, even have him burning through his metabolism of have his heart explode from all the chest, no worries

that’s fine but don’t have him be killed by something he ‘could literally moonwalk through’.

A speedster dying from bullets is like the ultimate insult to anyone of that power calibur, can you imagine someone who could fly dying from falling off the side of a ledge, it’s that level of embarrassing and there’s no amount of emotional music that could render it meaningful.

Again, this isn’t just comic logic, it’s logic that is made canon from the material within the film.

For instance, just look at how the quicksilver in days of future past, reacts to bullets, he literally has fun with all those guards while they are trying to kill him and his friends.

If you wish to kill Quicksilver, fine but do it in a manner that makes sense. Killing Quicksilver here is like having Charles Xavier win a dance competition.

I think overall, Marvel they just wanted Wanda on the roste but couldn’t introduce her without showing her brother. They were also hurt with the cool interpretation of him in the X-men Universe,

.

.

so they decided to give him a ‘swift’ exit.

.

There is no Maximoff payoff or Redemption of Stark

The twins explain in great detail why they are against the Avengers and why they volunteered themselves for baron von struckers experiments.

Another victim of Tony Stark’s war monger days (I think the Starks in general has pissed off pretty much everyone on the planet at some point).

Except for the fact that the dates don’t really add up. I don’t know how old Tony is supposed to be but unless he was running his father’s company as a Feotus, he couldn’t be possibly responsible for the events that occurred.

BUT I am able to let that little one slide since I can’t really tell how old anyone is supposed to be in this franchise, I just know that Thor is relatively much older than all of them and likes hanging out with proverbial kids.

Strange but I guess even Asgardians have their fetishes…

What I can’t get over is how there is absolutely no interaction between any of the twins and Stark. I mean, you’ve geared your entire life to the demise of this person and you don’t even care when you finally track them down.

Look how blood hungry Wanda got when Pietro died,  she went straight for Ultrons balls and castrated him on film (you didn’t think that was his heart did you, haha). You trying to tell me she feels any less animosity towards Stark?

Even when Wanda first catches him, knowing what we know in hindsight, surely she would have just blown him to bits straight away or kept him in a lucid nightmare for the rest of his life, rather than giving him the spooks.

Look at the Bride from Kill  Bill or any other character that is driven by a lust for revenge. The twins had none of that in them and ultimately it weakened Stark as he was never able to apologise directly to those who have been affected by his war monger past.

A lost opportunity to development and it just comes across as a weak reasoning to wish to go about helping a maniacal robot who wants to end the world.

I was half expecting to see Pietro singing Tupac’s “I ain’t mad at cha” in the after scenes credits. Just fucking something to resolve that plot thread.

.

.

‘Enhanced’ beings as villains are now run of the mill

Now, as far as I can understand, This is the very first time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that they just run across other people with abilities, it is the first time we as the viewers do as well.

So far, the rest of the powered people come in these forms..

.

  • Asgardians/aliens – Loki, cihtauri, ronin, Thanos, Ronan
  • Freak accidents- Abomination
  • Techno villains – Stane, Hammond, whiplash, dude from Iron man three, Ultron

.

I know the ‘age of miracles’ are mentioned to some capacity in Winter soldier (those who Hydra are attempting to wipe out) but we never get to see these folks.

.

.

The problem is that the Avengers react to them as if they run into these folks every single day. See below

.

.

Now I know that they imply that they’ve been shutting down Hydra strong holds for some time but this should be a big deal

Holy fuck, we should say, they aren’t up against ordinary people, they are up against a super powered team of sorts. A two man team but still a team.

An escalation of threat, which either meant something big was around the corner or that the game hsd changed and they need to re-think how they went about these missions.

I just would have liked to have seen the escalation of the worldly threats and how this affected them in comparison to the alien ones.

Infact there is a scene where Tony appears to be perfectly happy with the terra form threats but is still scared about what happens in space. As he states, he wants to put a suit of armour around the world.

The sight of the twins should have been the start of a shift in his thought process, showing how short sighted he was thinking the biggest threats to the world are alien ones.

They could have used it to convey the growing  richness and variety in the number of beings that inhabit the marvel cinematic universe, It could also highlight the shift in threats since Cap’s time to a situation where he’s now seen as the worst suited to tackle that situation (when he was considered their only hope when he was first created).

Its just interesting how Captain America would go from being this revered social experiment back in the 40s to this relic in our time but nope, it’s another missed opportunity to develop, not only the whole team but individual members within.

I guess this is an interesting point since in the Last Avenger film, the notion of super powered beings and villains was truly outted to the world for the first time, I would have just liked to have seen this explored from both a villainous point of view, as well as the ever expanding list of protagonists we seem to have in the MCU.

There is definitely an unbalanced upset in place.

.

Baron Von Strucker’s death

Nooooo, I mean why why why why why.

.

baron-von-strucker-thomas-kretschmann-avengers-age-of-ultron

A great great Captain America villain is given the hype of the century at the end of Winter Soldier and is then used as an opening fight motivation, reduced to comic relief and is killed off screen to show Ultron means business

Firstly, he has been in the film for like two seconds, what impact does his death have on anything, in fact his scene with Captain America is wasted because there is no gravitas in Cap eventually capturing this man after all this time.

Especially when one of his first things Strucker talks about is giving up and running away, I mean what the hell???

In any case, capture him, keep him incarcerated for another time but don’t kill him, what does that serve, the masters of evil are great future villains to have and he would have made a great ‘human’ member, which is something the franchise is lacking at the moment.

Anyway, his death was cheap and disappointing and did nothing for the narrative.

Infact why Ultron killed off Baron and also caught off Ulysses hand is lost to me.

.

Klaw but no Panther

We have a scene in Africa, we have vibranium, we have Klaw but no Panther, only implied as a branding bastard but not shown in any manner.

.

marvel-blackpanther2

.

What a big shame, wouldn’t it have been fantastic if we found out it was actually T’Challa who helped subdue the ranging Hulk in South Africa after Tony’s attempts of Hulk busting went to complete shit.

That’s how you introduce a character, the Black Panther is the mother fucker who helped neutralise the Hulk when Tony Failed. Bam, or just have him be the final hand that knocks the punch out with a vibranium gauntlet type thing.

The reason I say this is because, there is going to be a HUGE regression on all things Black Panther because Spider-Man has come home to the MCU.

We aren’t going to see Panther for a long time (if at all), so why dance around him and just give us a fucking easter egg for the love of Christmas?

If I was being stringent, I would say the Avenger’s writer Joss Whedon,  on paper is still afro-phobic.

Anyone who has watched Buffy and remembers Kendra should know what I’m talking about.

.

The Maximoff’s accents and lack of ‘own’ language use

Western actors putting on eastern eurpoean accents is ALWAYS WRONG. Every actor that puts one on always sounds like they are doing a poor Dracula impression.

.

My name is Pietro Maximoof and I VOnt to Zuck you Blluuud

.

Unfortunately most end up sounding more like the Count from Sesame Street. I’m half expecting numbers to come gliding across the screen half way through one of their scenes.

It was completely unnecessary, I mean what difference does their ancestry have on their accents? This is 2015, they could have come from anywhere or had lived in any part of the world, they don’t have to be nationals of a specific areas to be affected by  the conflict there. Fuck, have them be kids of journalists or something.

Instead we got dialogue you couldn’t always decipher, which always takes me right out of a film.

In any case, if they were staying true to this, wouldn’t siblings speak to one another in their native tongues rather than a mutually broken English dialect?

Actually, now that I mention it, wouldn’t Ultron speak to Ulysses in Afrikaans rather than English too or that doctor in Korean

It felt like they tried to spread the scope of this film to make it internationally applicable in order to boost revenue, just like Transformers Age of extinction did by having their final fight in china.

The ‘International appeal’ was one of the basics of the TV show Heroes, which was happy to show different parts of the world speaking in their native tongue but it feels as if Marvel wanted to have their cake and eat it in this film but it fell off the mark.

Just give them normal accents, what’s wrong to have them also be victims of the ten rings etc, just be at the wrong place at the wrong time,

The worst thing about this is that Wanda will either have her accent fade in the franchise or she will speak with this weird voice all the time.

I am not one who wishes to see dirty talk in broken English between a synthezoid and a mutant (OOPS, MUTANT IS A BAD WORD, I MEAN ENCHANCED HUMAN) thank you very much.

Not on a work computer anyway….

.

Ultron – Now can I have a human volunteer for the audience to help me destroy the world?

For a character who hated the human race so much, it’s strange that he enlisted direct help from them, Specifically Wanda and Pietro on multiple occasions

Then Ultron tried to pacify them when they then realised his goal was total world annihilation.

Surely he would want them extinct as well?

I think even Ultron was a little bit surprised he didn’t know he would end up wiping out the entire human race, he seems a little shocked that Wanda had seen it in his head then almost apologetically talked himself into it.

Main villain or a Microsoft malware, you tell me?

.

Black Widow’s use as Damsel in distress and her general usage

So in order to cause some team tension, Ultron decides to utilise Black Widow as a hostage.

But what is his goal here, why not kill her? She serves no purpose in his grand scheme what so ever.

Was he going to use her as a bargaining tool to get his new body back?

Was he going to use her to motivate the hulk to go on a rampage on his behalf?

Did he just want to ogle at her with some R Kelly in the background?

.

My CPU’s telling me no, but the vibranium, the vibranium, is telling me Yeaaaaaah

1338077072065

.

Now my issue with this is that her kidnap forced me out of the film and made me realise Black Widow got turned into a generic female support character in this film.

She got Lois lane’d, and not hardcore Margot Kidder, or spunky Teri Hatcher, she got a double dose of Erica Durance’d (Smallvile Lois Lane).

Don’t believe me, well check out these stats

.

  • She loves one of her team mates who turn her down
  • She’s in tight leather for pretty much the entire film
  • Takes orders from cap and pretty much anyone willing to give her them
  • Does nothing off her own back
  • Is used specifically as a ploy to defuse the hulk.
  • She very rarely interacts with other female characters
  • She offers to have a naked shower with one of her team mates in the middle of a world crisis
  • Has her inability to provide offspring is used as a negative
  • Most of her lines are sexual inuendo
  • Is kidnapped and needs rescuing by another man

.

Now normally I don’t particularly give a shit about this BUT Whedon has written the book on strong female characters, especially ones that retain their femininity.

Buffy and her gang defy all stereotypes when they were created so Whedon should be the go to guy for Female representation on film.

However this was poor. Black widow was one step away from needing a female antagonist to have her own separate final fight with, in a tub of jelly, while their clothes get ripped off each other, then the guys stop fighting and all sit and watch with beers.

Again I wouldn’t mind so much but that beautiful scene in the first film when she plays Loki, is like one of the best parts of the film,

.

.

She used his ego against him and got in and out. She is a spy afterall but did nothing spy like in this film.

Instead she became a dreamy-eyed groupie to a beta sidekick.

If you can’t write characters well, don’t force them into features just to make numbers. Again, while I don’t like Avengers Assembled, the cartoon, it left her out of large chunks of the story, instead utilising her ‘properly’ when they could.

No use is better than weak use.

Now should we be expecting the kidnap of her in future films, perhaps this time, they will tie her to a train track, non, much safer than a old cell where she has access to morse code. She could have kicked that door down at any second…

I think the thing that got me is that she was rescued by ‘Banner’ with a gun. Haha, this reminds me of when Rowan Atkinson was kidnapped in Hot shots Part duex and had to be carried out because they ‘Tied his shoelaces’.

All to push a romance that didn’t matter.

.

There’s enough Vibrianium for everybody, just build another indestructible body.

Super simple but when the Vision body was taken, Ultron built another body for himself. So why not build one out of Vibranium?

I couldn’t understand why he would rather waste it on this bomb rather than build himself another unit which would make him immortal.

Over 2 MILLION OF US have seen the clip of Ultron in an adamantium shell and how tough he was, leaving the only person who could take him down being his Own creation Vision (with the phase had through the chest),

.

.

Why were we denied that on the big screen?

That would have been a far more interesting tussle than seeing the countless drones we did. It also makes it interesting to see the Avengers engage in a physical entity they cannot physically beat, meaning they have to incapacitate it in another way.

I just don’t understand, use that much Adamantium for a city wide bomb but not enough to protect yourself from general harm, it’s just stupid.

.

Banner ignoring the fact he’s been in love with Betty Ross since before he could have erections

Banner would rather kill himself than go with someone other than Elizabeth Ross, yet He hasn’t even mentioned her since he got back from India.

Again, nothing crazy but look how Ang Lee’s Hulk calls her from out of the blue and doesn’t say anything. This guy LOVES his chick. Not like Thor or Tony, He LOVES Betty.

Deep deep love, childish love. Like literally all of Spider-Man’s love interests rolled into one.

His relationship with her outdates all the other love interests in the Avengers yet it gets carted off to the side.

Just to put this into context, In Ang Lee’s version,  When trying to extract Hulk’s DNA from the Gamma base, Bruce Hulks out, breaks out and literally leaps right across the Fucking country, all because Talbot told Bruce Flippantly that he’d never see her again. Hulk Subconsciously reacted to this and at the first smell of freedom starts making his way to her.

.

.

THAT is DEEP SHIT

You can’t take something that deep and just can’t pretend she doesn’t exist because of a fan ship.

This would be like Cyclops getting with Emma Frost while Jean was still alive, or Stark missing up an opportunity for a threesome with Jack and Daniels.

So while Betty has never been mentioned again, more than likely because they wish to distance themselves from the mediocre box offices of the previous films, it does hurt the character going forward.

One of Bruce’s main qualities is he’s a one woman man. If you want to have him and Black Widow try something, write in a story where Betty is taken out of the picture.

Something like Widow’s told him he’s Killed Betty in an accident, only to find out she was lying (orders from Fury) and how She came under the employment of Shield to keep this myth and keep the Hulk under control.

Simple stuff guys. If Cap can still swoon over agent carter, Banner can still have Betty.

This is racist against green people.

.

Ultron required a Human father figure character to focus his hatred of humanity towards

Now I know in the comics that Ultron had this strange relationship with Hank Pym, since he was its creator, it was a weird father/son dynamic and

.

ultronpym

.

I think it helped them both but unfortunately there was very little of this in the Avengers 2.

Sure, he shared a couple of weird scenes with Stark but none of them appeared to be on a deep level. Instead they just threw jibs at each other like they were still kids in a playground.

I think Ultron needed to have a specific avenger to focus his hate of humanity towards and while Stark was the logical one, it wasn’t the right one. I think they should have given that all to Banner.

Have Banner create Ultron as a means of helping the team without turning into the hulk and also making up for the wrongs of his past. He seems to be very much lin line with that Hank Pym pacifist side role anyway, why not just roll with it and have this be a Banner-Centric film.

The good thing about the Avengers franchise was generally that they didn’t specifically fight ‘team’ specific villains, rather villains from individual’s rosters that just happened to have schemes that were too big to handle individually.So they always had one character to focus on (like Loki being a Thor Villain).

I felt this film lacked that, mostly because Start didn’t give two fucks about what was going on, it was like he had ADD for the entire film.

.

Lost potential for a UNIQUE rogue AI story plot

 We could have had something like this

When Ultron started off, he made it sound like it wasn’t the Human race he found at fault, rather it was the Avengers specifically.

Now this would have been an interesting plot point, stating that the introduction of super heroism has forced into play super villainy, with the catalyst of all these events being Hydra and the Nazi response the Captain America.

He could then theororize that the world would be in a far better position if superheroes didn’t exist and thus their existence is counter-intuitive to their cause.

However this logic would then expand to the ever growing ‘enhanced human regime’ with all those who have the potential to be enhanced or the potential to have enhanced offspring need to be taken down too.

Thus alluding to the total annihilation of the human race without going down the cliché of ‘War is bad, humans are bad, then kill off humans’. Instead that all humans have the potential to be Good, which leads to the evolution of Evil.

But we got the usual AI rooting of human kinda in general as a bad thing.

I know that the next Superman v Batman film will be covering these points in the role of superheroes in society and I think the Avengers could have gotten their first. Well not first, it’s kinda covered in Batman Returns (last scene with Gordon and Batman).

It may have just been a nice twist on things and would also play into the logic that Tony Stark has,f wanting the final end game so they can retire from the fight.

I mean let’s face it, SKYNET has the Humans are evil thing under lock and key.

Why not try something different?

.

Main villain creation and destruction in the same film 

Except for the Red Skull, Loki and the Abomination, all other main villains showcased in the MCU have been killed off onscreen.

Worse still, all main villains have been killed off in the very same film they debuted in.

Ultron shared the same fate. The problem specifically with Ultron is that it’s in his nature to reboot, reform and try again. I think in the comics he’s gone through at least 18 different variations and just keeps coming back badder and stronger. That is as much a part of his nature as the Hulk is green (well most of the time anywho).

Killing him off reduces his overall threat rating and weakens the MCU in general

I understand that everyone is focussing on all the heroes eventually joining together to face off against Thanos but clearing out all the other villains to give focus to just one entity is very short sighted.

Personally, I don’t mind if you decide to kill off some MCU villains BUT I think if a villain is worthy of going off against the Avengers specifically in one of their films, then keep them alive and keep reusing them, that is of course the marvel way.

Eventually if this cinematic universe continues, they are going to write themselves into a corner by killing off all the cool villains and that would be pretty damn lame.

Plus by keeping them alive, you open the narrative up for evil collaborations,

Just imagine seeing teams like the Masters of Evil, the Dark Avengers, the CABAL, or the Thunderbolts, all consisting of villains from previous films.

That would be a great plot point going forward once the Infinity War wraps up.

SO yeah, dead Ultron is a big Boo.

.

ULTRON……We would NOT have words with thee

Thor never says it

This line is probably one of the most iconic battle cries in comics.

In Kurt Busiek, Ultron Unlimited story arc back in 199, Ultron apparently kills Thor and then proceeds to fuck the holy shit out of the other members,

Ultron is about to embark on complete and utter world domination.

Then he hears the thunder god scream

.

 Ultron_5384

.

With the rest of the team behind him and they all, look, PISSED.

My apologies but for anyone who doesn’t speak Aasgardian, that pretty much translates to

.

Man, you are about to get FUCKED!!!!

.

Anyone who has ever had any erectile dysfunction should just read that comic, it gets you harder than Bruce Lee covered in diamonds…

But how, how could you possibly have a film with Ultron and Thor and not have him say it. I was waiting the entire film for that one line and it never came? *SNIFF*

That my friends is the equivalent of brewing a shit for a good long camping weekend, thinking it will be a real big one when you get home, then having nothing come out, not even a satisfying or comical fart.

Boos hiss.

Now that I think about it, perhaps they are saving that line for use with THANOS, I know they used a variation of it with Thor’s Tussle with Loki in the first Thor film BUT I do think they should have said it here.

.

My Final Thoughts

Back when Marvel started on this route, they were applauded. and why shouldn’t they had been?

The very first comic con trailer they released for Iron man was….quite frankly perfect. A page for page translation of the character to the big screen alongside a page by page accurate translation of his origin.

Then they had that amazing post credits scene where we see Fury and realise that they ARE going to bring all our favourite heroes together in one fucking movie universe. Furthermore, they were going to do it RIGHT

I mean who knows these characters better than them. They promised to give the fans what they want, what they’ve always wanted? The best depiction possible of their favourite characters, just like the comics.

Now this is an easy pill to swallow, I mean the entire first phase was pretty much filled with origin stories, which are pretty Iron cast, you can’t tinker with them so much

But then came Incredible Hulk, Iron man 2, Thor the Dark World, Iron Man 3 and now this? To be fair, they also took a lot of liberties with Guardians as well

I feel Marvel has slipped us a Trojan horse while we sleep and now alot of us are far too ‘emotionally’ invested to actually step back and realise, they are just as culpable of making the same mistakes and poor decision as any other stuido.

I will see what the Infinity War brings since I am invested in the story’s conclusion but I will take all the other supporting films with a grain or salt, or may very well boycott.

I will no longer accept the notion that Marvel automatically know what they are doing and will take each film on a case by case basis, as I do with any other fandom or production.

.

In my own Judgement I trust.

.

Generally speaking though, the film world isn’t the right medium for these characters, not with all of Hollywood’s meddling, best to stick to the smaller screens and animation I say.

I’ve yet to see a scene on the big screen that rivals anything in animation or in comics, the medium still has a way to go but I am sure it will get there…eventually…but probably a lot later than we think.

Oh well

.

Now, let me show you greatness

You know what is the most shameful part?

This week, I watched a clip of Daredevil on Netflix, it was the corridor fight from episode two.

.

.

Without any context, this scene already has more HEART, more guts and more heroism than the entire 99% of the entire MCU to date.

The personal sacrifice that one individual goes through in order to try and save the lives of another, no matter how insignificant, for no sense of reward.

That is what I want to showcase when people ask me why I got into comics. This is my definitive definition of a superhero. This is what will get more people into believing comics and their shows is a legitimate story telling medium.

Now why is it so hard to deliver  this on the big screen with 300 million in your back pocket when others can do it for pennies on the smaller screen in a single take?

and they say Justice is blind.

Advertisements