Benjamin Wollmuth is a lover of literature who enjoys sharing his thoughts on everything from movies and video games to books and music.
Age of Ultron
Avengers: Age of Ultron. A film that I have heard a lot of criticism about. A film that I have heard a lot of praise for. It seems to have fans split. In a way, I can see why. The film, like all sequels, tries to be bigger and better than the first. A bigger threat. A bigger ensemble. Bigger action. Marvel also really wanted to set up the future, and that is obvious. While people can criticize Marvel for trying too hard to be bigger or trying too hard to set up what is to come, I like to look at this film as more of a character piece. Yes, there is set-up. Yes, there are big, awesome action scenes. But, I feel like the film's development of character is heavily overlooked. I really like this film, and it all has to do with the characters.
Developing The Characters
While the action is cool and the set-up is clear, the character development is what I really focus on. Yeah, I could talk all day about how awesome Hulk vs. Iron Man is, or how interesting it is to learn about the mind stone. But, what I really want to focus on is how the film extends on each character, old and new, because that is where I think the film succeeds at the most.
First, we get to see just how Tony Stark thinks––just how afraid he is. His fears are what drive him to create the movie's villain in the first place. His desire to have peace leaks into Ultron, who sees that the only way to have peace is to start over––to evolve. Tony has created many a villain in the MCU, and that's all because he is a flawed man who wants the best for the world. He has good intentions... they just don't always come out good.
Cap is a man who has seen what preparing for war before it has even started can do. Innocent people end up getting hurt, and his outlook is correct. It's no wonder he was made team leader. Cap ultimately does not agree with much of what Stark does, yet he tries so hard to keep the team together because he believes in working together. We also get to see what he truly wants: to settle down and live a normal life, something he will get in the future.
Thor's development comes in his learning of the Infinity Stones, which allows him to gain the upper hand on Thanos in the future. It also leads to the development of Vision, an organism worthy of Mjolnir because he fights for the side of life, just like Thor.
We learn about Natasha's infertility and more about her want to put her assassin past behind her. She also yearns for love and normal life.
Bruce also yearns for a normal life––a life away from the Hulk. A life where he doesn't have to worry about turning into a big green monster. Not only that, but we also get development for Hulk, as we start to see that he is becoming to understand how dangerous he is and how people fear him, which leads him to make the decision to leave Earth. That was all Hulk. Not Bruce.
We learn that Clint has a family, but that he keeps fighting even when he has an opportunity to settle down for good––even when he is one of the weakest on the team. That is what makes him a hero. That is what makes him an Avenger.
Lastly, we learn about the twins––mostly Wanda, because, well, Pietro doesn't last very long. Wanda is strong, determined, and wants to do the right thing. That is why she joins the Avengers in the first place. That is why she feels so bad after what she does in Civil War. The loss of her brother also gives her a reason to keep fighting in order to prevent anyone else from dying.
That is all in this one movie. This is why I love the characters of the MCU so much: so many of them are given proper development. That is what this film does perfectly (again, in my opinion).
But what about the villain? Well, I think Ultron is an enjoyable enough villain. He is witty, like Stark, and is definitely powerful. His motivations are a twisted version of Stark's own, and I think that is really interesting. James Spader does an awesome vocal performance. He definitely looks good. And, while people can complain about generic goons at the end of these big team-up movies, I think they are completely justifiable because I would get bored of watching the Avengers all fighting just one guy for the entirety of the movie (unless it's Thanos). Is he the best villain ever? Of course not. But, he does pose a threat and is far from being a Malekith, so he is in pretty good standing with me.
Will he ever return? Possibly, but probably not. Nearly ten years later would be a little too late, if you ask me.
Do I Have Complaints?
If I am being honest, not really. Yes, this is probably my least favorite Avengers film, but that really isn't saying much because I love them all.
I guess I will say that the final battle, while exciting, is not as exhilarating as the battle in New York.
I still don't understand why Falcon wasn't fighting alongside War Machine.
I don't entirely mesh well with the relationship between Bruce and Natasha, but I do understand that the two characters both want love and a normal life. However, it felt extremely random and is never really brought up again in future movies.
Other than those teeny tiny gripes, I do think that Age of Ultron is extremely underrated. I highly enjoy it... but you can call me biased if you want.
No, this film is not in my top 10, but it is close. Yes, it is my least favorite Avengers film. No, it is not as entertaining as The Avengers, but it sure is close. If you don't like this movie, I understand. If you do, I also understand. I, personally, think that it is extremely underrated. The character development is what makes it stand out to me. That, and Hulk vs. Iron Man.
Therefore, I will be giving Avengers: Age of Ultron an 8.5/10.
Check out my previous Infinity Saga review!
- 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' - Infinity Saga Chronological Reviews
This is a review of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2." This article contains spoilers for the film and for the MCU as a whole.
© 2020 Benjamin Wollmuth