The Avengers was a huge hit in 2012, as expected. After Robert Downey, Jr’s performance as Iron Man started (what Marvel called) Phase 1, it was only reasonable that all of the superhero characters - Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, and the supporting characters Hawkeye and Black Widow - would all call come together in a finale of sorts.
The film was original and the greatest part about it was: it brought all of these characters together while considerably taking into account the events we’d seen in their respected movies.
In other words, it felt connected from the get-go. It was an easy jump to put so many different superheroes all in the same room.
After all of Marvel’s box office acclaim, they naturally moved into “Phase 2,” kicking it off with Iron Man 3. Following the same pattern, Thor and Captain America also got sequels. So why not try and live up to the famous Avengers film by reusing the same writer/director for its sequel? That couldn’t be a bad idea right? Spoilers ahead! If you haven’t seen Age of Ultron, go read something else right HERE!
To start off, I wanted to say: before I saw The Avengers: Age of Ultron, I didn’t think there was a chance it would be bad by any means. I was actually hoping it was better than it’s predecessor. Boy, was I really off. So here’s my whiney list on why The Avengers is a way better film.
1. Is Ultron even a threat? Let’s be real.
So this was something that really bothered me from the get-go. When I originally saw The Avengers, I went into the movie thinking that Loki - the god of mischief from Thor’s universe - wasn’t really a huge threat. Actually, I thought he looked kinda ugly and didn’t seem too intimidating. Then he became a major game changer and I was frightened.
Age of Ultron’s advertisements presented another take on the power hungry villain - except the film really didn’t make him too threatening.
Actually, Ultron didn’t scare me…ever. He was more humorous than threatening, and by the end of the film I was like: do I even believe this is challenging for the Avengers to stop after the New York attack? Not really.
I will say I approve of James Spader as Ultron! I just wish I had seen some more development of the self-created antagonist. Maybe a little more of a dark side too.
2. The shared rights between 20th Century Fox and Marvel for the Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch characters.
Okay, it kinda made me mad when I heard about the shared rights to begin with, because the characters are already featured in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but they really focused on Quicksilver (he was great).
I figured I’d give Joss Whedon a chance to make them even better in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Instead, the characters were given a brilliant motive to become who they are and then were made to feel completely unnecessary.
By the end of the film, it felt as though Quicksilver was only present to be killed off as a surprise ending to the whole “maybe humanizing Hawkeye this whole movie will make you feel sorry for him when he dies at the end…just kidding.”
And was Scarlett Witch really only there so she could be ushered in as the next generation of Avengers…wait, what?
That leads me to…
3. What the heck are Scarlett and the Vision’s powers? Why weren’t they explained and where did they come from?
So Scarlett’s powers came from the same place that her brother’s powers came from. They’re not mutants like they’re supposed to be (cough), because Marvel couldn’t do that. So instead the powers came from voluntary Hydra experiments that were conducted by the use of the infinity stone in Loki’s scepter.
But as far as I remember, that scepter didn’t do all the things that Scarlett can do. And Loki wasn’t super fast. So how on Earth did it give them both different powers and what are the exact limits on hers?
“He’s fast and she’s weird” doesn’t tell me anything, Cobie Smulders. Freakin’ dang it.
The whole “Ultron’s base consciousness can arise out of the infinity stone (probably the Mind Stone)” makes sense, but why does it POWER the Vision? And why does it give him such weird powers that Scarlett doesn’t have? Why isn’t this explained?
4. Age of Ultron doesn’t really pay its respects to the Phase 1 OR the Phase 2 films.
Okay so what the heck was up with Thor’s storyline. Don’t even get me started. The pool thing he bathes in? What?! I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT WAS. Or how he had a real-life vision from Scarlett’s tampering, but Rogers and Stark didn’t… By the way, where was a Loki cameo in that vision, Whedon?? Come on! Perfect opportunity.
Captain America’s films actually got enough references for me in this film. I was satisfied that they referenced Bucky and had his little lady friend from the 60′s show up or whatever. I can’t really stand Steve Rogers or Chris Evans’ portrayal of him. So his screen time was just enough for me.
I don’t think the Iron Man films even exist anymore. And if they do, they definitely aren’t referenced enough in this film. Sure, they went out of their way to not show the reactor in Tony’s chest anymore…but like…WHY IS HE IN THE SUIT AGAIN? WHY DOES HE HAVE MORE SUITS? I THOUGHT HE RETIRED.
So he conveniently retired to come right back again for Age of Ultron? Isn’t Pepper (where the heck was Gwyneth Paltrow by the way; she’s practically a superhero now) a little angry? Ya know, after he blew up all of his suits and had the shrapnel removed? Right.
Oh and at the end of this one, he retires again.
Just so that he can inexplicably come back for Captain America: Civil War, right?
I did love the expansion of the Hawkeye character, but I didn’t like that it was resolved by his retire and Quicksilver’s death (which probably won’t be a permanent death...or a permanent retire; like #letsberealandhonestwithourselvesforasecondok?).
Scar Jo’s Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff did get a little bit of a backstory and her romance with the Hulk was considerably interesting/entertaining enough. I approved. But WHAT IS THE RED IN YOUR LEDGER, BLACK WIDOW? HAVE WE FORGOTTEN THAT ANNOYING AND CONSTANT REFERENCE FROM THE FIRST FILM???
Also, Banner/Hulk’s development seemed slightly contrary to the first film since his famous quote “I’m always angry” implied that he had some control over the beast, while this film says otherwise. Actually, Banner seems to still hate the Hulk, and Hulk kinda hates him - Hulk kinda destroys Tony’s suit at the mention of “Puny Banner.”
I can’t wait to see a solo film of Banner skinny dipping in Fiji though. Fingers crossed on that one.
5. What is Thanos’ end game? Like…dude you suck.
You’re looking for the Infinity Stones. Ohhhh okay gotcha, so whyyyyy did you hand Loki a scepter with one in it? I don’t really understand why you’d give away the thing you’re looking for, but okay... good plan, you titan you.
Have fun prying it out of the forehead of Jarvis…I mean…the Vision…I mean. Yeah...
What did you think about The Avengers sequel? Did too much happen in the film for ya? Did some of it not make sense? Leave some polite comments below!
Did it have what some critics are calling “The Spider-Man 3 Syndrome?”
Overall, both are very fun movies. But to me, the first is great, and the second may not even be good.
In any case, it’s still going to rake in just as much, if not more, money as the first. Hopefully the Marvel Empire will make some changes in the future though.
The Avengers (2012) currently holds an 8.2/10 on imdb.com and a 92% on rottentomatoes.com. The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) premiered this weekend and currently holds an 8.1/10 on imdb.com and a 72% on rottentomatoes.com.
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Until next time!