The Monsters in the Men and Women


Movie: The Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Release: May 1, 2015
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer: Joss Whedon
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlet Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Don Cheadle, Cobie Smulders, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, James Spader

The super scary evil does not know that they are evil, they think they are the heroes doing the whole saving the world bit. This is the kind of evil Ultron (Spader) and Stark end up becoming. Yes, I think Stark becomes something evil in Age of Ultron and I don’t think he has completely learned this about himself by the end of the movie. The creation of Ultron reminds me of both the Manhattan Project and the Patriot Act, and the terrifying after-effects of these two missions. The Manhattan Project led us into the terrifying times of the Cold War and the threat of nuclear holocaust with the Russians. The Patriot act has us in our own slightly terrifying times of loss of freedoms (along with our apathy towards that) and a government that has more power than it should. The outcome of the final battle with Ultron will lead our heroes into their own version of these two missions, and we will get to see more of the monster Stark has become. But more of that another time.

Ultron says it best in the film when he says that we “create what we fear the most,” and Stark is terrified of his own creations and intelligence being used against him thus causing the death of his friends and the world in general. So he creates the Ultron program with Banner and the aid of the Mind Stone. (Side note: I was off on my original Infinity Stones count, we still only have four.) Of course when we mess with things we do not understand, it will inevitably come back and bite us in the ass. Because this is Marvel, we get a big bad with some daddy issues and takes his father’s ideas to the extreme. Want to save the Earth, then kill off all the humans and speed up evolution. This worked out so well with Magneto in the X-Men movies. Ultron comes out of the gate hating everything because Stark is tired of putting his life and his sanity on the line for humanity, but he can’t stop because there is nothing to take up his mantle if he were to go. Ultron’s solution is to take out the mantle completely so his father can rest. He talks on and on about having no strings and not being Stark’s slave, but he takes Stark’s mission to the extremes because he sees this as the better solution for Stark’s problem. Telling him he is just like Stark just shows Ultron the strings are still there, and he becomes enraged. It is an interestingly messed up family dynamic that makes the crack about Eugene O’Neil so much funnier and darker.

Rodgers’ fear of the war being over continues the journey of making Captain America less boring, but does not lessen his saintliness. There was a tease that we haven’t seen his dark side yet, but I have no idea what in the hell that dark side would be. The comic book Civil War is one of the very few comics I have managed to read (and I read it long before the movie announcement, so yay!) and Rodgers’ character is a little darker in that comic. He is willing to sacrifice not only himself, but others to his cause. The Rodgers in these movies so far is not able to sacrifice anyone but himself, so I am looking forward to the darker Rodgers that is willing to let people die for what he thinks is right and how we get to that Rodgers.

Romanoff’s fear and backstory is more intriguing and heart breaking. She didn’t want to go thru the very end of her training because she knew losing her ability to create a family would completely transform her into a monster. Her training taught her that there is no such thing as a family outside of the one you have a blood relation to. If you have no children you have to look in the eye and let them know you did your best to make the world better for them, than you have no problem doing the horrible things necessary to make the world as it is needed by someone else. Meeting Barton showed her how she could have something like a family. In past comments about the other movies, there was talk about how Widow and Hawkeye are sometimes lovers, but that was not the vibe I got from them when they were together in The Avengers. They looked like brother and sister to me. I just chalked that up to me reading them wrong. The Easter Egg of the arrow necklace Romanoff was wearing during The Winter Soldier was supposed to be a reminder of her love for Barton. But I didn’t read them wrong. In Age of Ultron, they were brother and sister and in their own way, they were more like the Maximoff twins (Olsen and Johnson) than lovers. There is a hint in both pairings of something more intense than what is there. I know there is a lot of bitching about the way the character of Romanoff is used by the men or how she used herself with the male characters, but I don’t see the bad. The reason why the school trained women as spies and assassins is because of the universal truth that the men in charge are not smart enough to see a woman as something dangerous.

Banner’s monster is pretty obvious, but the Hulk being afraid of Banner is really an interesting thought I wish could have been explored more. If Banner were to achieve peace, then the Hulk would die and he is afraid of dying. I think this is part of the reason why in the end he runs away not as Banner, but as the Hulk. If Banner finds peace and happiness with Romanoff, then there is a possibility Hulk could die. They needed to find a way to coexist.

I had some mixed feelings in the beginning about a love story between Banner and Romanoff. It seemed too strange of an idea, but it does work. She has spent her entire life being under the control of either the KGB or S.H.I.E.L.D. At the end of The Winter Soldier, she was free to go off and explore who she could be without the need for a mission. By the time we get to her in Age of Ultron, she has felt like she has paid her dues, got the red out of her ledger, and she wants to be with someone who understands that she has done some horrible things under the control of someone else and wants to find peace. Banner is the best one to understand what she has been thru and she wants them to find their peace that they have earned together. This is not reducing her character down to some sappy love story, this is her character knowing what she wants and going after it because she has earned the right to be happy. Romanoff staying with The Avengers in the end is just her showing that she can wait, but while she is waiting, she is going to help the other new Avengers. I think this could lead to a great dynamic between Widow and Scarlet Witch that I hope Civil War will examine. Scarlet Witch has to contend with the fact that her blind need for revenge nearly destroyed humanity twice (once with letting Stark take the scepter and again after she left her post to go and kill Ultron) and cost her brother his life.

If you didn’t see the death of Quicksilver coming, than you have been living under an internet free rock. His death was inevitable due to many different factors. Johnson was only signed to a one movie contract, Quicksilver was only allowed to be used by Marvel and Disney due to a weird loophole in Quicksilver’s character, and Joss Whedon admitted that he didn’t like the resurrection of Phil Coulson. The contract info and the loophole has been talked about since before the filming of Age of Ultron and there have been too many complaints about no one of consequence dying in the MCU so far. You had to know it was coming, right? At least they gave him a good death and some weight for Barton to carry around if he were to show up in future movies. I just hope there is no resurrection for Quicksilver, but it could unfortunately happen with the Time Infinity Stone still out there. Fingers crossed Whedon, in consultant mode, puts his foot down and says no. Some people need to start dying in these movies damnit, cause there is no way in hell everyone is going to make it out of Infinity Wars alive and that would be a sucky time for the deaths to start sticking.

The two biggest heroes and most thrilling characters to come out of Age of Ultron are Barton and Vison. I’m so happy Renner was given more to do in this movie, he is such a good actor. Have you seen American Hustle? (SPOILER ALERT) The look on his face when his character is told everything is a scam and he will go to jail just kills me every time I watch the movie. The heart break when he realized he let his city down and his family is going to be without him just shines thru in the moment. Barton is the glue that holds the team together when things start to crumble around their ears. When the rest of the team sees that Barton could walk away at any moment and have this loving family waiting for him, but he doesn’t humbles them. He sees the importance of the mission and reminds the whole team why they are needed. It is great that Stark sees Barton’s family and realizes that he doesn’t have to build the suit around the world to protect it, he just needs to trust the new generation will be the suit.

Vision will be the most fascinating character to watch going forward. He is not quite human, but he is not the machine Ultron was trying to build for himself. He falls somewhere else on the spectrum of weird.

Well fellow Nerdom dwellers, we are all caught up on the Phase 2 movies for now. I can’t be a breaking news source for you guys, I just don’t have the capabilities. But I will keep posting about fun news worthy tidbits to come out about Phase 3. Lots of new pics for Civil War are coming out and here soon I would like to talk about them and the cast.

I will be talking about the end Season 2 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Mad Max: Fury Road soon!

Until next time kiddos, stay geeky!

To read UberApe’s review of Age of Ultron click here.

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About Nerdling

The Nerdling has an unhealthy obsession with books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars. She finds hockey to be the best sport in the world (Go Dallas Stars!) and is working on her first novel, but mostly glowers at a blank screen. You can find her on Twitter @nerdlingstale on Facebook @NerdlingTales or Instagram @nerdling_tales

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