You guys, if you’re a busy person, like maybe you’re inventing time travel, or curing the hiccups, or you have fourteen children, or you’re writing a book of haikus, and you only have time to watch ONE of the MCU movies before Endgame… then, okay, well I mean obviously watch Infinity War because that’s Part 1, but if you only have time to watch TWO of the MCU movies, watch Age of Ultron.
Is it the best or most important plot of the MCU? No, it certainly isn’t. Is it the most entertaining? Heck yes it is! This movie has it all; humour, action, humour, moral dilemmas, relationships, humour, people being heroic, tragedy, smart dialogue, and some humour… it’s just a lot of fun, is what I’m saying. It’s not bogged down by introductions or origin stories, so we get to see the characters just BEING, which is very rare. We get to see how the team feels about one another, and it’s those human (and God) relationships that are at the heart of the MCU.
This movie brought the band back together, and it was glorious. Sure, there are some iffy plot contrivances, and okay, they were sort of fixing a problem they created themselves, but whatever, this movie is awesome.
The opening fight was the perfect way to launch us back into the Avengers dynamic. They team-worked as if they’d been fighting together for years. And as it turns out, they have! It was mentioned that they’d been after Loki’s scepter for a while, so I guess these guys had been getting together off-screen to hang out and chase down a magical stick. That adequately explains their rappprt, and I am ABOUT IT.
Quicksilver Pietro, you are such a scamp! The twins (who were experimented on by Hydra using the power of Loki’s scepter) tried out their newly scienced powers, and it went well for them! Pietro got Clint shot (😡), and Wanda messed with Cap and Tony.
Cap was confronting Strucker (the Hydra dude who ‘made’ the twins), but then Wanda zapped him and brain-attacked Tony, making him see his worst fear; the brutal death of all his friends because he didn’t do enough to save them. Like… damn, Tony. How’s that PTSD?
Meanwhile, the Hulk was still all Hulked out, so Nat initiated the ‘lullaby’ which consisted of her soothing him until he de-greened.
Because Bruce is a nerd.
Wanda let Tony take the scepter in a sneaky move to make him self-destruct with it, which… um, sure. What if Thor had been like, “Gonna take this back to Asgard post haste. Good work team!” I bet Wanda would have felt pretty darn stupid then.
But he didn’t!
Tony asked to borrow it for a little while and Thor was all, “I don’t see any possible repercussions for this! Why not!” So Tony and Bruce (best friends forever) got to science-in’!
The nerd montage showed us Tony and Bruce discussing a program that could protect the Earth so that the Avengers don’t have to. Then they let the program run on its own while they went to party down. Once they left, the scepter (mind stone) brought Ultron to life inside computer-land (watch out, Wreck it Ralph!). He used the internet and all the information found there to make a split-second decision on how to protect the Earth. We all know how that would turn out, evil robot or not (we are truly terrible to the environment and it is going to kick us out soon, this is a very serious issue oh God I’m spiralling, let’s watch more MCU and forget about it).
Jarvis tried to shut him down, so Ultron ate him.
See what I mean, you guys??? This movie showed us not just how these heroes hero together, but how they ARE together, which is equally, if not more, compelling. We got some fun appearances, like Sam, and Rhodey, and Stan Lee as a veteran. The party was winding down (they were all trying to lift meu-meu) when a straggler who wasn’t invited arrived.
Ultron took over one of Tony’s robots and announced to the team that he’s going to bring about peace in our time by getting rid of the Avengers and then maybe or maybe not destroy all life on the planet, who knows, that’ll be a game-time decision. The team wasn’t super keen on that, so a fight broke out, the robot was destroyed, and Ultron escaped through the internet (how long do you think it took him to watch all the porn?)
It did seem as though Ultron was Tony’s creation, but as he pointed out, his AI peacekeeping program wasn’t close to being operational until the Mind Stone got involved. So basically, Ultron’s artificial intelligence became not-so-artificial.
Ultron and the twins were family in a way, since they were all “made” by the Mind Stone, so he suggested a team-up to get rid of the Avengers. The twins were about it because their parents had been killed by a Stark weapon, so they saw his heroics as hypocritical. Honestly very compelling stuff.
So off they went on a family outing to visit Ulysses Klaue (a rare role Andy Serkis got to play as himself), to politely ask for some vibranium, which he stole from an obscure African nation. *wink* They got it, Klaue got his money and everyone was happy until Klaue mentioned Tony and Ultron’s daddy issues flared up, accidentally cutting off Klaue’s hand.
This, of course, lead to a fight, which was going quite well for the Avengers until Wanda mind-attacked them.
Nat saw herself in the Red Room where she was trained, and it did not seem like a wholesome upbringing.
Thor got a vision of Asgard in ruins and all his people dead or suffering because of his absence. This turned out to be a glimpse into the future, which… is that because of Wanda’s powers, or Thor’s? Or the writer’s? Is it because deep down Thor has subconscious knowledge of what’s coming, and this ‘worst fear’ vision brought it to the surface? Yeah… sure, let’s go with that.
Steve saw himself finally getting that dance with Peggy, proving he’s still emotionally stuck in that life, and hasn’t properly mourned what he lost, and still loves her after all this time, and my heart simply CANNOT.
Tony and Clint escaped a trip to Hallucination Land, but unfortunately Hulk did not.
We didn’t get to see what was going on in Hulk’s mind, but we did get to see the result, and it wasn’t an awesome time for the people of Johannesburg. Tony used ‘Veronica’ – a specialized suit built to keep Hulk under control – to punch him into submission (and also drop him through a building). Hulk snapped out of it, looked around and was all, “did I do thaaaaaaaat?”
Everyone was very bummed after this obvious defeat, so Clint took them to a slumber party he knew of.
Turns out Hawkeye has a secret farmhouse filled with a secret family, and it’s sweet and wholesome as hell. At this point every single audience member was all, “oh, so he’s going to die then, obviously.”
Natasha made her gooey feelings known to Bruce, and he was like, “but my baggage,” and she was like, “I got baggage too, babe,” and he was like, “but mine is so much bigger,” and she was like, “I HOPE SO, HIGH FIVE!” (I don’t often make penis jokes, but when I do, they’re about the Hulk)
As Nat and Bruce were almost smooching upstairs, Tony and Steve were having a broversation about war and consequences and stuff.
Fury showed up to drop some intel and give a pep talk. He told them that they had a super-hacker ally stopping Ultron from getting nuclear launch codes, and that Ultron had body issues. So off Tony went to make friends with their new hacker ally while Thor took a bath.
He wasn’t into a slumber party that didn’t involve Battleship and fort-building, so he left the “safehouse” to investigate his own stuff. I guess there’s a… magic… hot spring that needs to accept him before it will… *sigh* who knows. Basically he got wet and saw a teaser for Infinity War. Oh, and Dr. Selvig was there for some reason. I don’t know. Guess he’s not crazy anymore. That was nice.
Meanwhile, Ultron was having a consultation with Dr. Cho (remember the lady who can replicate flesh?), about getting some work done.
Ultron wanted an upgrade to a vibranium body, so he mind-stoned the doctor to make one for him. But that’s not all! He also wanted some bling! He found out just how many licks it takes to get to the centre of Loki’s scepter, and popped that Mind Stone on outta there. Once it was on the vibranium doll, the body became a sentient being and Wanda could sense it – and since Ultron’s consciousness was downloading into it, she saw all his eeeeeeeevil plans to destroy the world.
This made her understandably peeved, so she freed Dr. Cho, then she and Pietro got the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks outta there.
What followed was a kickass chase/fight to steal the new vibranium doll to stop Ultron from downloading himself. They succeeded, and Ultron was like, “oh fine, you’re going to take my doll? Well then I’ll take YOURS!… hmmm? What was that? There is no Black Widow doll? That’s weird. So you don’t have this awesome motorcycle moment as a toy? Hmm, what was that? You put Steve on the motorcycle? But… that makes no sense. So there ISN’T a Black Widow toy, AND you replaced her with… you know what, that’s why I’m blowing up humanity!” And he yoinked Nat out of the plane.
Meanwhile, Wanda and Pietro were nervously reporting to Cap like it was their first job and he was their intimidatingly sexy and competent manager.
He started bossing them around without hesitation, and both of them followed orders like the adorable newly-converted-heroes they were, which resulted in everyone on and around the train being saved. Yay!
Ultron didn’t kill Nat because
she’s a main character he wanted an audience to his evil plan execution. But that was very dumb because Nat is a kickass spy who immediately got to work sending the team her location.
Now that Tony had access to Ultron’s new toy, he got to brainstorming about how he can fix the problem/potentially create a whole new one. Turns out the hacker ally who’d been stopping Ultron from getting the big-boom codes was none other than Jarvis. He had run and hid and foiled Ultron like the sassy algorithm he is!
So naturally, Tony and Bruce popped him into the new body, and bingo bango, Paul Bettany got a real-life role!
There was a (rather physical) debate about whether or not Vision should exist, but in the end it was settled by Thor going all God of Thunder and zapping him to life. So Vision was all, “how about to celebrate my birthday we go save the world or something?” then he HANDED THOR HIS HAMMER. I remember being in the theatre watching this movie for the first time and every single one of us gasped. It was gasp-worthy.
Bruce rescued Nat from her cage and suggested they peace out because they’d “done their part.” Nat was like, “cool, and by the way, my crush is still on, but our relationship isn’t quite trip-ready.” So she kicked him into a gaping hole and Hulk popped out like, “thanks babe!”
Meanwhile, Vision was all, “get off the internet and engage with the world!” and Ultron was like, “OMG get off my tits, I’m in a bidding war on e-bay right now!” and Vision was like, “your friends are here and all you want to do is play on the internet? Not on my watch, buster!” And Ultron stomped his foot all, “you’re ruining my life!” and Vision was like, “why don’t you tweet about it? Oh right, YOU CAN’T, hahahahahaha.”
I may be paraphrasing, but the gist is that Vision kicked Ultron off the internet. This meant he had nowhere to run, so if they got all the murder-bots, then Ultron would be officially defeated. But he had other tricks; namely creating an extinction-level bomb using Chitauri tech to turn the city of Sokovia into the world’s lamest version of Drop Zone.
Fury showed up with a helicarrier (on loan from the love of my life Agent Coulson, even though it was never mentioned because they all think he’s dead and now my heart hurts), which they started loading up with civilians.
Oh, and War Machine showed up, which you know I wasn’t mad about (hi Don Cheadle!) And they were all fighting and quipping and posing for another group shot, and it was very fun.
This was the moment we ALL thought Clint was about to die. But since Joss Whedon loves psych-outs more than he loves witty dialogue, it was instead Pietro who won’t be returning to the MCU. He saved them both by running in front of the bullets, making Wanda very very peeved.
Ultron tried to escape in a plane, but he stupidly shot at Hulk first before he could get lullabied, which, for a smart robot, was a very dumb move. So Hulk threw him back to the floating city where Wanda was waiting to be cool as shit and crush his robot-heart.
Then they got the helicarrier full of muggles on outta there before blowing up the city.
Vision finished him off and all was well. FOR NOW, dun dun dunnnn!! Thor took off to investigate the Infinity Stones, Bruce/Hulk was off we know not where *wink*, and Tony went back to his life as a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.
Again, yes, that was a 90’s reference. LOVE ME FOR ME!
Steve and Nat set out to train the new Avengers recruits, and everyone pretended like they weren’t the B-Team.
The after-credits scene featured Thanos ominously saying, “fine, I’ll do it myself,” while putting on the stone-less gauntlet. Since he had nothing to do with Ultron, we can assume this was a delayed reaction to The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, and his minion’s failed attempts to get him the Tesseract and Power Stone respectively.
And that’s that!
Here’s something about me, you guys – I love character building and relationships in my entertainment. I can forgive plot holes and deus-ex-helicarriers if the characters are compelling and their relationships are heart warming/breaking. I’m one of those people who loved the finale of LOST because it focused on the emotional stakes rather than the plot details.
No, this movie isn’t the best one out there when it comes to plot. There are some holes, contrivances, and maybe a few, “huh?” moments. But it also gave us beautiful, delightful, nuanced relationships, and a shit-ton of laughs.
- James Spader was absolute perfection as Ultron.
- So Black Widow’s combat suit glows now? Is that… is that a good idea?
- Sometimes characters make decisions not because it’s necessarily what the character would do, but because it helps future plot developments. Would the Hulk have been upset enough to flee the Avengers at the end of this movie? Probably not. But he had to be gone for Civil War because his presence would tip the scales too far for him to be allowed to be in that movie. So… bye Hulk.
- Do you guys think Nat has ever put her hair in a ponytail?
- I saw a reddit post suggesting the war vets at the party were old buddies of Cap’s from WWII, and my HEART SIMPLY CANNOT.
- I liked the Hawkeye/Wanda pep-talk. “The city is flying. We’re fighting an army of robots. And I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes sense.” Clint’s report with the twins was one of my favourite parts of this movie. It’s about time he got a personality.
- Bechdale Test: Pass!
- If you created a psycho killer robot, would you have the chutzpah to try again?
OKAY BYE HAVE AN EXCELLENT DAY!