**WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON**
My initial reaction to Avengers: Age of Ultron was overwhelmingly positive. Aside from its contribution to the Marvel franchise, the film stayed true to its comic book style, witty writing, while also being equally as thrilling and compelling with great action, acting and story telling. Although I’ve only been able to see it twice, the film has left me happy and ready for more.
I think my biggest take away from the movie was the character development that they were able to include in the story line. It is very hard for a movie with so many important characters to develop any kind of deep connections between characters or for the audience to witness any significant changes. The development of Iron Man was essential to the plot line because his fear and trauma from the first alien fight fueled his need for a mechanism to protect the Earth indefinitely (Ultron). However, he was not the only one who we saw change in this film.
Outside of Iron Man, the film did a good job of showing growth in Natasha Romanov, Bruce Banner, and in their relationship. The characters start off hinting at a potential romantic relationship, but before anything can really get started, Ultron makes his entrance and everyone’s a little distracted. After the effects of the Scarlet Witch’s mind games wear off, they discuss the potential of a future together. Bruce still doesn’t trust the Hulk and believes that he would be a danger to everyone, including Natasha. We then get a glimpse into Natasha’s past in the Red Room; we learn about her training and her sterilization and her own beliefs about herself and her past. And while it seems like they will be able to fall of the grid together near the end of the film, the Hulk leaves Natasha behind. It is unclear as to whether or not the Hulk’s understanding of the situation has anything to do with the decision he makes in the end, but I believe that Bruce is still set on the idea that the world would be a better place if he just disappeared. It will be interesting to see how they are able to show him develop further both as an individual character and with Natasha. Natasha, on the other hand, now has a challenge in her future after being left by Bruce. There is also a great deal of potential for her relationship with Steve to become more developed in future films as well.
The other significant character development witnessed in the film was Clint Barton’s. Hawkeye is personally one of my favorite characters in the whole franchise, and to say I didn’t see that ‘secret-family-on-the-farm-in-the-middle-of-nowhere’ plot line would be a giant understatement. But I think this really adds to his character. I feel like he is the unspoken father of the Avengers; he’s not the most powerful or the most popular, but he helps keep them all together and focused in tough times. His relationship with Pietro and Wanda really opened that side of him. It really shows when he talks to Wanda about being an Avenger, and he says “It’s my job” because he believes that he has to do whatever he can to get the job done. I loved that speech because I saw that even though he was being encouraging and leader-like, which we don’t normally see Hawkeye doing, he still retains his own character (“and I have a bow and arrow…”) and I think that’s really important to understanding his character as a whole.
The basic plot line was stereotypical to say the least and a bit predictable at times, but personally I don’t think I would have changed a thing. One of the things that makes Marvel movies so unique is that they stay true to the comic book genre even though the medium has changed. I love that about their movies, and I feel like if they keep the plot line more generic, they are able to enhance their characters and writing in different and more creative ways. The ongoing ‘language’ joke that they all shared throughout the film was another thing I love about this movie. The connections that tie whole movies together are like my guilty pleasure; I love motifs and connections like that. That’s probably why I find parodies so fascinating, especially when they’re done well (if you’ve ever seen/read The Importance of Being Earnest, I highly suggest looking up the play Travesties).
But I digress; the movie as a whole I thought was absolutely wonderful, and there is not a thing about it I would change. I could also probably write a great deal more about it, but I’ve decided to give you just a taste of my most significant ‘take-aways’.
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