But today, I was going to talk about Avengers: Age of Ultron, which we finally saw on Saturday. We waited to see it because we think the whole "I saw it first!" mentality is destroying the quality of movies. Apparently ticket sales don't mean a whole lot after opening weekend, which indicates that they don't really care how many people are going to see it again, or based on hearing it was a good movie. Not that we're super passionate about it; just that it means we wait to see movies.
Anyway, here's what we thought.
In summary, this was the movie we were afraid the first Avengers movie might be. Some of you may remember that, after seeing Captain America and Thor, we had concerns that The Avengers as a movie wouldn't be particularly satisfying to anyone whose favorite Marvel hero was someone other than Explosions. I guess they decided the Explosions fans didn't get enough of their favorite character last time, because boy oh boy were they catered to in this one. Especially if their second favorite character was Shattering Glass.
Aside from that, the movie was okay, I guess. It was way actiony, and the visuals were absolutely stunning, but the plot was fairly interesting, too. We're told that apparently the movie execs decided to save all the character development scenes for the "deleted scenes" portion of the DVD release. We're really torn about that, because we didn't like the movie enough to want to pay for the DVD, but that's because it didn't have any good character development, which might make the movie worth it. And here we were already frustrated that we paid to see the movie in theaters.
So now let's talk about Hawkeye. We had been told that he was the heart of the movie (or we read it in an article or something), which had us going, "Hrm." for reasons that aren't Hawkeye's fault so much as the guy that plays him. We already didn't think very highly of him, because it really says something about a guy's attitude when he can't even learn to pose like a real archer (although I guess in his defense, there's that guy that went viral a few months ago that shoots like a million arrows a minute and threw out all the modern archery conventions in favor of methods he derived from looking at historical documents, and we don't remember what he posed like). Then there was that stuff about his actor and Captain America's actor being boys in regard to Black Widow, and that pretty much confirmed our theories about this actor's attitude. Hawkeye himself didn't really do enough in the first Avengers movie to make us like him anyway.
...And he didn't really do anything in this Avengers movie to make us like him anyway, because we were extra predisposed to dislike him after the wonderful pep-talk we heard about why there shouldn't be Black Widow toys anyway, which included several lines about how Hawkeye was the real driving force in the movie. Woo.
So then the Avengers all go to Hawkeye's house and he has a super cute family and I thought his wife was pretty great, but then they started talking about how "it's the last mission" and "just one more project before the house is done" and "by the way, in case you missed it, she's pregnant" and raising every death flag they could possibly come up with. So we were like, "Okay, he's going to die later. I'll probably be rolling my eyes over the touching dialogue."
And then there was the big twist! Let me describe my reaction in the form of a description of a four-panel gag comic. (I'm too lazy to draw one.)
First panel shows me sitting and watching the movie. On the screen is Quicksilver, who just got shot a bunch of times, and he says, "I bet you didn't see that one coming."
Second panel is a close-up of me laughing, saying, "Oh, boy, Whedon, you sure got me!"
Third panel is the same close-up of me smiling, no text.
Fourth panel is me flipping the table, screaming, "RRRRRRAAAAAARRRRR!!!!"
Because, despite the lack of character development in this movie, Athena and I both developed an immediate attachment to Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. We like twin characters, what can I say? I mean, we're usually not as quick to latch on to fraternal twin characters, but they had Russian accents, so. In addition to our fondness for Quicksilver, we have a growing frustration for the over-used cheap drama ploy of killing just one twin. It makes us unhappy. I mean, at least give it more significance than, "We needed to have somebody die to show that it's a real life-or-death struggle." Athena suggests that they needed to make Scarlet Witch avenge somebody as some kind of Avengers initiation thing. It's a plausible theory, but even if it was the movie-makers' reasoning, my reaction is, "Blah."
Let's see, what else? They didn't give a satisfactory explanation about how Ultron jumped from "I need to save the planet" to "and humans are killing it." I mean, it's pretty much a no-brainer, but there are so many ways to jump to that conclusion that it would be nice to know which one he took.
Then there was everybody making fun of Captain America for being the language police. I didn't really have a problem with that, in and of itself, because that's the kind of character Iron Man is. What disappointed me (and I'm not going to say whether or not it was "in character," because what do I know? but it's just my opinion) is that Captain America didn't own it. What's wrong with having certain standards for language? Don't we have people jumping on each other on Facebook every day for using the wrong "there/their/they're"? And they're completely unapologetic about it. So why can't Captain America want people to not swear?
(Also, I got really fed up with the word Cap censured back when we made the mistake of playing Persona Q (in English) with Kanji on the party when none of the characters were at high enough levels to survive any battles. Kanji died like a million times, and every time, the translation had him say, "This is bull----." That, too, made us unhappy.)
...I think that's pretty much all I had to say, except that even with my general apathy toward special effects I really liked the Scarlet Witch's red smoky stuff (added bonus: they didn't spend forever shoving it in our faces like they did with some other stunning visuals), and we really wish we could have seen what all Thor was doing with that vision quest or whatever it was. I think I would have enjoyed that much better than the three-hour (probably shorter? it felt really long) Iron Man vs. Hulk fight. The battle to save the city took a million years, too. Sometime before Fury showed up with the rescue planes, Athena leaned over to me and asked, "How long is this movie? Like five hours?" What I'm saying is, we have a low attention span for action scenes.
And there's our review of Avengers: Age of Let's Make a Robot to Protect the World--What Could Possibly Go Wrong?. Tadah.
Today I'm thankful for getting to see Age of Ultron, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, having time to start a new series today, that series not being quite as scary as the opening pages led us to believe, and being done going to the store today.