This movie is more of a sequel to Captain America II: The Winter Soldier (2014) than Avengers Assemble (2012). When Tony Stark tries to kickstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go from bad to worse and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are pushed to their limits as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As Ultron emerges, it is up to the Avengers to stop him from enacting his evil plan.
The opening scene is my favorite scene in the whole movie. It doesn’t cut to edit for at least full minute. The camera follows the Avengers around incapacitating Hydra agents. Due to being a fan of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D, I know that this mission is courtesy of intelligence by Agent Coulson. He tells Agent Hill to tell The Avengers to infiltrate this Hydra base. The irony being that the Avengers still don’t know that Coulson is alive. I found this rather amusing. All the Avengers are now seasoned heroes so they are not the same people they were in Avengers Assemble. Well, Stark is still a cocky shit but that’s about it. They are able to work together systematically as one unit rather than each having their own agenda like before.
There were a few additions to the Avengers movie, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) & Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Johnson) AKA Scarlett Witch & Quicksilver. In the film, Wanda has the ability to get inside their heads and make them turn on each other. She makes them see their darkest and deepest fears, the parts of themselves that even they don’t know about. Her abilities are: neuro-electric interfacing, mental manipulation and telekinesis. Due to being exposed to cosmic energies from Loki’s scepter, she is able to manipulate substances on a molecular level hence the red glow when she uses her powers. Quicksilver is less interesting. He’s just really fast. He’s hot-headed, rash and wants to kill in every spare moment. He grew up quickly and by the end of the movie he became an Avenger but was killed off by Ultron, saving Hawkeye in the process. I don’t think this is the last we have seen of Quicksilver. Who really heard of a superhero that actually died?
Scarlet Witch was cinematic brilliance, a sight to behold. There are no words worthy that can paint a vivid enough picture to depict my opinions on this character. Marvel outdid themselves here. She was otherworldly. She begins the movie as a walking nightmare. She’s reminds me of the god Morpheus from Greek mythology. Then towards the end she has conversation with Hawkeye. He shows his vulnerability to her by saying “we’re fighting an army of robots…and I have a bow and arrow”. He’s just a man. He’s mortal. She has powers more powerful than all of the Avengers combined. She picked them apart like “cotton candy” says Cap. “If you step outside that door, you’re an Avenger”. This is when Hawkeye shows his quality. He becomes more than an Avenger, he portrays that father figure to Wanda when the Avengers need her most and when she is in most need of a friend. She begun this story as pawn of Ultron, a villain. She emerges an Avenger. She can be your friend, a wonderous dream in one moment but the stuff of nightmares in the next.
Before I talk about Ultron, I will now talk about Paul Bettany’s The Vision. A true example of what they can do now in cinema. He was what Ultron should have been. He’s more powerful than Ultron and a good guy. The Vision is a powerful android brought into this world as a result of the Synthetic Vibranium body created by Ultron and Dr Helen Cho. He is Jarvis uploaded into a body and activated by the one of the six Infinity Stones, the Mind Stone. The fourth to be found in recent times. He is a blend between organism and machine, an ode to Ultron’s obsession with evolution. He wasn’t a CGI character, he was just high quality VFX and makeup with Paul Bettany in a costume.
Ultron was glorious. James Spader’s voice is truly menacing. I saw him as Raymond Reddington in NBC’s The Blacklist. He plays a ruthless businessman. He merely transfers Red’s character into Ultron. They are literally the same character. Ultron is unlike any other villain. He can’t be bought out. He has no clear motive much like DC’s Joker. He truly belives humanity is flawed. Who can argue there? But believes it should be wiped out because it has made too many mistakes (which it shouldn’t). We have made countless mistakes but he’s taken it to new heights. He’s ruthless and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. He’s a true psychopath if there ever was one. He’s narcasstic. He loves himself to bits.
“This is the best I can do. This is exactly what I wanted. All of you, against all of ME! How can you possibly hope to stop me?”
Ultron To The Avengers
He’s nearly invincible. To say he’s a genius would be an understatement. He can download information directly to his mind. He possesses anti-gravity technology and concussion blasters (similar to Tony’s repulsors but more powerful). Furthermore he has superhuman strength, stamina and durability due to not having any human physiology he has no need to rest or sleep thus being able to maintain his doings for extended periods of times. May I add that in the comics he was made by Hank Pym AKA Ant-Man I.
Obviously we had all the original Avengers. Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, Cap and Hawkeye with the addition power pumping additions of Quicksilver, Scarlett Witch and The Vision with a cameo from War Machine. We had a cameo from Andy Serkis as Ulysees Klaw in the Wakanda sequence where the Hulk nearly levels a whole block of Wakanda. Wakanda being notorious as the homeland of T’Challa/Black Panther. This is a nod to his solo movie but also Civil War (2016). The Hulk has always been a wildcard and could be the catalyst for Civil War but between now and then, we still have Ant-Man in July. That movie will be a game changer.
Captain America asks a great question in the movie. He says something along the lines of, it’s not about stopping Ultron, it’s about whether he’s right. I believe Ultron was right. Everything he says about humanity makes a lot of sense. He was right up until he wanted to end all life on Earth as we know it. Everything humanity touches it destroys. The hearts of men are easily corrupted by things like material gain and petty feuds with one another. Stark is a prime example of that. Father and son alike. I truly believe Ultron was right. Thor laughs at Stark’s rivalry with Cap in the first movie too. Thor is an Asgardian. I have found that we as humans would rather take for ourselves than help each other to survive. We would rather carry on become part of history rather than form our own history. Deviating from the norm is a problem. The Avengers are puppets tangled in strings. They are unknowingly working for the government. SHIELD are an embodiment of the US government and punish anyone who is different. The only thing that stands between The Avengers and a jail cell is Fury. Let us see what Civil War brings.
The last of Ultron’s robots was killed by The Vision but I don’t think that means the end of Ultron. He was fried out of the internet. He has no physical form. He’s artificial intelligence. Jarvis hid and buried himself within nothing and was found why can’t Ultron? I truly hope Ultron comes back and isn’t killed off like most of Marvel’s other villains in the MCU.
Kevin Fiege says that Marvel will never go dark but Ultron was very dark for a PG-13. The MCU is only going to get more twisted and dark with the additions of Dr Strange (2016) and Thanos in Infinity War and Guardians Of The Galaxy II. Strange villains like Dormammu and Mordo are pretty dark especially when you throw in Penny Dreadful-esque magic. I await Doctor Strange with haste. The further we delve into the MCU, the darker it will become. Maybe not so dark as Penny Dreadful but dark enough that parts of the movies will not be as child friendly as films like Iron Man. Age Of Ultron proved this. When Scarlet Witch got inside their heads, the movie went from PG to 15 in a matter of seconds.