Having finally re-watched it I can categorically say that I love Age of Ultron. Love it.
I thought I might from the first time I saw the trailer. The delivery of the line “there are no strings on me” gives me goosebumps every time.
What follows has major spoilers, so you’ve been warned.
Age of Ultron has got a great central theme to the plot – looking at what the Avengers can do to make the world safe, and in the process make themselves unnecessary.
It’s got moments of just pure joy. The team mocking Captain America for his goody-two-shoes attitude to swearing. The competition to move Thor’s hammer (and the look on Thor’s face when Cap shifts it). And nerdy discussions of the limits of the hammer (“If you put the hammer in an elevator it would move, but an elevator’s not worthy…”). It’s all just wonderful.
I love how it sets up Iron Man and Captain America as opposites. Captain America spent the whole of his previous film shutting down an attempt at a world-spanning weapon platform with the potential to go wrong. Iron Man starts this film attempting to build a world-spanning weapon platform that, well, goes wrong. This shows different world views that can possibly never be reconciled. Which is super-useful with Civil War just around the corner…
But the number one reason I love the film is Hawkeye.
The whole way through the film we’re given every foreshadowing cliché to suggest that Hawkeye is going to die. He’s picked out as the weakest link at the start and injured, showing his fragility. His family are introduced, showing his humanity. He has “I’m too old for this shit” style discussions, “I’m thinking of getting out” two-days-from-retirement-style discussions. Hell, there’s even a moment where Thor steps on a toy and there’s literally a broken home.
He survives the film’s big battle, he’s just about to make his escape on a lifeboat. Then we see a child been left behind. And with a resigned sigh Hawkeye walks back into the fray to save him.
Just as he reaches the child a jet starts shooting down the street. Hawkeye moves his body to protect the child and… Quicksilver sacrificed himself to save them both. And as he repeats for the third time their traded barb to each other – “didn’t see that coming?” No. No I didn’t. It’s beautiful. Perfect. Pure Joss Whedon. The kind of thing that makes me love and hate him in equal measure.
And that is why I love Avengers: Age of Ultron