Winter Sunlight

We saw Age of Ultron today

No spoilers outside the cut! Thank you, Internet, for keeping me ... well, as unspoiled as I was, but people were generally pretty good about it. :)

I'm not going to discuss the movie a whole lot outside my own LJ, I think, because I get the impression a lot of people didn't like it and I really enjoyed it. I mean, it's not like I can't see why people wouldn't like it. A lot of the movie felt like they were trying to cram too much in, and the Natasha/Bruce romance in particular felt very pasted-on, with a lot of it striking false character notes for me (especially the whole scene where they're talking about having kids: a) why would Bruce think for a minute that Natasha wants a suburban house-and-two-kids life, and b) yay medical horror involving women's reproductive organs OH WAIT I MEAN THE OPPOSITE BECAUSE I HATE THAT PLOT A LOT; and c) of all the things she's done, her biggest regrets all center around not having kids suddenly?).

But I liked it! It was gloriously, bombastically comic-booky. And I was spoiled for a major thing that actually made the movie better for me! I had accidentally gotten spoiled that there was a character death in the movie, but I didn't know who. This made the final battle scene unbearably tense, because every time someone was threatened, it was all, "AUGH NO, NOT THEM!" I was pretty happy with the way it actually went -- I mean, not happy in the sense that I wanted Quicksilver to be dead in the MCU, but as far as not losing anyone I cared about more, plus the "character loses everything and rebuilds themselves from the ashes" theme is one I adore, and I really love that Wanda gets to have that. (In fic if not in the actual movie.)

Here, have a non-comprehensive list of other things I really enjoyed:

- The humor. Okay, yes, I know Joss's quippy dialogue doesn't work for a lot of people, and (like Warren Ellis) he's one of those writers whose characters tend to largely sound alike, but the movie made me laugh a lot (HAWKEYE'S PEP TALK TO WANDA, OH MY GOD). I'm here to be entertained, and I was.
- I love how much of the movie was about saving civilians. Like, that's always been something I've liked about the Marvel movies generally -- there is a body count, but they do their best to minimize it -- and that was pretty much the entire thrust of the whole climactic battle (while also acknowledging that blowing up the city might be necessary to save the Earth -- but they were all prepared to die to try to avert all those civilian deaths). And I loved that.
- I know that people who ship Natasha/Clint got an arrow driven straight through their ship in this movie, but for my part, I loved that they were solidly established to be very close, platonic friends. She called him her best friend! And his kids call her Aunt Nat! OMG. :D :D (Not being invested in any Clint ships, I loved his seeekrit!family a lot.)
- Tony and Nick Fury's friendship was a point of unexpected awesome.
- Speaking of ... I really loved the general feel of passing the torch to the new Avengers team. In the comics, the Avengers aren't a constant, but an ever-shifting organization that changes all the time, and I had SUDDEN UNEXPECTED FEELS over the new team at the end.
- Another thing I had UNEXPECTED FEELS about: the Vision saving Wanda. I'm not really invested in them in the comics as a couple ... like, at all! But I was on total tenterhooks after Pietro's death about her survival, and she didn't care if she lived or died, and then Vision swoops down and saves her LIKE A BOSS. And there were feels. \o/
(I really want ALLLLLLL the Wanda recovery-and-fitting-into-the-team fic, by the way.)

Leading up to the movie, there was a fair amount of criticism about Tony building Ultron being OOC, but I felt like the movie sold it pretty well as an in-character thing for him to do, given the circumstances surrounding it. Also, I'm married to a person I think of as my Tony Stark without the issues (he's an inventor and techie sort of person) and we talked about it a bit on the way home, and it makes sense to him -- I think it's easy for those of us who aren't techie people to go, "Obvious mistake, no one would do that" but for someone like Tony (or Orion), tech is the solution to most problems, and there are few problems which cannot be solved by building better tech. So, basically, I can see the argument that it was a dumb thing to do (and I'm not saying y'all are wrong), but it worked for me character-wise as the sort of dumb thing that Tony would do, especially given the kind of extraterrestrial enemies they're up against so ... *shrugs*. I understand why people are unhappy with it, but I didn't feel like it ruined Tony for me, which I was a little worried about beforehand.

Also, the movie Jossed (LITERALLY) my Sam-and-Bucky fic in a completely unexpected way. I'm probably going to go ahead and stick with my original plan with a "written before AoU" note on it, though.

In short: it's not my favorite movie in the franchise, but I really enjoyed it, and I have ALL THE SUPERHERO FEELS now.

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I really liked the movie! And I haven't seen negative reactions about it which is great.

The ONLY thing I didn't really like was Natasha/Hulk romance. I like both characters but they just do not ping in any way romantically for me. I had to kind of close my eyes and handwave it. I like Natasha/Clint as either friends or lovers, but I prefer them as friends. I think it's just the fact that Natasha is female that makes me want to see her in a less 'romantic' role.

But like I said, that was the only thing that I could frown about, otherwise the rest of it was great. A great fodder for fanfic as well. I've been reading a bit of post-Avenger fic lately (mostly Loki or Tony centric) and it'll be good to see some new stuff come out :D

[I love how much of the movie was about saving civilians. ]

Also this! Loved that part....always makes a movie better when that happens :)

Edited at 2015-05-03 02:41 am (UTC)
Ha, yeah. The absolute BEST thing I can say about the Natasha/Hulk thing is that it felt totally out of left field. I'm with you, I love them both, but I disliked the romance and I was glad it ended up being a kind of one-movie phenomenon (I mean, not that it couldn't continue into future movies, but it would also be very easy for future writers to ignore or handwave away).

But there were a ton of things about the movie I loved, and I think it set up a lot of fantastic future fic scenarios with the new team. I have GOT to finish my Sam-Bucky fic before this movie sinks too deeply into my headcanon, though.
Yes! I love that fic :D

And yeah, I think the set up was great for all characters. It's like their storylines advanced enough to give new fodder for fanfic but it didn't "ruin" anything so to speak. And yeah, with you on Natasha/Hulk, glad it could be handwaved.
I felt very much the same way as you. The Nat/Bruce thing did absolutely nothing for me and dragged the movie down. It was about the only thing I didn't like and might have liked it if it just didn't lumber on and on. Though to me the thing the group did to Nat's uterus makes perfect sense. If I were creating a female super assassin it sounds like something I would do but yes the whole oh woe's me I can't have kids felt like it was out of nowhere.

I did like the Wanda and Vision thing. I'm still surprised about Pietro though
Usually I don't get too frustrated by canon romance, but I am surprised by the depth of my (negative) feelings about the Natasha/Bruce thing. :P It just hit every wrong note for me that it possibly could. The thing about the forced sterilizations - okay, the thing is, it makes COMPLETE sense as something they would do (actually I would be more surprised if they hadn't), and it's also part of her backstory in the comics, I think. But the central-ness of it to the movie narrative is just OOC for Natasha and frankly icky. (Their "graduation ceremony" for the little Black Widows is sterilizing them? That's just stupid - that's something that should simply be part of their routine health care as baby assassins, frankly. I just hate the way the movie made it central to the narrative in every way they could: it's prioritized among all the terrible things that was done to the little Widows, and it's the big thing that Natasha's regrets are centered around, and it's just STUPID and sort of fundamentally icky. For a different character, that could possibly work, but when has Natasha ever wanted kids or been focused on having a family? AUGH.)

But I liked the rest of it a lot!
I absolutely can not argue any of this. Nothing about the Bruce/Nat thing worked for me at all. Honestly I've never been much of a Natasha fan to begin with so I really didn't care who she ended up with.

And I agree the whole sterilization thing IS icky and the idea that either of them want what Clint has with his wife seemed out of the blue and OOC.

And I can't escape the fact that Whedon knew Clint/Natasha was a popular ship and did it on purpose because he has a track record of that kind of crap.
I loooooved it. Like, ok, the romance stuff didn't really work for me (I don't think Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo have much, if any, chemistry together; and while as a concept I like Hawkeye being the one character who has a legit normal family life [what a contrast to the comics!], I thought Laura was a little too much of a stay-at-home mom, support the husband stereotype in execution. Still, I appreciated that she was totally ok with him going out and doing his job even though it was dangerous, and I'd totally read fic, because I think fic writers could do a better job with her.) But! EVERYTHING ELSE WAS AWESOME.

-The humor, yes. "The city is flying! We're fighting an army of robots! And I have a bow and arrow! NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE!" Ahahaha, Hawkeye darling, I feel you.
-Pietrooooo. :( Dammit, I liked him, a lot. I didn't actually know anyone was going to die, but it is a Joss Whedon movie, so I guess I'm not terribly surprised. And yeah, like you, I'm glad it wasn't anyone I was more attached to. But still. :( The clip at the end where Hawkeye collapses on the bench next to Pietro's body just about broke my heart. AND THEN HE NAMES HIS KID AFTER HIM.
-Speaking of Hawkeye and his wife, now I really want post-Avengers1 fic where he's recovering from the mind control and how his family plays into that.
-I was really surprised that Sam is apparently going out and looking for Bucky all by himself?? And frankly I find it super adorable. He's willing to drop his job and the rest of his life just to go on-- potentially very dangerous!-- missions by himself to find a guy he doesn't even know, just because Steve needs the help. I love this.

There were so many other good moments that I don't even know what else to say, I'd just sit here quoting the whole movie, so I will refrain. But yeah. There were a few minor issues but on the whole it was a lot of fun.
[I was really surprised that Sam is apparently going out and looking for Bucky all by himself?? And frankly I find it super adorable. He's willing to drop his job and the rest of his life just to go on-- potentially very dangerous!-- missions by himself to find a guy he doesn't even know, just because Steve needs the help. I love this. ]

!!!! Yes. I loved all the Sam bits, and just genuinely enjoy his friendship with Steve. :D
Yes! I was a bit disappointed he didn't show up at the end with Rhodey, but oh well, we can't have everything. I was glad he showed up at all. AND HE'S AN AVENGER NOW.
YES! I wanted Falcon right there with War Machine, but I was still glad he was there at the very end, being an Avenger-in-training, at least!!
"The city is flying! We're fighting an army of robots! And I have a bow and arrow! NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE!"

I think that's one of my favorite bits from the whole movie. :D The entire theater erupted into laughter. And yet, it was so completely something he'd say, and feel, and worked really well with the way he was trying to get through to Wanda. That scene was SO GREAT.

Actually, all of the Hawkeye stuff was great - this movie really did give much better Hawkeye than the first one! By the time they got to the bit where he runs for the kid, I was fairly convinced he was going to die (see above post re: ALL MY BABIES ARE IN PERIL XD) and I really didn't want him to! I never had strong feelings for Hawkeye before! I was truly sad about Pietro - I finally started getting attached to him (heh, the bit with the machine gun and trying to get the people out of the building was so great, and he fought so hard against the Ultrons) and then he died. :( But since I'd gone into the movie expecting to lose one of the existing characters -- my fear for Rhodey and for Maria Hill during that final battle knew no bounds! -- it ended up being a relief that, out of everyone, it was someone I hadn't had more than one movie to bond with. (And I was very glad Wanda survived.)

I assume that Sam is basically filling in for Steve on the Bucky-hunt while Steve is occupied with vital Avengers stuff. But, yeah -- it's something that really shouldn't be his business, but it IS his business because Steve is his friend, and Sam is basically great. :D (Okay, now I want to write a fic in which Sam finds Bucky first! BUT I NEED TO FINISH THE OTHER ONE FIRST, AARGH AARGH.)

... oh, and I just realized that SAM GOT HIS WINGS BACK! Because the last thing we saw of that in Cap2 was the wings getting destroyed. Of course it makes sense that he has to, because it's fairly central to Sam being Falcon, but yay. :D
I'm absolutely right there with you in the "here to be entertained" and loving it camps. And I agree with you overall about Nat and Bruce, and the whole "oh, but *kids...*" thing, but the thought I had about it was that it so FIT with what we saw of Dottie's experience in Agent Carter! I mean, it's still horrible and everything else, but I loved that, in a sense, Agent Carter got a "nod" (regardless of how intentional it was or not) about the history of Nat's training, etc.

And I <3 'd Clint's family, too, AND that Nick had helped him make it so secret that no one else at SHIELD knew about it, either. I love that Nick was/is so involved w/them, even if we're not getting to *see* that involvement very often, AND that he and Nat are such good friends, and Nat's so close to his wife and kids, too.

I agree with you re: Tony and the tech stuff. For him, tech is almost always the solution. And I did love that he and Bruce got to play science-tech-geeks together, even if it turned out to not be a great decision. And I thought we could see some of the beginnings of Civil War, too -- even though Tony and Steve were getting along/being friends, Tony still wants to have tech/whatever solve the problems, and not have to be personally involved in solving everything every time, and Steve... doesn't. I thought his line about "trying to stop wars before they start" was pretty indicative of that.

I was like you about the death -- not happy at all about it, but I was glad it wasn't someone I cared *more* about, at least. And the semi-spoiler I'd heard was a rumor that the movie had everyone deciding to blast Bruce/Hulk into outer space b/c he was so uncontrollable, so even though the bit w/Bruce was sad and I felt so much for him, I was still relieved it wasn't "worse," you know??
I love that Clint has a family! We know so little about his life, and this is a backstory for him that I can 100% get behind. It's nice that he, of all of them, has someone to come home to. And I love that Natasha is "Aunt Nat" to the kids. :D

And the semi-spoiler I'd heard was a rumor that the movie had everyone deciding to blast Bruce/Hulk into outer space b/c he was so uncontrollable, so even though the bit w/Bruce was sad and I felt so much for him, I was still relieved it wasn't "worse," you know??

Oh, Bruce. :( Yeah, that would have been way worse! (My husband said he thinks the after-credits scene should have been Hulk sipping fruity drinks on a tropical island somewhere ...)

I think it's interesting how unreliable some of the rumors/spoilers I'd heard turned out to be. Like, I saw a lot of people talking about -- and angry about -- Thor and Jane having broken up, which is totally not in the movie at all!
I totally agree about Clint!

And geez!! I hadn't heard that rumor about Thor/Jane, but sheesh! Yeah, that's not at all what was going on! I've tried very hard not to see any spoilers (esp. recently, when they were more likely to have some element of truth to them!) — I even put off reading some things about how SHIELD tied in just to make sure I saw as little as possible. Given some of the rumors I have heard/seen both before/after the release, though, I'm even more glad I avoided them so as to not be upset before I even saw it!! (I can't remember if you watch SHIELD or not? But I loved Tues. night's eoisode's lead-in!)
Clint has been such a ray of sunshine in this movie. I've been really indifferent to him up to this movie and now (and thanks to a few fics read before watching the movie too)? ♥ His pep talk was so awesome (the "Here I am with a bow and arrows" thing alone) and the fact that he has a family? *___* Gosh, I fell so hard and fast for him.

I love the fact that Nat and Clint are such good friends and that Nat knows about his family. Female & Male friendships without any chance/hint of romance are such a huge button for me and then to have this with two such awesome characters? In a huge movie? *flails so much*

Saving the civillians - Yes! Yes! Yes!

Sam and Rhodey have been another highlight. ♥ I squeed when War Machine showed up with the Helicarrier. :)

In short: it's not my favorite movie in the franchise, but I really enjoyed it, and I have ALL THE SUPERHERO FEELS now.

Yep, agree. :)
I felt about the exact same way about it! Mostly enjoyment with a a bit of disappointment. And I also had a spoiler (or at least a strong hint) that someone died without knowing who, and yeah, it made things more tense! (was assuming it was Clint until halfway through when it started being SO obvious he would die that I realized it had to be a red herring! Glad that he actually did get to retire, though I'm kind of suspecting he'll be called back when it's a battle for the universe...)

I didn't care for the Natasha/Bruce at all - which is a shame, because I actually was really interested in the 'ship when I heard about it, it seemed really plausible to me; but the execution was so unconvincing. They had no chemistry and I really don't know if that's more due to writing, acting, direction, or an even combination, but, yeah. Sigh. Especially since one of my favorite things about Avengers is that it was so good without the need for any romance at all...wish they'd kept with that.

Otherwise, though, it was a lot of fun! I didn't think Tony creating Ultron was that OOC - especially when Wanda's nightmare was provoking him. I did find it kind of hilarious that his solution to world peace is to create a super-AI...which goes horribly, horribly wrong, and so his solution to that is to create...another super-AI! Which, yeah, not totally OOC for Tony, but that he could get Bruce to go along with it? Twice? Come on, Bruce, really now?!

(It also intrigued me since I'm all into Mass Effect now, and organic vs synthetic intelligence is one of the major themes - arguably the most primary theme - of those games, so I've lately been reading essays on transhumanism in scifi and other concepts that were touched on in AoU, if in less depth.)

Gnine ships Wanda/Vision (mostly due to Young Avengers, I believe) so was all bouncy about that! And I just like AI superheroes (or any non-evil AI).

I can totally buy that Whedon's lines make all the characters sound the same - but done right, they can be so funny! From the Hydra goon who answers Tony's "Good talk" with "No it wasn't!" to Clint's speech to Wanda - heeee! And the focus on saving civilians has been one of my favorite things about the MCU and I like that it's only getting moreso as the movies go along.

And yeah, the new Avengers team at the end was great! Would love to see that whole team in action, am kind of sad they won't get a movie of their own (I don't exactly ship Steve with Sam but...I don't not ship them, either... ^^;)
The one-liners were SO GREAT. :D Seeing it in the theater is good for this, because everyone laughed in exactly the right places! :D Ha, yes, "no it wasn't!" ... and also Steve's "But you didn't finish!" to the Ultron he threw off the cliff (or whatever the exact line was) ... and the talk about Mjolnir in the elevator, and basically ALL THE HUMOR. :D :D :D (I don't think I really started liking Pietro until that one bit where he ran into the building trying to get everyone to leave, then came in again with the machine gun -- I am such a sucker for humor!)

eeeeeee such fun. :D

The Natasha/Bruce relationship is my one big DNW for the movie, because I kind of hated how it was done and didn't like what it did to Natasha's characterization. :P But it didn't ruin the movie for me, and I am very happy with the way they added the new characters to the universe! I didn't like Vision as much as I wanted to - I LOVE Paul Bettany, and I am also fond of the whole idea of AI characters, but his makeup was kind of ridiculous. Still, I like him and the new team makes me all "YAY." And they introduced Wakanda as the major source of vibranium, FINALLY! (Which I, as the Designated Geek, had to explain to Orion. It is a thing in the comics! A rather important thing!)

And yes, Clint as the Dead Man Walking is rather over the top, but I still was halfway convinced right up until Pietro's final sacrifice that Clint was going to be the one to go (because it wasn't like this movie shied away from cliche ...). I liked his cute li'l family! I am glad he gets his time with them, even though, yeah, he'll be back when they offer the actor enough money when he's needed again ...

Aaaaahhhhh, I want to go watch it again now! :D

Edited at 2015-05-03 11:43 am (UTC)
Yeah, I thought most of the jokes were pretty successful, lots of laughter and occasional applause in my theater, too (I do enjoy opening nights, they're exciting with a movie like this, everyone is really into it!)

I don't know much about Wakanda except the basics, but with the Black Panther movie coming out in a couple years, it makes sense to set it up. And I'm curious about the new Avengers team, how that will play in with the next movies (the team itself I love everyone on it, so I'm hoping they'll get more to do!)
I enjoyed the whole movie sooo much and whilst I can see why people are not keen on Natasha/Bruce, but it didn't bother me and, well, lots of angst and you know how much I love angst!! :D :D I also felt that building Ultron was a very Tony thing to do - I mean, he (and his father) never seem to think though where there inventions might lead all that much, or how terribly wrong they could go! And Ultron, I loved him! Such a great villian, in all his madness!

Of course, I don't have any comic background, so it's all brand new to me - and I didn't know Jarvis was called Vision now. Thanks for the heads up on that!! Btw, I love that Jarvis has a body now!! I've always like him (both in Agent Carter as a person and in the movies as a computer) and it makes me squee!!

Oh wow, so much I could say! But overall, I really, really enjoyed the movie!!! And I want to see it again (but will have to wait for the DVD to come out)!!
What a meta comment on the movie itself!

I felt like Tony and Bruce totally screwed up—they accidentally created a super villain who wants to destroy all human life!—and then felt that basically Bruce owned it and Tony didn't, which seemed entirely in character. I was a little dubious about Bruce going along with doing more of it, but you can't argue with the Vision being able to wield the hammer. One especially can't argue when they made such a huge fuss about said hammer earlier in the movie!

I became very attached to Hawkeye here. I hadn't been spoiled except that I knew Joss Whedon was involved, so I figured that almost anyone could die at almost any time! I was really afraid they were setting Clint up for death. I'm sorry to have lost Pietro.

I really loved the efforts to protect civilians. I thought they should have been more central all along, but we saw some of it in TWS, when Natasha is screaming at people to get out of the way.

I really enjoyed the movie and am looking forward to fic. (I don't care that your Sam and Bucky fic has been Jossed; I still want the rest of it!)
I'm really surprised how much I ended up liking Hawkeye in this! He's never been a favorite, but I got really attached to him here.

Re: the hammer - heh, I had watched the clip of the Avengers trying to lift the hammer with my sister somewhat earlier (it came out very early as a teaser) and I had speculated that either Steve or Natasha was going to wield it in the final battle. Right idea, wrong character!
I enjoyed the movie. :) I love everything Joss including his typical dialog so that might explain things. I also enjoyed the story and the character. Yes, I have some quips, but overall I really enjoyed it and I am still squeeing some weeks later.
I thought it was really fun. :) I hope I get a chance to see it again before it finishes its run.