I am a huge Marvel fangirl, okay. So much fanning, without the hysteria, but with all the added force of a highy critical editorial intern and her need for cohesive plots and characterization. I saw the latest installment yesterday, and I am not well pleased.
It wasn’t BAD per se, it wasn’t awful. But I did walk away feeling slightly abused because this movie is basically a highly cinematic bad fanfic. It felt disjointed, clumsy, and it tried to compact so many things into one film that some very important things got lost amidst the disorienting video game-esque action sequences.
Unfortunately those very important things were things like CHARACTERIZATION, BASIC PLOT LOGIC, and NO UNNECESSARY PLOT ELEMENTS. I did not see the point in the Hawkeye family bit. Really cute, yes! Hawkdad is so cool. But I just don’t get it. No real chemistry between Clint and his wife, and don’t even get me started on the badly handled romance-fiasco with Natasha and Bruce.
I agree to a certain amount with the NatBruNO! Movement that is fueled by angry shippers who had their ship sunk. Yet there have got to be plenty of people who just thought it came across really bad on the screen. I love pairing Natasha with Clint. It’s just my thing. And yet I’ve enjoyed fic with Bruce and Natasha together. There have been some incredible NatBru stories out there that I couldn’t put down.
Age of Ultron is not one of those. If I’d read a fic with the romantic subplot found in this movie, I would stop reading, send a message to the author with constructive criticism on how to improve their writing, and then proceed to cleanse my brain with copious amounts of Stucky. Bruce is passive in an incredibly not good way. Natasha is not herself and makes me itch. I have no problem with Natasha being interested in and going after Bruce. But however damaged she is, she is self-respecting woman who would never put up the bullshit resistance yet-still-awkwardly-attracted thing Bruce is doing. Anthony Mackie is quoted as saying he deliberately played Sam Wilson as in love with Natasha in ‘Winter Soldier’. Go hook up with Sam, Nat. He’d treat you with the respect a lovely terror like you deserves.
This movie can basically be summed up in bullet points that all end with exclamation marks, like so:
- We go to many places with very little transition!
- Ultron robot is bizarrely attractive and yet also dumb like vibranium brick!
- Hawkeye is a dad!
- Bruce and Natasha say they are in love!
- Tony more angst!
- Steve is either snarky or super Captainy!
- Thor continues to be grossly under and misused!
- Bruce is also either snarky or much like dry toast!
- We all speak in glib quips, Whedon-style!
- Too many characters!
- E is very confused!
- Andy Serkis is right – shoot everyone!
- Purple Paul Bettany ForTheWhat!
- Civilian casualties are greatly reduced!
- But at 18,000ft, everyone on the flying city thing should have collapsed due to trouble breathing!
- Pepper would have solved everything!
- Bucky is not here and was not even mentioned by name!
- War Machine has been turned into a butt monkey!
- Joss Whedon should have put every single plot point in this movie to the five-year old child test as suggested on the Evil Overlord List! (See #12)
In conclusion, I did not end up seeing a movie, but a two hour plus transition between phases of the Marvel Master Plan. I saw it yesterday, but I still can’t describe a linear plot to myself because there was too much rush and no flow. There were some laugh out loud moments, some really cool action bits. But coolness can’t make up for bad writing. I can’t emphasize this enough.
Avengers had a really fun energy that made me believe that a combined superhero-team movie would work. Age of Ultron was just sloppy, and has left me shaken and scared that future films will continue with these new, botched characterizations.
I’m going to go seek some solace in fanfic.