4-Color to 35-Millimeter: Avengers: Age of Ultron

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While it’s nowhere near as bad as it could have been, it’s also not as bad as everyone says it is. The Avengers have their second go-round facing off against one of the classic foes of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes from the comics, the psychotic robot Ultron, voiced magnificently by James Spader. The great superhero movie rewatch looks at the good and the bad of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

An excerpt:

The ones who suffer the most are the Maximoff twins. Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch (though they’re never called that) really are underdeveloped, and are little more than plot devices. Wanda messes with Stark’s head—and that’s it. She doesn’t follow up, just lets the Avengers go, and it’s at least in part due to Wanda’s mind games that he creates Ultron in the first place. Each time she whammies an Avenger, it’s a horrible violation of their privacy and person, and yet later on, she’s accepted into the team with barely a comment. (To be fair, the one who is most accepting of their reforming is Barton, the one person whose mind she didn’t mess with, which was a nice touch, following Hawkeye spending most of Avengers as Loki’s butt-monkey.) More to the point, though, supposedly she wants to defend the innocents in her homeland against warmongering types, yet her manipulation of Banner is leads to Johannesburg being trashed. Yes, this tracks with both characters’ arc in the comics of going from villains to heroes (and back again, as both Pietro and Wanda have reverted to evil at various points in their history), but it doesn’t have time to really be acknowledged or dealt with because there’s too much else. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen do quite well in the roles—Taylor-Johnson’s laid-back sarcasm is well played, and Olsen’s face is remarkably expressive—but they don’t have nearly enough to work with. I also still can’t tell you what Wanda’s actual powers are. To be fair, I’m still not entirely sure what the comics character’s powers are, either. In both cases, her powers seem to be “whatever the plot calls for.”

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