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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I didn't lay my faerie eggs inside your inner ear canal to watch you die."
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April 23 2015

(SPOILER) Discuss Avengers: Age of Ultron. The movie is out now in various parts of the world. So if you have seen it, come tell us what you thought of it.

Oh thank Godesses, I can talk about it!

First comment - dazzling several minute opening one shot action sequence, then first word of the film ("shit!") made me laugh out loud. So good.
I really enjoyed it. I'll need to see it again soon, but I thought the big Hulk/Iron Man battle in the middle was the best action sequence from either film. James Spader was really great too.
Jealous. Now to stay away for a week.
I think this may be my cue to take my sabbatical from Whedonesque for a week or so. No willpower .... and spoilers everywhere! Look forward to catching up on the comments down the road
*sigh* See you next week.

*SPOILERS* (obviously).
We really got to know and most importantly, understand every character.

The pure entertainment value of the movie is more than I could ever believe.

I could see the movie another 5-6 times easily. Today.

[ edited by Manwue on 2015-04-23 20:15 ]
Absolutely brilliant!
Did Joss just do a massive remake of I, Robot... You, Jane? Artificial intelligence tries to take over the world via the internet then gets trapped in the metal body he made so the hero(s) can batter him.
Also I take it that was Captain Marvel appearing right at the end as one of the "new Avengers". Did anyone recognise the actress?

[ edited by mr_waterproof on 2015-04-23 21:04 ]
The character at end who flew in was Scarlett, right? I think so.

Was it Amy Acker in the car towards the end, on the ledge?
Saw this yesterday and I am very happy with how it turned out. I might go as far as saying it was better than the first. Being a huge Whedon fan, I recognized many of his trademark themes and he used them well. If there's anyone who knows how to handle an ensemble, it's Joss. Throw a little humor in there and some fantastic dialogue, and you got a quality movie.

I was hoping for a darker movie, and boy did I get it. This was a great exploration of the characters and who they are. I loved seeing their fears tapped into and exploited in cruel ways. I loved seeing them turn on each other. I loved seeing what makes these superheroes human.

Ultron was a really great addition with his humor and existentialism. His fascination with the human race - Pointing out our flaws, our stubbornness and our inevitable downfall. This is a common theme with Whedon and I definitely drew parallels to Adam from Buffy (although Adam lacks humor). There's also the notion that for there to be peace, humans simply cannot roam the Earth (drew another parallel to Dark Willow here) or they have to evolve. These are the things that make the audience think, instead of just watching superheroes kick ass and blow stuff up. Sure, those scenes were awesome, but they're not the best part.

I was so glad to see Natasha explored more. Her story is heavy as f**k and it's something we should get to see more of (I'm still really angry that we haven't gotten a Black Widow movie). She is so much more than just the hot female for guys to look at. If anyone is a badass here, it's her. We should never forget where she came from and what she's been through.

Also, the storylines for Bruce and Clint was pretty great too. I'm all for scenes that show what makes these guys tick and we got plenty of those. Bravo!

Tony was taken to a really dark place here. He wants to be a good guy, but there's so much grey in him and that was actually very visible in the creation of Ultron. I saw so much Tony in that being. It was great!

There's so many more things I could talk about, but I don't intend to. I need to watch it again, because there was A LOT of moments to take in and analyze.

To make it short - I loved the movie for its psychology and its special effect awesomeness!!
Please repost this next week for the Americans.
Don't worry, there will be at least a couple more in the next couple of weeks.
I saw it today, the words of a certain Slayer:
"Wow. That was... That"
It's too soon to get deeply analytical. I mostly get analytical about things that don't manage to keep me engaged, but this did. Best Marvel movie yet, and just an overall excellent movie.

This is how you do a sequel. It's a self-contained story, and yet uses past installments as backstory for the characters. It expands the cast, and yet manages to be even more well balanced than the first Avengers movie, which was already an impressive plate spinning act. It didn't feel like anyone got short changed. This one manages to progress everyone's arc as well as tell a compelling, coherent and focused story. It's both an impressive feat of structure AND an entertaining and emotionally engaging ride. Not having had time to analyze it in detail, I'm just thoroughly impressed with the whole thing and I wish Joss a thorough and pleasant rest and some quality family time before anything amazing accidentally pops into his head.
Just back from the movie theatre. First reaction: Moar!
No, seriously: Iíll have to see it again next week. Just too much going on too quickly. To me this sets a new superhero movie bar.
I'm not going to see the movie for a whole week but I just read everything in this thread that wasn't in a spoiler tag. I'm so happy you guys liked the movie!! I was starting to get down and lowering my expectations with people saying the movie isn't as good as the first or is too overstuffed but if you guys liked the film and its as whedonesque as I hope then I should hopefully love the film too.
To be honest if people are trying to avoid spoilers I think this might not be the thread to read!

I just saw it again. The sound was better in this theatre than at the London event, so I caught more of the dialogue.

Things I like mostest (now and always a word):

- Black Widow. Hello, Disney - she should be next to Frozen merch at your stores, btdubs.

- The emphasis on saving civilians, paying for damage - hell even the dog gets saved.

- I think the newbie characters are really well handled.

- Scarlett and Mark and that scene. If this thing had emoticons I'd damage your screen with colourful and adorable icons.

- The running time. I still think the longer the movie after 2 hours, the less I like it by the minute. Thank you, powers that edit.
Re running time: Oh, in Berlin at the OV cinema at Potsdamer Platz we had an intermission during the wood chop scene. Actually Marvel should have built that in. With intermission music. Like Doctor Zhivago.

[ edited by Udo Schmitz on 2015-04-23 23:55 ]
1st review / discussion thread of many to come, we had what 3 of them for the previous movie.

Back from second viewing, I am glad I am picking up things that I missed the 1st time.

Clint pep-talk to Wanda is still among my favorite moments, it's like Xander speech to Dawn in Potential, Buffy's "are you ready to be strong" and Vi saying the wounds are nothing, all rolled into the same cathartic moment.

It reminded me so much of Buffy (at its best) at times that made me emotional.

It is a scarier and more somber movie than the previous one, wonder how the younger ones are reacting to this one.

Once again the saving the civilians part is what makes them Earth Mightiest Heroes. I love that Clint named the new baby Nathaniel Pietro Barton (is true, was the last name in the credits).

I get the ambivalence from some people reactions, it is so much a movie about our own demons and how destructive and strong they can be. Overcoming that is something that can be mighty.

Glad I'll be watching more times the next few days (going with friends in the weekend), I still feel so giddy for that sequence when all the avengers are fighting Ultron copies, is a comic book page coming to life.
While making this quite a fast paced film worked for the most past, I kinda feel like it could have worked alittle better with an extra 20-30 mins of footage helping to develop the plot and characters alittle more.
(Because the balance didn't feel quite as natural to me this time round, compared with how well it was handled in the first film- Ultron's final plan for one could've used alittle more explanation.)
Having said that, I also feel like it is definetly the type of film that will benefit from rewatches- (and there are too many outstanding sequences to list in one post.)
I am just whelmed. Most of the jokes are too subtle and I was a bit embarrassed chuckling all by my lonesome (No one got the zucchini joke!) The tie-in shot at the beginning looked a bit stiff (CGI on Thor was noticeable) and I would not have noticed it if not for it being mentioned in one of the press interviews. I am not sure if it was the theatre where I was watching but some shots of the fighting at the end were cropped/too close. The circling shot where everyone was fighting was bad-ass though -- best scene of the entire movie and on par with tie-in shot from Avengers 1. There were some one-liners that I was uncomfortable coming from some of the characters (made them too joke-y like Stark) but the story this time around is much tighter and has more depth. I am unsure if I was just trying to recapture the feeling from Avengers 1 but yeah, I went out of the theatre just whelmed. This is just my opinion. Sorry.
Let me be the first to say, I LOVED The Vision. And maybe my comic reading background has me biased, but I can see some indications of his relationship with Scarlet Witch.

Did NOT see the thing with Quicksilver coming. I thought he was gonna part of the new Avengers.

Bruce and Natasha were great, so I was really bummed at the ending.

RE: the new Avengers. Not really feeling it, besides Vision and Scarlet Witch. Hope the russo's can convince me otherwise.

Also, does that mean Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Hawkeye won't be in the next Avengers movie?
I've just come back from the movie and I have so many conflicting feelings.
my comic book purist side is really unhappy, and it's kinda damping the rest.
as a movie, it's pretty good, there was exploration of their characters and relationships, deeper,darker issues and it was a good evolution.

however another side is balking at what feels like character assassination.
i don't like what they did with the maximoffs, at all, i feel like they should've just picked two random orphans and give them powers instead, why use them when they can't be used properly, and what was with the accents? it was so distracting, and what universe was that hawkeye from?
and what the hell happened with pietro??
and was the name of the mountain copyrighted as well? is that why they changed it?

I definitely need to see it again and try to focus on the actual movie and not what i expected to see.

I am disappointed at Natasha and Maria's parts though, I wanted more involvement. oh and sam's too. I wanted to see him in the main fight.
Nat/Bruce I do sort of understand, I don't like, but I do understand.

I did like other aspects of the movie though. it felt very reminiscent of terminator in some parts, the movies and tscc. some other parts reminded me of dollhouse and ultron was very creepy, really well done and the vision was fantastic.

I think MCU-only fans must be pretty pleased,my comics-reading self not so much. the curse of the adaptations.
Oh, Vision. I thought Vision was going to be The Big Bad. He was really well done. And I'm not gonna lie, I'm all about Ultron.
On another note, I binged-watched The Blacklist in anticipation of the movie (I hadn't seen it before), and now I can only hear Red Reddington in the movie. :)
I have to say I was fairly disappointed. It clocks in as fourth on my MCU list, well behind Avengers 1 and both Captain Americas.

The first half is really well done, I think. Loved the emphasis on Hawkeye and Natasha, loved the Serenity-style one-takes to visualize the coherence of the team, loved the party-scene.

But midway through, about the time Stark for no reason repeats his Ultron mistake to create Vision, the movie kinda loses me. It is a bout the same time that Sokovia, the most blatantly racist and colonial depiction if have ever seen in a Joss work, shows up more prominently.

I was really uncomfortable with the picture of the miserable eastern Europe full of disfunctionality in desperate need of the western saving. Hawkeyes dialog with Scarlet was brutal. I felt like Joss was undoing years of feminist work by himself in that one scene, where he let the white straight male explain to the traumatized eastern girl to suck it up and become tough. It's a scene Michael Bay would write, and it forgets most of what years and years of Buffy and Dollhouse said about those very type of tropes and dialogs, and how much they are not what constitutes empowerment. That scene symbolizes the very naive need the movie had for a old-school type of culture and people in need of saving.

Avengers 1 got by perfectly without that. I don't get why it was necessary here to come back to such tropes. The cold-war throwback was of course built up over time (CA2 had the clear references to "War Games", and also Ultron rings a lot of Terminator-bells), so I thought the movie might actually do something about that topic, that relates to the current situation (Putin, Ukraine...). But no, the movie depicted the same bland Eastern Europe that was part of the Western imaginary ever since we decided the save them from communism.

I can't stress how much of a letdown that aspect is. The accents, the easy good/bad dichotomy, the power relations. The subtleties of much of Whedon's work are washed away in favor of a regular action movie that 14 year olds will certainly enjoy.

(If they can get over the fact that the Internet has a Nexus hub in Oslo, which I think might only be an idea 10 years might still find realistic.)

I also think Stark's moral debate (his mistake of ignoring "city hall") kinda gets no resolution whatsover, oops, some people died, but, hey, we saved the rest, so they better the tahnkful, right? Vision's choice to be on their side felt random and in no way related to anything Stark tried to do, so Vision's "killing" of Ultron does not serve that arc imo.

Ultron himself was thin, I thought, I got more thrill out of Danger back in AXM, in terms of character depth of an AI. "I choose my limitations, you are yours.", "Hate is such a little word", ... Ultron is funny, but he never made me worry on an emotional level about the Avengers, or Stark or Banner. Danger had those moments.

I'm gonna watch it a second time. I am biased, since I hail from Serbia and my interest lies in colonial depictions of Eastern Europe, so that clouds my judgement obviously. And the first half I really did like. Also, the humor is top-notch as always (zuchinis, fast-and-weird, language!) Spader is amazing, and I like how they made him completely recognizable

But the second half will have a hard time to get me back on the fan-side.
wiesengrund, couldn't the same argument be made about New Yorkers and Avengers 1? Those guys needed some savin'.
gossi, only if we ignore decades of cultural depictions.
But New York gets blown up and needs saving, like, a lot in movies.
And the fact that you can draw that connection points out exactly why AoU handles the subject poorly. The depictions of Eastern Europe and NY are not the same. The history between those two places is very different, and wanting to make one be like the other is part of the cultural power relation that defines those depictions. It perfectly captures the empty an shallow character that this place has in the imaginary of the audience (no specifics, just victimhood), and that shallow depiction is the general condition of colonialism and othering.

There is no sameness with such a rich historical context. Hawkeye does not hold that dialog across the same lines in any other movie, and even if he did, nobody would think about how he "could" do it the same way with an Eastern European girl. The sameness you posit is one-sided and biased, and the movie does a very poor job of addressing that in my opinion.

[ edited by wiesengrund on 2015-04-24 10:16 ]
To put it another way: NATO didn't bombard New York, the IMF and the World Bank did not enforce a brutal neoliberal economic reform that lead to unprecedented austerity measures in NY and the Western diplomats did not meddle with and settle wars within NY. There is no "The Peacemaker" about NY, and no "Eastern Promises", no "Mission Impossible".

Think about it the other way, maybe this would make it clearer: Imagine Sokovia being set in Africa, with a bunch of faceless strangers being the victims and our heroes approaching two of them with the same "one dies, the other just has to become part of us" attitude. Would we still be able to make the comparison to NY then?
I'm just putting forward the idea that superheroes tend to save people, be it New Yorkers or people in New York or whoever, and it's not necessarily a commentary. The two Eastern Europe characters in this movie are two of the most powerful and instrumental in saving the day, too.

[ edited by gossi on 2015-04-24 10:31 ]
I agree that superheros tend to do that, but I don't agree that that trope can be used without a second thought about the implications of the roles. The two of the most powerful ones have to die and be lectured by our heroes to become "instrumental", as you put it. Doing that while ignoring the historical background of the region you are depicting is not commentary, you are right, but that is the general definition of Hollywood's callousness when it comes to othering. Is it less racist because it's no commentary? Is it less racist because Joss' name is attached to it instead of any other Hollywood director?

Joss was among the best to actually take all those things into consideration and often enough turn them on their heads. I was just voicing my frustration that he stopped doing that here.
I think it depends how you read the Hawkeye speech to Scarlett. Scarlett Witch is having a breakdown about the situation at that point - Hawkeye's basically saying "Join us, or don't - but you need to pick". I don't think Hawkeye is saying she needs his help, I think he's asking for her help.

I do think the movie should have ended with her punching Tony, though. They all should have punched Tony, pretty much - he has that coming.
Perhaps veering a little off topic here but I really enjoyed it. Also it nice to see heroes actually being en heroes instead of treating civilians like collateral damage.
I thought the accents were incredibly annoying and stereotypical, plus this whole white saviour vibe was pretty uncomfortable.
and I wasn't particularly happy with the Maximoff's portrayal either.
and yes,why didn't someone punch Tony? He had it coming.
Out of interest what accent is an Asgardian supposed to have?
I think Tony's fall will take place in Cap 3. Quite why he wasn't arrested as a war criminal is anyone's guess. And hooray for Irish Friday. And there's three SHIELDs now. Classic SHIELD, Real SHIELD and SHIELD Lite. Speaking of, what happened to Triplett's appearance?
Triplett? Probably, on the Cutting room floor for those extra 40 minutes, that were in the first cut, like the missing lady that was in the trailer, but nowhere to be found in the movie.

The way the twins were portrayed didn't bother me, but have to agree on the accent front, either have them speaking another language altogether, or avoid stereotypical accents.
I really really liked Banner / Romanov. It made a lot of sense and worked really well. Clint's "walk out of here and you're an avenger" line was wonderful. I thought it was empowering in that he gave her the options then let her decide. She wasn't told to do something.

There was an audible gasp when Vision lifted Mjolnir in my cinema. Like a proper stunned gasp. Very impressive to pull that off. It's something that can only work in an established universe like this, because it's been years in coming. Really good. It was funny too right? Perhaps too funny? Everyone had a witticism to say, could have been a bit less humourous? But then, I enjoyed the humour and the action.

I liked Ultron, but I was never scared of him or worried for the Avengers. He seemed evil, but not terrifyingly so. I liked that they didn't have a reset button, and had to destroy all the robots. That was satisfying.

Overall, I liked it a lot. The pace felt too fast and at times some of the action felt too blurry and hard to follow (the fight in the tanker in particular). I'd like to see a 2 hour 30 directors cut, but if you ask me would I rather see a film that rushed through or one that outstayed it's welcome? I'd rather the first. Gives me hope that the two Infinity War films are only a total of 4 hours, not a 6 hour monstrosity.

Also, RIP Quicksilver. Did not see it coming. He was my favourite new Avenger. His accent and demeanour was wonderful.
I'm glad Captain Marvel wasn't shown at the end as originally intended. As that would have made no sense. I quite the twins, I was spoilt for the death but it still had an impact. And Hawkeye and his wife worked really well. I'm glad that was in the movie.
Hawkeye's line about being over being brainwashed me laugh out loud. Perfect. I also liked the accents and thought those two characters were a nice twist on Hollywood - they weren't the bad guys.
I just saw it an hour ago, I could have seen it yesterday but stuff came up, dammit.
Personally, I loved it, although there were a couple of lines and scenes that I felt didn't work, but overall felt darker, more personal, felt like Joss and it felt awesome. This movie must have been a bitch to figure out, write and execute.
Vision and Ultron were mad cool and I have a theory, it could Witches. Quicksilver, though, I didn't fall in love with.

[ edited by Boto on 2015-04-24 23:23 ]
gossi: Hawkeye's line about being over being brainwashed me laugh out loud. Perfect. I also liked the accents and thought those two characters were a nice twist on Hollywood - they weren't the bad guys.

Oh yea, I liked how they started off with a bitter revenge agenda and then simply realized they were hanging with the wrong crowd, decided this was not right and joined our guys because there were larger issues to be dealt with and they had the power(s) to do something about that.

Lots of great stuff everywhere. One thing I'd like to bring up publicly: I was probably the only person in the world who flashed back to the very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie from '90 when they went to Barton's house. The house even looked kinda similar!

Finally, "that's not a question I need answered" is probably still my favorite line, despite it having lost its surprise factor by being featured in one of the early trailers.

[ edited by D-e-f- on 2015-04-24 23:43 ]
I enjoyed it - there were a few moments where the spectacle threatened to overwhelm the film but they were reined back by the interactions of the characters. Perhaps the best aspect of this was the subtle misdirection when you see Hawkeye explain away a 'phone call by saying that it was his girlfriend and then later you discover that he has a family. Great performances, too, whether with the Banner/Widow exchanges, Steve Rogers' appreciation both of his duties and the fun that will be made of him or the introduction of Wanda and Quicksilver. Both Olsen and Taylor-Johnson more than held their own against the established stars.

Unsurprisingly there was a high level of humour, such as Rhodey's stories of bravado falling flat when he told them to the Avengers or Thor's anxiety and then relief when Steve Rogers was able to make Mjolnir move but not lift it (and his need to assert himself by saying that Jane was better than Pepper).

With so many characters it was to be expected that there were only hints as to the Black Widow's past rather than an exploration of it. The films seemed to have decided on Nat as an acceptable name for the Black Widow but several of the comics have her objecting to the abbreviation.

I didn't get quite get how an Ultron robot started the drill after the Scarlet Witch went to stop Ultron but we then see Thor by the drill as if he has been waiting there for a while.

I like the inventive end credits Marvel have deployed in films such The Avengers and The Winter Soldier, but while the statue here looked good, it did seem a bit over the top. Perhaps pride comes before a fall.

Finally, it's very interesting how recently there has been a sequence of films such as Her, Ex Machina and now Age of Ultron about the evolution of artificial intelligence (with the counterpoint of Under the Skin). Maybe Ultron should have considered adopting the guise of Alicia Vikander.
Enjoyable enough and action packed (although some of the action cut far too rapidly between shots so you didn't know what was going on at times) but not as good as the first film for me. The Hulk/IronMan fight was great though. One thing that was rather noticible was just how many of the female townsfolk liked uplifting bras!

[ edited by cdm22 on 2015-04-25 01:27 ]
I enjoyed it and will happily recommend it.
Ultrons introduction speech was damn good.
Movie looked great in 3D.

Loved the humour, Scarlett big entrance after pep-talk and Thor's Hammer as the new party game.....

Action scenes a bit too long, and didn't like that Quick-silver is already exited...


Also liked the line early in the film of the young soldier stating the sheer obvious to his Leader:-

"It's ..... The Avengers.."

I enjoyed the movie immensely, and the whole audience loved it. Jokes, visual gags. A very Joss movie. When Cap said his last line and then the credits rolled, the whole cinema went 'ahhh', as in, 'we want more!'

My experience with the 3D was pretty bad, though. Starting with the fact that the first couple of minutes everything was out of sync, so they had to start over. And then most of the fights were so blurry I couldn't tell what the heck (language!) was happening. I have to watch it in 2D to really appreciate the action.

Ultron was not as scary as I had expected. We all know how disturbing Joss's villains can be but I have a feeling that he toned it down to avoid giving young viewers nightmares. We can't have an Angelus-level villain in a movie like this.
Just saw it and really loved it. This is how to make a great blockbuster. It's not supposed to be profound - it's just an overwhelmingly entertaining movie. The cinema I saw it in was in stitches throughout
Huh so it sounds like there was a post-credits scene after all. I left the cinema before it given all those interviews saying there wasn't one
Huh so it sounds like there was a post-credits scene after all. I left the cinema before it given all those interviews saying there wasn't one

There wasn't. Rest easy. There was only the normal one after the main credit sequence (with the sculptures). Nothing after the full staff roll.

[ edited by D-e-f- on 2015-04-25 13:34 ]
Just saw it this morning and enjoyed the hell out of it, more so than the first. The twins' accents didn't bother me. Spader's Ultron was adorable rather than scary. Loved the scenes between Banner and Natasha. Very pleased with Hawkeye's role this time.

The only thing that didn't do much for me was Vision, I could have done without him. Just one character too many in an otherwise amazingly balanced film.

I laughed out loud, a lot. Lots of funny lines.

[ edited by Caroline on 2015-04-25 17:04 ]
I really enjoyed it. Loved seeing more of Black Widow and Banner and getting to know Hawkeye more. And I need to listen to the soundtrack! At this stage I think I still prefer the first film overall, but there really wasn't a slow moment. Every scene mattered. I even wondered if there could have been a little more there at times, like after Ultron first became conscious and escaped. He was very creepy and threatening in his first encounter with the Avengers, but I would have liked to see more evidence of why they were panicking so much so quickly, and why he was so much worse than what they'd faced before. (I like to think that somewhere he was wrecking havoc on dating websites. Who would have thought Moloch was blockbuster material?)

Personally, I thought Scarlet Witch was a great new character. I found her involvement in the threat to the Avengers the most interesting, since when she and Quicksilver changed sides I didn't feel that threatened by Ultron. I wish we'd seen more follow-up to the promise that his hatred of Tony Stark was personal. However, I thought the final battle was visually stunning, with the floating city. (My favourite line may have been Hawkeye's acknowledgement of the situation - "And I have a bow and arrows"!)

Maybe it's just because I've read interviews where Joss says he put a lot of himself into this film, but it was unnerving and fascinating hearing Ultron talking so much like Joss. I wasn't expecting that. And that last scene between Vision and the final, broken Ultron body felt like pure Joss.
Ultron is basically every cynical view of humanity Joss has expressed in interviews for past 15 years, expressed at the same time, with explosions. This is not a criticism.
Btw, how adorable was Black Widow doing the Road Runner's "meep meep!" during the bike scene?
I've seen quite a few bad reviews. It surprises me, as I've enjoyed the movie even more than the first one.
@Ragondux: The more eyeballs you have on something, the more you get opinions from both sides.

Plus the movie is so densely packed with stuff that it might just prove difficult to digest on a single watch for some people. You also have to wonder what someone was looking to get out of a movie.

I wanted Whedony goodness and that's what I got so I'm very happy.
Yeah I'm also surprised by the middling reviews. I had a blast and the audience reaction in the cinema I saw it in seemed overwhelmingly positive. I liked it far more than the first one
Watched it for a second time tonight. It's actually better second time around because then you know not to compare it to the original, as I feel that it's a very different film. I also started to pick up all sorts of nice touches that I hadn't caught first time around. Like Falcon having his signature red on his wings at the end, and amongst Stark's alternative A.I.s there's one called Jocasta! That's a particularly ironic choice if you know what character had that name in the books..
I really enjoyed it. Some of the camera work was breathtaking, and the action scenes were full of the sort of inventive little beats that other movies would eschew for lots of punching.

BUT! The following irked me as particularly uncharacteristic of Joss.

Black Widow pining after Bruce Banner.
Black Widow being captured by Ultron (for why?) so she can be rescued by a man.
Man (Hawkeye) having to pep-talk cowering female to take action.

Also the Prima Nocta line has gone down really badly on Twitter.

[ edited by bivith on 2015-04-27 11:43 ]
It was a joke about something that's never been proven to have existed in mediaeval Europe (where the concept of Droit du seigneur came from) so I fail to see why it should be going down so badly. To my mind it's nowhere near as bad as "mewling quim".
Because "Rape joke!"
So a fictional character makes a joke about something that never existed and it's a "rape joke?" I think people might just be reading a little too much into this. Especially given who wrote it.

Or (having thought about it for a few minutes) you could say it was perfectly in character. A flip, crass remark, from someone who's all about the flip & crass. Until the writer clarifies authorial intent it's no more than speculation. But certainly "rape joke" to my mind seems somewhat overboard.

[ edited by Jack Diamond on 2015-04-27 15:01 ]
Okay, so I've lived with it for a few days now, and am still a bit baffled by the middling reviews I've been seeing. It's certain not without issue, but it's still a clever and exciting movie that I felt really stood apart from the throng of superhero films. It's so thoroughly the work of its creator, though, and I wonder if that's what appeals to me and us more than general audience and critics. It's most definitely overstuffed -- could be at least half-an-hour longer just to give it some comfortable breathing room -- and the character that ultimately suffers the most for it is Ultron, which is unfortunate. But seriously, show me a big superhero movie that cares about giving each of its admittedly many characters motivation and an individual arc as much as this one. Forest, trees. More subjectively, I wish it had felt like more of a conclusion to Phase 2 -- Avengers felt like a culmination, Age of Ultron... does not -- and done away with the Phase 3 setup stuff. Shared universe is cool and all, but it probably muddied an otherwise razor-focused film a bit.
I agree that the rape joke would have needed more negative commentary than just Stark not being worthy of the hammer (as nobody else was worthy). OTOH, I don't see any problem with Black Widow hitting on Banner, or a guy pep-talking a woman who is much more powerful than he is. It all seems very Jossian.
Oh dear, I just searched twitter for Prima Nocta. A certain amount of people are upset about this and more it seems, want everyone to jump on it as something to decry the film over.

Do people not understand how fictional characters work? It's totally in character for Tony Stark at the end of a party with his friends to make a joke that's incredibly poor in taste. The same way it's in character for Loki to be horrendously misogynistic. Just because the writer of the film doesn't make it explicit there and then that the character was wrong, doesn't mean they weren't wrong. We're meant to work stuff out from what the characters say. And so partly that line tells us about Tony; "here's a guy who thinks he's pretty funny, but actually he can still be a bit of a sexist dick".
I don't think it's done well in that case, as nobody calls him out as being sexist. Unlike Loki, Stark is a cool, fun guy, so there is really no way to know whether the movie says he's being a bit of a sexist dick, or just being funny. I didn't think it was a bad joke, and I laughed. It was perfectly in character. But it would have helped if other characters had frowned at the joke or something.

The reason the movie should aknowledge the sexism in the joke is not so that feminists can feel good about it. It's because it's a common, socially acceptable joke. I mean, if you needed an example of rape culture, it would be a good one. For most people, it is funny, not offensive. But it should be.
Yes. I did that yesterday. There certainly does seem to be a subset of fandom that parses films endlessly with seemingly the only objective being to find something to get offended about.

As far as I can see this is such a clear case of "character written to say something crass" rather than what a portion of people seem to be saying "writer made a rape joke" especially given this writers pedigree, that I'm amazed that people think that there's even a case to answer. That said I have to say when I saw the film my only thought about the scene was that I preferred the "I shall be firm, but fairly cruel" line.
Why is it so clear? If you have to know about Joss to understand that he's not supporting the line, then it is not clear.

But of course I must be part of that subset of fandom that wants to be offended.
"But it would have helped if other characters had frowned at the joke or something"
You're right, having Tasha or Hill or Rogers look at him with a "Tony, that's not funny look" would have been ideal.
Changing the subject a little here... Does anyone have any predictions for lines or moments which might become iconic? It's just occurred to me that lots of the internet isn't discussing it yet so we have a chance to guess what's going to be quoted.

I like the 'Language!' running gag myself. Does this film have an 'I'm always angry' or 'Puny god' moment?
Can we have a new round of discussion for those of us who are just starting to see it in the U.S. and other places?
I just saw the movie. OMG!!!!!!
OMG, indeed, eddy! Funnier, darker, and more complex than the first one. That last scene with Cap... Pure Joss!
And he just had to kill someone I liked.
But without a new round of discussions, we end up talking to ourselves.
Also, stuck here using an iPad for the time being, and I don't know any shortcuts to get to the bottom of this page to spare my arthritic hands from having to finger the way to the bottom.

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