I can say that the movie was enjoyable and had some squee-worthy scenes. The original film was near-perfection in how it all came together, but even near-perfection has to be organic. You can assemble the pieces but it’s in the stars whether or not they form that level of quality. The first Woodstock Festival is a perfect example. The subsequent festivals were duds because you can’t catch lightning in a bottle twice.
So, if you’d like to find out my impressions, read on!
First, the things I liked:
The movie opens with a scene of the Avengers in battle, cutting right to the chase! I absolutely LOVED the teamwork between Thor and Steve, using hammer and shield in such fantastic ways, and Natasha using Steve’s shield, too!
The party and the party-after scenes: loved seeing so many of the characters having fun (everybody was in this movie except for Pepper, Jane and Darcy and the Asgardians, including Loki!) and relaxing. The lifting of Mjolnir (or the attempt!) was amusing, though did it move slightly when Steve tried? Thor noticed something! I really like comics canon with Steve able to lift it, but I suppose with what happens with the Vision later, it would have muddied the waters.
The fearful dreams that Wanda had hexed the Avengers with: their deepest, darkest secrets played out in front of their eyes. All I can say is with what Natasha went through with the Red Room, it’s a miracle that she’s not a complete headcase.
The farm scenes. I liked the peace and the recovery time for our battered heroes.
Wanda and Pietro joining the fight against Ultron and working with the Avengers.
Ultron’s Tonyesque snark and quipping.
Maria’s bigger role.
Vision was great. They even used the look and colors of his comics costume! And there are already hints of Vision/Wanda, just like in comics canon so many years ago.
The new Avengers line-up: love Vision and Wanda and especially Rhodey and Sam! Awesome!
What I didn’t like:
The action scenes, except for the opening battle, didn’t come off quite as intensely or did not engage the viewer as the first film’s scenes did. They were a little too long, IMO. It was too much of a repetition of fight scenes from the first film, too: the Avengers fighting a powerful enemy while trying to save civilian casualties and a city crumbles around them all.
The Natasha/Bruce romance. Huh? Okay, at least there was some foreshadowing if you squinted in the first movie, and I suspect that Natasha would have tried to get close to Bruce to try and conquer her fear of the Hulk, and feelings happened. But it did seem from out of left field, as did Clint’s instant family. WTF? I guess you can say all this happened off-screen between the Avengers movies but somehow I just don’t buy it. Does Clint look like Mr. Domestic to you?
Also, I had to take a call and left the movie with the Avengers flying on the Quinjet after the visions and came back when Steve and Tony were cutting wood at the farm, then the ‘monster’ talk between Bruce and Natasha. Could someone tell me if there was exposition? Is Laura Clint’s girlfriend or wife? Are the two kids his? Is it Laura’s farm or his or both? And where is the farm located? Thanks!
I have heard people raging that Natasha considers herself a monster because she’s sterile. I read that scene as equating her being an assassin with Bruce’s monster, not that she can’t have children.
Quick aside: I enjoy following a few blogs on Tumblr, but the spoilers over there! And the rage against this movie! Is it really hated that much by fans?
The loss of JARVIS.
Pietro’s death. Jeez, we just met the guy and he’s already gone?
Now, since Joss Whedon decided to use Tony as the creator of Ultron instead of Hank Pym, we see the fatal flaw in Tony: his hubris. He’s the guy for whom the saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” was created. Wanda said it herself: Ultron can’t tell the difference between saving the Earth and destroying it, and who do you think he got that notion from?
Tony still can’t play well with others despite his experience with the team. He went ahead without consulting anyone but Bruce with this (and wtf is Bruce doing going along with all this?) and THEN DID IT AGAIN within the course of the movie! Discussing things is not his style. He just goes ahead and does it because he’s smarter than everybody else.
Once again Tony is the Merchant of Death. I do give him a bit of a pass because of the vision of his friends' deaths he suffered after being zapped by Wanda. He wanted to prevent that, but went about it the wrong way. He’s the guy who means well but can’t seem to get it right.
Now this begs the question: is Robert Downey, Jr. signed for the third Captain America film? Because if they’re using the Civil War storyline from the comics, the main conflict is between Steve and Tony, or will there be another substitution like Tony for Hank Pym? At least the boys seemed to be in a good place by the end of the film instead of not talking to each other. Tony leaving the team fits early Avengers comics canon and he probably needs to get away and reevaluate his life. He is responsible for Ultron and the death and destruction he sowed.
Would I recommend seeing this film? I would! It’s a bit of a mystery to me why there is such vitriol in fandom against this movie. I should know better than to read any message boards, the hidey-holes for negativity, but Tumblr is raging about just about every aspect of this film. When I joined fandom years ago, it was a place where taking joy in shows and movies was the prevalent feeling. That didn’t mean criticisms weren’t made. I’ve made them myself in this review! It’s just that everything these days seem to be a to-the-death battle.