Avengers: Age of Ultron – Where Hawkeye Gets to Shine

Tomorrow, the movie we’ve all been waiting for hits cinemas. We’ve seen Avengers: Age of Ultron already and here’s our review. Spoiler-free. Because we like our readers.

Once more, the world is in peril. This time, though, it’s Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Junior) own fault. He created Ultron (voiced by James Spader) in a move to try to save the world. But the problem is, Ultron is naïve, to use a word that describes it best, I think. So being the first truly intelligent artificial intelligence, he sets out to make the world a safe place. All he wants is peace. At the cost of all life on Earth. There’s only one group that can save the Earth: The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Hawkeye – The Movie

Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) steals the show

Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) steals the show

 

So much for the plot. That’s the basics of what you need to know to understand the movie. There is more, though, so much more. It all centers mainly around one man: Hawkeye alias Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner). You know, that one guy on the Avengers without any super power. Or as he puts it:

We’re fighting an army of Robots. On a floating city. And I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes any sense, yet here we are.

But this movie is more his story than anyone else’s. For good reason, seeing as Hawkeye hasn’t appeard outside the first Thor movie as a background character and in the first Avengers movie where he didn’t get nearly enough screen time. In Age of Ultron however, he gets most of the screentime.

Those of you who love the Hawkeye you see in the recently concluded comic book by Matt Fraction and various artists, you will both be delighted and shocked. Writer and director Joss Whedon changes some rather significant things about our favourite archer. But the core of the character remains somewhat intact. He’s an Avenger. He’s our Avenger. While other heroes are gods or super soldiers or trained KGB assassins, Clint Barton is just a guy.

In short: The only character with no super powers is the biggest super hero in this movie.

The Mutants that Aren’t

Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his sister Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) are not mutants

Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his sister Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) are not mutants

In a weird quirk of legal issues, Marvel is allowed to use the characters of Pietro Maximoff alias Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his sister Wanda also known as The Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) but not their super hero names. Those can be used over at Fox, the studio that makes the X-Men films. And over there, both characters have appeared, only that they’re not called by their civilian names but only referred to by their super hero names.

Because Marvel isn’t allowed to use the mutants or even refer to them, the Maximoff twins are the result of Baron Strucker’s experimentation on humans. As Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) puts it:

He’s fast and she’s weird.

Are they the most fleshed-out characters? No. Not really. Apart from them being around, there’s not much from them. But then again, the last time this happened was with Hawkeye in the previous Avengers movie. In fact, their arc shares quite some parallels with his.

It’s a smart move on the part of Joss Whedon to not have the new characters take all the spotlight. Because if we think of comic books, the characters newly introduced during the big crossovers that end up saving the day, they’re usually the most boring in the long run. Overpowered, characterless and they have no staying potential. Luckily, though, Marvel is playing the long game here. They know that they’re not running out of movies to make any time soon. The next two Avengers movies are already announced and so the Maximoff twins have plenty of potential for more. There’s no need to rush things.

Big, Bold and Fun

The movie's Big Bad: Ultron (James Spader)

The movie’s Big Bad: Ultron (James Spader)

What sets this movie apart from all the other super hero films we’ve gotten lately, is the scope of it. In this movie, the entire world is in peril. Every single life on the planet. If you compare that to other recent Marvel movies – let’s say since the first Avengers movie, you will discover that the effect on the world of the viewers would be a lot smaller.

  • In Iron Man 3, Aldrich Killian and Tony Stark, who’s suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, have a kind of arms race.
  • In Thor: The Dark World, Thor fights the dark elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) because the latter wants to destroy a few dimensions, ours included. Fighting takes place mostly in other dimensions with a few trailer-worthy shots of things crashing into the river Thames.
  • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America (Chris Evans) discovers a conspiracy within S.H.I.E.L.D.

In Age of Ultron a robotic intelligence wants to eradicate all lives on Earth and he’s pretty successful at it, too. It’s fairly simple, right? And that’s the beauty of it. It’s simple, but it’s big. It’s very big. Which makes the focus on Hawkeye, arguably the weakest and smallest of all the characters on the Avengers roster, even more effective.

That Thanos Thing

Big, Bold and Fun: Iron Man's (Robert Downey Jr) Hulkbuster Armour

Big, Bold and Fun: Iron Man’s (Robert Downey Jr) Hulkbuster Armour

The answer to the question if you should go see the movie answers itself. Yes. Yes, you should. Because Avengers: Age of Ultron is a great film. Don’t wait for the DVD or for it to be on television. Enjoy a movie that was made to be big on the big screen. Eat some popcorn, pay for the overpriced drinks and sit back and enjoy a movie. Also, make sure to stay in the cinema during the credits as there’s an additional scene in the middle of the credits.

The movie fits in well with the cinematic universe and it’s more obvious that there’s more of a focus on it being part of a larger universe. There are references left and right to movies past that viewers don’t necessarily need to understand and there’s a definite setup for the plot of the two upcoming Avengers movies, a two-parter called The Infinity War. Most of it has to do with the newly introduced character of The Vision (Paul Bettany, who has until now voiced Jarvis). It’s a rather small thing, but it’s the perfect setup for Thanos (Josh Brolin) to come to Earth.

It also sets up the upcoming Black Panther movie that is slated to come out in 2018, starring Chadwick Boseman as the titular character, who is the prince of the mysterious African nation of Wakanda.

Join us for Avengers Movie Night

Going to the cinema alone is boring, right? So how about we go see the movie together. The Uncanny Book-Club is hosting its fourth ever movie night in a few days. We might have a few tickets left over. Just drop us a line either on the Facebook Event page or using our contact form. Feel free to bring your friends or loved ones but let us know.

About Dom

Possessing nigh-encyclopaedic knowledge when it comes to comic books and movies, Dom is one of the co-founders of the Uncanny Book-Club. He also enjoys movies, and going to the cinema.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *