* I miss Loki. I guess the guy can’t be in every movie… then again, why not? (As Paul McCartney would say, “What’s wrong with that, I’d like to know.”) I think his absence is what made seeing this film more of an “I’ll get to it sometime” rather than “I’m SO there on opening weekend!”
* While I liked this movie, others have raised the bar pretty high for me, so I’d place A2 way down on the list when ranking my favorite Marvel offerings. After the first Avengers, the early 2000s Spiderman 2 and 1, the year 2000 X-men, the two Thors, Iron Man 1 and 2, the two Captain Americas… So far, A2 ranks somewhere above Iron Man 3 and the two original X-men sequels.
* I intensely disliked the preachy Ultron. An article I read after the first Avengers expressed the theory that, while Loki is by far the best Marvel villain, the writer had high hopes that James Spader’s character would give him a run for the title. That writer praised Spader’s ability to bring a character to life with shades of subtle nuance… but I saw none of that because, despite Whedon’s insistence that Spader would be more than a robot’s voice, that’s essentially what he was. If they indeed modeled Ultron after Spader’s expressions, well, they still failed to capture a single nuance.
* I thought having the opening scene in the midst of a battle was a bit muddled. But one advantage of a sequel is that you can assume viewers know the earlier story, so you can skip right to the kicking of butts and the taking of names. (I’m having trouble recalling exactly, but it seems this follows a standard formula for many Marvel sequels.)
* In the opening battle, LOL at the team charging all together, then hold it! a brief pause as if they’re posing for a group photo.
* LOL! also at the guys trying to lift Thor’s hammer. But GROAN! at the blatant setup, with Thor explaining that they must not be worthy. Then, later, the Vision (significantly) hands Thor the hammer. “Oh, so he can lift the hammer. Oh, so he must be worthy. I see what you did there.” 😐
* It was effectively shocking that the secret Hawkeye was hiding was… a normal life. And how weird did normal look, in the midst of Avenger-land? It seemed too good to be true, and I admit, Tony Stark said what I was thinking when he declared of Barton’s wife, “She’s an agent!” The affectionate displays continued when the kids arrived, but Tony insisted, albeit with much less conviction, “They’re… smaller agents.”
* I’m glad that, despite being out in the open with no defenses whatsoever, Barton’s house truly was a safehouse. I was going to be disappointed if Ultron crashed the scene… or if the wife (and kids) turned out to be agents, just another lie.
* I liked that Barton’s wife looked real – not impossibly perfect – with a few fine lines on her face. How refreshing to find someone age-appropriate in such a role, not some 20-year-old trying to pass as the mother of an 8-to-10-year-old.
* Tony Stark told Captain America that he doesn’t trust someone without a dark side. (I think a lot of people feel that way. Which is kind of… messed up. “He’s good; I don’t trust him! This other guy’s bad, so he’s alright.”)
* But I loved Cap’s response: “Maybe you just haven’t seen it yet.” Hmm, are they setting up a future storyline? I’d kinda like to see a dark Cap… but then again, I wouldn’t. I like that he’s solidly good. Heck, “dark” is easy! It’s tougher to make the choice – and to keep making the choice – to rise above your dark side and do the right thing.
* I liked that when someone tried to write the twins off as freaks, Captain America defended them, comparing their situation/cause to his own from back in the day.
* Still, the twins’ hand-holding and looking at each other in their first scene was a bit too third-grade boyfriend-girlfriend for me. :shudders:
* I didn’t get the Black Widow’s “lullaby.” Were her fingertips drugged? Has she mastered the ancient art of sleep-touch?
* As I was trying to decide how I feel about the Widow-Hulk affair, I realized that perhaps for director Joss Whedon this is the new Buffy-Angel, from his TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But maybe the Buffy-Angel angle – forbidden love – is why I lean toward liking Widow-Hulk. I especially liked the way the actors portrayed it. Her, being experienced and jaded (likely jaded BY experience) yet being very understated with Banner, with just the right hint of suggestive. Him, completely stupefied by her attention and pushing her away, and yet oh-so-briefly entertaining the hope of “maybe…”
* Natasha was so understated at some times, her attentions were almost child-like. Perhaps this is a nod to her line from the first movie, “Love is for children”?
* Loved that even with all of Bruce Banner’s trying to push Natasha away, he honed right in on Captain America’s comment: “wait, you’ve seen her flirting??”
* Has Thanos put on weight?
* Barton’s advice to Wanda was basically, “It doesn’t matter what you did: it matters what you do.” Words to live by!
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