Some movies make you scratch your head over plot holes, some movies make you salivate for clues to where a franchise will go, and since Avengers: Age of Ultron is the biggestest, most comic book-y comic book movie ever made, it makes sense that it would make us scratch our heads and salivate at the same time.
Sorry, we have a condition.
Joss Whedon’s second swan dive into the challenge of impossibility sees Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye, Hulk and Captain America coming out relatively clean (except for rubble stains), but large portions of it also make exactly zero sense. Or maybe they make sense if you’ve read all the comic books. Or if you watch Agents of SHIELD. It’s hard to say.
Which is why we’re left with these big questions.
1. Why does an AI living in the internet not harm humanity with it?
As soon as Ultron escaped into the internet after fighting with The Avengers at the party they were having for winning a fight, I thought, “We’re doomed.” Why? Because the internet is threaded through everything we need to exist now. A murderous AI taking over the internet is the plot of 99% of murderous AI movies, so it felt like he was handed incredible cosmic power and immediately decided to hang out in an old church instead.
It was nice that he couldn’t get his muscular metal mitts on the nuclear launch codes, but he seemed far more interested in overseeing manufacturing operations than creating a global financial meltdown, destroying national and municipal infrastructure or otherwise incentivizing the worst human behavior (which he uses to justify the extinction of humans, vaguely) to do what it does best. He didn’t even change all the traffic lights to green or anything!
Maybe it’s because worldwide chaos would have actually kept The Avengers busy and off his back while he attempted to drop a city from the sky. Seriously, Hulk killed more people than Ultron did in this movie.
2. Why was The Vision worthy?
Really only asking to answer. There are a lot of people claiming that The Vision can wield Thor’s hammer because of added strength from the Infinity Stone in his forehead, but that’s not what Mjolnir is about. It’s about being worthy to rule Asgard, which requires more than physical strength. The Vision is a pure being (born yesterday!) who wants to fight on the side of all life. That’s what makes him worthy, not some steroidal rock.
That’s just what lets him shoot yellow beams from his head.
3. Was it a good talk?
No, it wasn’t.
4. Why did Thor take an acid bath on the eve of war?
This is one of those deus ex balneum (God from the bathtub) moments where you know it’s something from the comic books that the movie can’t be bothered to explain. You know, a crucial plot point that simply whizzes by without even a throwaway line of exposition. It was the movie waving us off and telling us not to worry about the magic plot-changing cold dip.
The group was divided over whether to instill The Vision with power and personality, and instead of working out that difference, Thor needed to roll to a trippy LSD pond, ride the lightning and make the decision for everyone else.
So…what? What just happened again?
5. What was with that look between Vision and Scarlet Witch?
Asking this to answer it, too, because we all know what’s up. Sexy time.
6. Does SHIELD not exist anymore?
Like many people who enjoy the Marvel movies, I don’t watch Agents of SHIELD. As such, I don’t know what ground they’re covering canon-wise or where the show exists on the timeline. The biggest question is how the organization would be allowed to exist after the events of Winter Soldier, and clearly Fury has gone underground, but then there he is with an unbelievably large rescue vehicle manned by…volunteers?
Which leads to a side question: where is all the money for spare helicarriers, state-of-the-art training facilities and ridiculously advanced tech coming from? Solely Tony Stark?
7. Who did Fury get the helicarrier from?
On that same note, Fury rolls in at the last minute to provide an escape for the innocent bystanders and the superheroes on the city-cum-meteor, saying he scored a random helicarrier from an old friend. Who was it?
8. Is Quicksilver really dead?
First of all, this is a Marvel character in a comic book movie. Consider all deaths impermanent, Coulson-style.
Second of all, he’s supposed to have heightened metabolism, which could mean advanced healing (which is kind of the “juice cleanse” of the magic-science comic book movie world).
Third of all, Aaron Taylor-Johnson claimed that he was signed on for multiple movies, which could mean he’s returning or that he was lying during the press rounds to throw us off the scent.
Fourth of all, isn’t there a magic healing pool somewhere?
9. You didn’t tzee dat comink?
It feels a little dishonest to make a character repeat a catch phrase three times, say one personal mini-monologue and then fill him full of holes, but you have to admire Whedon and the team’s misdirection regarding Hawkeye’s falsely telegraphed demise.
I mean, what real reason did Quicksilver have for saving his life? It’s a true act of sacrifice, and I wonder if it doesn’t send Hawkeye packing for good (unlike Tony who won’t keep his boots hung up long).
10. How many Avengers teams are there now?
The movie ends with Captain America telling the Avengers to Aah – , and we get to see Scarlet Witch, War Machine, Vision and Falcon flash a ready-for-training pose. They’re the new team.
That’s all well and good because Iron Man is driving off into the sunset (again), Hawkeye has a farm to tend to, Thor is investigating off-world and Hulk is flying to save humanity from himself. It’ll be nice to have some fresh faces and see heroes like War Machine and Falcon graduate, but with Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man (and later Black Panther and Captain Marvel) on the way, they’re going to be seeing a lot more applications pretty soon.
Plus, Iron Man and Thor (at least) will definitely be back. And probably Hulk. And, what the hell, Hawkeye too.
Will “The Avengers” be a 12-person team? Will they have separate branches? Will some of them have to move to the west coast? Will they go bowling with the Guardians of the Galaxy?
Dear sweet terror, Infinity War is going to be three times larger than Age of Ultron. How will that even be possible?
11. Oh, and has Thor seen The Guardians of the Galaxy?
After searching for Ken Kesey and learning that The Vision has to be made using spare Paul Bettany parts, Thor mentions that four infinity stones have surfaced in the very recent past, which insinuates that he knows at least something about the events of Guardians. Is he tight with Nova Corps? Where does he get his intel from?
12. How did Thanos get into Asgard?
This mid-credits sequence was one of the most worthless yet, although they’ve been devolving for a while, transforming from important announcements to inside jokes and unnecessary codas.
The only curious thing about finally seeing Thanos get up off his chair is that he’s somehow waltzed right into Odin’s secret lock box to take the glove he needs to combine the rocks which grant near-omnipotency.
Is Loki the obvious link here? He’s currently ruling by pretending to be Odin, so maybe he gave Thanos the keys to the kingdom.
13. Will we get to see a three-hour director’s cut?
You have to be the hardest core of apologist to maintain that Thor’s bath time wasn’t one of the laziest storytelling moments of the entire MCU. It’s genuinely baffling that they chose to kept that dialogue sequence secretive instead of using Selvig to explain what the hell was going on, but it’s likely that the original scene was longer and more explanatory because Whedon’s first cut of the movie was an hour longer than it is now.
We’ll undoubtedly see some of the cut scenes in a blu-ray release, but it would be fantastic to see a longer cut of the movie (maybe not the full 3.5 hours) that sheds more light on the truly confusing things that went down in Age of Ultron.