Which is to say I’ll be watching it again on Tuesday night before I get detailed, but I’ve put together some first reactions, including my Clint and Natasha views. The non-spoiler reaction is: I enjoyed the hell out of this film :D
Splurge of first reactions: I came for the banter, and OH MY HEART, so much banter! Everyone was full of snark and sass and I loved that. All the hammer jokes! Locations outside of the US! (Wakanda is now on the map.) James Spader being brilliant as Ultron, and how both he and Vision are reflections of aspects of Tony in their own ways. Lots of characters and cameos for the win. (I hear they cut Loki from Thor’s vision, do we think Bucky could have been in Natasha’s?) Wanda and Quicksilver are great, and no, I did not see Quicksilver’s end coming. (The imagery of him and Clint lying side by side at the end; the reminder that anyone can die or be injured, the cost. Argh.)
Interesting implications for the future of the MCU. Interesting thoughts on the inadequacies of security and the pitfalls in trying to fight things that haven’t happened yet. Interesting explorations of why they’re all here, aided by Wanda’s visions – if Avengers was where they come together as a group then this is the film where they struggle with what being in this group means for each of them, and if this is the life for them.
The UK are still behind the USA with Agents of SHIELD, so please don’t spoil me, but if it doesn’t happen in canon I want the fic where Fury and Hill steal that Hellicarier from Real SHEILD.
There’s going to be an extended version. I am going to need this in my life :D
And getting my Clint and Natasha thoughts in order before I head over to be_compromised:
Clint is married with three kids and a farm. Natasha attempts to start a relationship with Bruce. (Yes, attempts. It does not take off.)
From a fandom point of view the things I want to say are:
- I think we’ve been building Clint/Natasha fanon for so long now that we forget how little we actually got of Clint in MCU canon.
- the Steve/Tony, Clint/Coulson, and various other ships seem to manage fine without any canon confirmation. We at least have confirmation of a past relationship in comics.
- Marvel films aren’t one-offs, they’re an on-going ‘verse and things can always change.
- Age of Ultron introduces some dynamics that actually I find fascinating and think it’s going to be fun for our corner of fandom to explore.
- in fanfic we can do whatever we want. Personally I don’t think Age of Ultron is going to affect my demon, space, and zombie AUs ;) And actually this new canon makes me want to write some canon compliant fic again, go figure.
- There’s always OT3. Always go for OT3 – make love, not ship wars!
So, we learn more about the Red Room and Natasha’s past and we get way more screen time for Clint. And they both get to be sassy, YAY.
It’s an interesting twist for those of us who’ve seen Clint as older/more mature/settled in comparison to a Natasha who’s still finding herself, because here we find a Natasha who feels she can’t have a family, that she’s a monster, and here we have a Clint who has a family and has brought ‘Aunt Nat’ into it.
I see the Bruce/Nat (do we call it Bruce/Nat if nothing happens between them?) as a continuation of the Steve/Nat that didn’t really happen – further exploration of her character through her interactions with others. If Winter Solider was ‘what do you want me to be?’ then Age of Ultron seems to be Natasha having decided what she is and therefore what she can and can’t have – that she’s a monster and can’t have a family, but can ‘run with’ that. Only by the end of the film there’s still that red in her ledger and she realises that she can’t walk away. That she may have joined SHIELD to escape another life – Red Room or freelance or whatever you like – but that this life, the Avengers, is now a choice. That maybe all her friends are fighters because that’s what she is too. That she’s exactly where she’s supposed to be. Making it great to see her taking a place beside Steve at the end there, a kind of senior Avenger and leader, and yet also the wistfulness of her letting go of not just being with Bruce but what she could have been with Bruce.
And let’s take a moment to reflect on Natasha not trying to lift the hammer. In the comics there’s an alternative universe where she does and become a Goddess and saves the day. Here, is she worried about not being able to lift it or worried that if she can what does that mean for her? Of course she might just not want to take part in the testosterone test ;)
I see Natasha’s character arc having been: playing roles in phase one, committing herself to ‘bargaining for one man’ and bringing a team together in Avengers, being exposed in Winter Solider by making the choice to be exposed (bringing down SHIELD, challenging what she’s been a part of, putting everything she is on the internet along with SHIELD), and now in Age of Ultron she’s starting to build herself back up from the ground up. I’m looking forward to what we get for Natasha next!
Clint gets emphasised as the human on the team, and that the team needs that. He gets to be the Avenger this time that shows they have things to lose – family, Pepper, Jane, they all have people. A lot of his arc is also the writing setting the audience up to think that Clint’s going to die at the end, but Clint being the human element in a film where we get Ultron and Vision is interesting. Clint is in the regeneration thing that Ultron says is what’s going to replace Ultron and then uses to make Vision. What does this say about evolution and technology? There’s thoughts in this film about legacy, children, and the future… Rewatch needed for proper thinky thoughts.
And I want to see more around that farm, the details like the target in the barn and the kid’s drawings and Clint being into handiwork and….
Laura: is she a SHIELD Agent or ex-SHIELD Agent? What’s the backstory here? What kind of woman welcomes the Avengers into her house? Hell, what kind of woman has Nick Fury staying in her house with her family?
And as for how Natasha ties into all this, I want to know about ‘Aunt Nat’. How does that work? Was it the kids or Clint who got her an arrow necklace? She seems to know Laura and the kids well, what’s the history there? They’re naming a kid after her!
And Nat is Clint’s ‘best friend’ and he’s so worried when she goes missing, and their morse code moment, and I still love these two :D
Are we going to have OT3 fic where Natasha eventually feels she’s allowed things like a family and realises there’s one that’s been waiting for her all along? Will something happen to Laura or Clint’s family in the future? Could, in some twist with Agents of SHIELD, Clint end up doing some kind of West Coast Avengers thing with Bobbi? What about the continuing adventure of Clint and Natasha BFFs? Oh the possibilities! And that’s only in the canon.
What’s everyone’s thinky thoughts?