10 Harsh Realities Of Rewatching Avengers: Age Of Ultron 9 Years Later

  • Avengers: Age Of Ultron has several complications that come up when rewatching it years down the line.
  • Age Of Ultron's early characterizations of MCU heroes can feel limited, especially looking back after the franchise has had years of development.
  • The film wastes time setting up Thor: Ragnarok, as Thor's story doesn't connect directly with the main plot, contributing to the movie's structural issues.
It has almost been a full decade since Avengers: Age of Ultron was first released. In that time, the MCU has changed a lot, and the characters in the movie have far outgrown where they were back in 2015. While it isn't exactly fair to criticize an older MCU movie based on changes that came after, the events of the universe following Age of Ultron definitely color the movie in a new light. Of course, there were also some issues that were already present in the movie, which is why it was the worst-reviewed Avengers movie.
Another reason Avengers: Age of Ultron has aged poorly is due to circumstances outside the film itself. Revelations about the film's director, Joss Whedon, have also made it impossible not to watch Age of Ultron without examining certain character dynamics through a new lens. While it is still possible to enjoy certain parts of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the movie isn't likely to crawl out of last place compared to the other Avengers movies in the current MCU timeline any time soon.
Related Will Avengers: The Kang Dynasty Be Delayed After Disney's 2026 Plans Snub? Avengers: The Kang Dynasty is set for 2026, but Disney CEO Bob Iger's latest comments about MCU disruption notably left the event movie out. 10 Captain America Feels Like A Caricature Avengers: Age of Ultron Ignores Cap's Development From Captain America: The Winter Soldier Close Captain America often felt off in the early Avengers movies. It started in The Avengers with lines like "there's only one god" or Steve desperately trying to prove he understood pop culture references. This issue continued in Avengers: Age of Ultron in the very first scene when Cap scolds Tony Stark for using bad language, which has been joked about by audiences to this day.
Captain America is supposed to be the most morally upstanding member of the team, but depicting him in such a cartoonish manner felt wrong for the character. Captain America: The Winter Soldier had already come out before Age of Ultron, and it did a great job showing Captain America's depth and how his morality informs his decisions. To try and simplify that into Cap just not liking it when people use profanity misses the point of the character and instead makes him look like a stickler for rules for no reason.
9 Black Widow And Hulk's Relationship Feels Forced Age Of Ultron Tries To Rush Things Between The Avengers Close It's always important in a movie to make sure the audience can see a romantic relationship forming on screen. Unfortunately, Avengers: Age of Ultron instead relies on simply telling the audience that Hulk and Black Widow have developed some sort of relationship off-screen. This rushed character development seems particularly odd in the MCU, since Black Widow was just in Captain America: The Winter Soldier where she seemed to have some romantic tension with Steve Rogers instead.
Aside from coming out of nowhere, the relationship isn't built on the best foundation. The first hint of the pair's connection comes from the fact that Black Widow is now able to calm the Hulk down enough to turn back into Bruce Banner. This essentially forces the only woman in the Avengers into a nurturing and motherly role, despite this not necessarily fitting with Natasha's established character as a ruthless assassin - something that may have seemed less uncanny were it not for the other instances of Black Widow's character getting mishandled in the movie.
8 Age Of Ultron Wastes Time Setting Up A Very Different Thor: Ragnarok Thor: Ragnarok Went Through Major Changes, So The Teaser Falls Flat A common complaint with Avengers: Age of Ultron was that it felt overstuffed. At the time, it was the biggest crossover movie that the MCU had ever made, so it was easy to forgive some of the issues with it. However, after even bigger crossovers like Avengers: Infinity War proved that Marvel could tell a tight narrative with a huge cast of characters, it became easier to see that Age of Ultron had structure issues.
One big problem with the movie's structure is that it sends Thor off to set up a future movie, but his story doesn't connect back to what's happening with Ultron. Thor spends a good chunk of screen time going to a cave and having visions that presumably were meant to set up Thor: Ragnarok. These scenes seem even more unnecessary now that Thor: Ragnarok has been released, as they don't fully connect with what the follow-up Thor movie itself is about.
7 Ultron Shouldn't Have Been Killed Off The MCU Needs More Recurring Villains Like Ultron Close The Avengers was smart not to kill off Loki, so he could stick around in the MCU and develop over time. Unfortunately, Ultron was not given the same opportunity to grow as a character, or come back in any future stories. Now that Marvel is facing issues with Kang and the villain's story in the franchise, it would have been nice for the MCU to have Ultron still around to use as a new major threat.
Ultron in the comics is a major antagonistic force for the Avengers, so there is a lot of source material Marvel could have drawn from for future movies. With Ultron's ability to transmit his consciousness wirelessly, Avengers: Age of Ultron could have played out in the exact same way but just included a tease that Ultron was out there biding his time somewhere. With AI being a topic of much discussion now, it would also feel timely to have one as a villain in the MCU.
6 Revisiting Age Of Ultron Makes Civil War Seem Even More Unfair Captain America: Civil War's Main Conflict Is Based Heavily On The Events Of Age Of Ultron When watching Captain America: Civil War, it is easy to look at the footage of Age of Ultron's events and be swayed by the way they are presented by General Ross. As such, actually rewatching Age of Ultron and remembering the full context of these events makes the Avenger's treatment in Civil War feel far more unfair. It may even be enough to sway some Team Iron Man viewers over to Team Cap.
Ultimately, the Avengers are responsible for events that should have come under further inspection, as taking Hulk anywhere near a populated area is recklessly irresponsible on their part. That said, if the group hadn't intervened in Sokovia, the whole world would have been destroyed. While being punished for good intentions is an archetypal superhero story, only revisiting the specific events that divide the Avengers can truly convey how unjust the treatment they received after actively was.
5 Sam Wilson And James Rhodes Deserved More Screen Time Sam Wilson And James Rhodes Are Played By Anthony Mackie And Don Cheadle Respectively Sam Wilson and James Rhodes are two of the major players left in the MCU. While they have gotten a relative level of attention throughout their various appearances, neither of them were given a big role in Avengers: Age of Ultron. They do appear briefly in a few scenes, but they don't get anywhere near the same screentime as the other Avengers. While this may have been due to budgetary concerns, axing Thor's unnecessary cave visions could have made room to put Rhodey or Sam in another scene or two, which would've paid dividends down the line.
Sam and Rhodey's absence is also indicative of a larger subject within Avengers: Age of Ultron. The main cast is largely white actors, and Nick Fury arguably doesn't appear as much as he did in The Avengers, making Age of Ultron one of the Marvel movies indicative of the franchise's lack of diversity early on. Having Sam and Rhodey in the movie not only would have helped solve this issue, it would also have strengthened two characters who are now left to carry the franchise and take a more focal role in the Multiverse Saga.
4 Smart Hulk Just Isn't The Same As Standard Hulk Smart Hulk First Appeared In Avengers: Endgame And Has Been The Main MCU Hulk Since Hulk is one of the best parts of the early Avengers movies. There is always so much tension around whether he will stay in control, and when he loses it, things always get exciting. Avengers: Age of Ultron featured a memorable fight between Hulk and Iron Man in the Hulkbuster armor, and some fun scenes of Hulk smashing open bunkers or taking out Hydra agents. Now, these scenes serve as a reminder of how long it's been since Hulk was in the MCU.
The last time the standard version of Hulk appeared was in Avengers: Infinity War, and that was only for a brief fight where he gets beat by Thanos. Since then, the MCU has only had Bruce Banner or Smart Hulk. Though the change was welcome when it initially happened, it would be nice if the original version of Hulk came back at some point before Mark Ruffalo is done with the MCU.
3 Quicksilver Was Wasted Potential Quicksilver Was Played By Aaron Taylor-Johnson Avengers: Age of Ultron introduced several new characters, including Quicksilver. Quicksilver's powers stood out from the rest of the heroes in the MCU and could have made for some pretty cool action scenes, as evidenced by Fox's version of the character. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is also a very talented actor who could have brought a lot to the role. Unfortunately, Quicksilver was killed off at the end of the movie, so all that potential was just gone.
Not only did the MCU miss out on an additional hero, but Quicksilver's death also made Wanda Maximoff's story somewhat repetitive, dampening the true impact of seeing her grief. Wanda loses Quicksilver, then Vision, then her children, leaving her entire character arc to be defined by loss - but audiences never get more than a movie to really see most of these relationships develop. If this was the route that Marvel wanted to go with Wanda, they could have at least kept Quicksilver around longer and made his death as impactful for the audience as it was for her.
2 Black Widow's "Monster" Line Was Offensive Black Widow's Treatment In This Scene Caused Some Controversy Another instance of Black Widow's character being mishandled in this film came as a by-product of her rushed relationship with Bruce Banner. In a conversation between them, Natasha is comparing her own backstory to Banner's. She tries to draw a parallel between her past as an assassin and Hulk's destruction, but the way the conversation plays out ends up being worded in a controversial manner, that is still derided years later.
Instead of focusing on her track record of killing people, Natasha puts a lot of emphasis on the forced sterilization she underwent to become Black Widow. Directly after discussing her inability to have children, she refers to herself as a monster. This led to a potential reading of the scene where Natasha was saying she was somehow inhuman because of her inability to give birth.
This assertion is incredibly offensive to anyone who may have health complications surrounding having kids, and also another instance of the Avenger's sole female member being defined by her relationship to motherhood. While Natasha isn't portrayed as correct in her perspective - and it's clear this stance is more reflective of her trauma than anything else - the moment still persists as being reflective of the lack of delicacy Black Widow's story was handled with in its early stages.
1 The Final Battle Is A Repeat Of The Avengers Avengers: Age Of Ultron Uses The Same Blueprint For Its Climax The final battle of The Avengers took place in a city that was being destroyed by hordes of generic enemies all commanded by the film's main villain. The final battle in Avengers: Age of Ultron was the exact same thing, just with a different villain and a different city. While that might seem reductive, the film even recreates some of the most iconic shots from the first movie, making it feel more repetitive.
One of the most memorable shots in The Avengers is the group shot of the team circling up in New York, preparing to fight off the Chitauri. Avengers: Age of Ultron has a very similar shot of the team fighting off Ultron drones while standing in a circle around a fountain. This was likely a deliberate homage, but it comes off a bit too much like a recreation of the first scene to feel warranted.


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