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Ranking all the Characters in Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Scott Roberts
Ranking all the Characters in Avengers: Age of Ultron
on May 4, 2015 at 1:18:15 pm







Since this was such a huge movie that surpassed all reason and logic for normal movie reviewing, and since there's so many characters involved, I thought that I'd avoid comparing whether I liked the explosion 12 minutes in more than the explosion 47 minutes in, and just rank all the characters from best to worst. Plus, the more I think about it, the one 47 minutes in was way better.



*Excluded from the list: The Hydra scientist from the beginning who I can barely remember, the characters from the dream flashbacks, and the Sokovian mom who kept showing her cleavage while screaming at the destruction of her town.



1. Ultron

Ultron was a great bad guy mainly because he was a sassy robot. I love robots with 'tudes. And it made sense that he had sarcasm and one liners, because he was designed by Tony Stark, who is always the most sarcastic one liner jokester in these movies. One liners are half his lines. Also, that one part when Ultron destroys a copy of himself just to prove that he can was super badass.



2. Captain America

Cap is always a solid dude in these movies. He's kind of the glue that holds the whole team together. And his "language" joke turned into a very satisfying running gag. Plus, the colors on his uniform make a tear run down my face because I love my country so gosh darn much.



3. Hawkeye

What? I know, right? Hawkeye? I wasn't expecting him to be up here, either. But this movie actually gave him a story and some dimension, and made me give a crap about the guy I previously didn't give that much of a crap about. His frustrated line that questioned the logistics of him fighting an army of robots with a bow and arrow comically addressed all of the audience's questions as to why Hawkeye is even part of the team. Perfect.



4. Hulk

I know they keep doing the same played out Bruce Banner storylines, but I kind of still like it. Also, Hulk smashing stuff is never not fun to watch. Even in the stupid Ang Lee movie, I'll still enjoy watching Hulk smash stuff.



5. Vision

He's a purple dude with an infinity stone in his face. Guy's basically a god.



6. Thor

Guy's actually a god. But he kind takes a backseat in this one. He's more of a side character, as I can only remember maybe two moments when he was heavily featured. Still, he's one of the more entertaining Norse gods.



7. Black Widow

After Hawkeye, Black Widow probably had the next most character progression. Probably because they want to set her up for her own movie at some point. Even though Winter Soldier was basically 60% a Black Widow movie already. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯



8. War Machine

He's barely in this movie, but the Don Cheadle comic relief is strong while he's there. Meanwhile, Terrence Howard finally doesn't cry while watching Marvel movies because he has a TV show now. Way to go, Terrence!



9. Scarlet Witch

I thought her powers were kind of conveniently powerful, as in one scene she's using her red mind goop to manipulate people's thoughts, and then in another scene she's using the goop to physically stop trains from crashing into things. My fiancé said that they explained that she had two powers in the beginning of the movie, but I don't remember that happening, SO I DONT BELIEVE IT. Cool new character, regardless.



10. Iron Man

Maybe I'll be alone on this, but I thought Iron Man didn't do much of anything significant in this movie, other than create Ultron. Maybe significant is the wrong word. Memorable. Yeah, that's a better word. But he was pretty much the main star of Avengers 1, so he's got that going for him.



11. Quicksilver

More of a flavor character, with barely any dialogue, but he did do a few cool things. I still don't get how he doesn't break his hands when smashing through things at high speeds? He has super bones too? Is that was "super metabolism" is? Anyway, X-Men Quicksilver > Marvel Quicksilver.



12. The debate about the missing characters

I laughed pretty good at the conversation about which actress who didn't appear in the movie (Gwyneth Paltrow and Natalie Portman) was better than the other.



13. Thanos

He's only in a kind of lame, five second mid-credits scene, but it reminded me of Guardians of the Galaxy for a moment, and that bathes the starways in my happiness.



14. The Robots

You'd think Ultron would design a less easily destructible army of bots to fight a group of superheroes, but I guess they provided a lot of bodies for people to hit with stuff.



15. Thor’s old scientist friend from the Thor movies

I always liked this character, but he's only in the movie for like 2 minutes, so, I guess that hurts his ranking…



16. Falcon

DITTO.



17. The Korean Scientist

She was alright I guess... If this were a Michael Bay movie she'd have been cast with Ken Jeong, which makes me appreciate the character a little more.



18. Hawkeye’s wife

I like Linda Cardellini, but she didn't really do anything, and it looks like her and Hawkeye produced a bunch of wiener kids.



19. Stan Lee

I do like how there's still a few people in the theater who feel the need to lean over to their partner during the cameo, and go "That's Stan Lee." To which the wife responds sarcastically "I know that, Carl."



20. Whoever Andy Serkis played

Who the hell was that guy? And why did we need his whole scene? And why wasn't Andy Serkis covered in tiny motion capture balls? I barely recognized him.



21. Nick Fury

Probably didn't need to make an appearance. Sam Jackson should probably take a vacation sometime.



22. Agent Maria Hill

Is there a more boring character in all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? I can't think of one.



23. Any other character that might or might not be from Agents of Shield

Nothing, even incorporating characters into the movies I like, can possibly make me want to watch an hour long network TV primetime action show. Stop trying.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Ranking all the Characters in Avengers: Age of Ultron
on May 8, 2015 at 4:27:27 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on May 8, 2015 at 4:38:45 pm

Got to see this last night, enjoyed it as one of the more "comic-book-like" movies in Marvel's stable. Reacting to your list, in the same order:

1. Ultron
What I found cool was actually his first five minutes of existence, where he shows, more than explains, how advanced and yet inherently wrong he was. "Show, don't tell" is the mantra for good story-telling. If you don't get the villain's motivations established right, nothing else in this kind of movie is really going to matter or work.

Ultron in the comics was originally built by Henry Pim, the first and original "Ant Man", but for the wider and denser audience of the movies, and to make the story-telling less complicated, with less need of back-story, and because there's an Ant Man movie coming out soon, with it's own altered origin tale, they changed and simplified the origin for this movie, to make Ultron a spin-off of one of Stark's projects.



2. Captain America

Cap is supposed to represent the essential core nature of an idealized career soldier in a civilian world. He's modeled on Plato's soldier class from The Republic, pure of motive and locked into his role, asking nothing more than to protect society, but due to being out of his own time, never quite fitting in with the people he's sworn to protect, rootless, lonely, unfulfilled, only finding purpose in doing his job, and he's lost when there's nobody around to fight or lead. He captures the zeitgeist of "The Greatest Generation" feeling out of touch with, yet still engaged in, the modern world.



3. Hawkeye

Hawkeye in these movies is supposed to be a vehicle for the audience to feel part of the world of super-humans, he's an everyman (who already happens to be an ace secret agent) thrown in with Gods and Monsters. He gets all those comic lines so the audience can relate to the story through him.


4. Hulk
This version of Banner is perhaps the best one - even better than Norton's - of showing the torment Banner lives with every day, the psychological baggage of his duality. He's the suffering saint.



5. Vision

In the "show, don't tell" department, there's a very satisfying payoff that's set up with a "Checkhov's Gun" scene set earlier in the movie. Later, a three-second shot in a crucial moment tells you all you need to know about The Vision.


6. Thor
This part was way under-written this time, due no doubt to all the other characters and plot points that needed to be jammed in. Thor works better when his scenes are not rushed - his timing is grander, more operatic timing.



7. Black Widow

This movie explains Black Widow's origin, though it means a LOT more if you watched the TV spin-off series "Agent Carter" first. The earlier Avengers movie set up a very deep, quasi-romantic "besties" relationship between Hawkeye and Black Widow, which became platonic in-between these two movies, and she's now the old girlfriend that's become a family friend and "auntie" to Hawkeye's kids. The child-raising angle is part of key spoilers about Black Widow's back-story. Let's just say, she has issues to work out.


8. War Machine
This performance was just 100 percent "fan service", but it delivered.



9. Scarlet Witch
If you're not a comics reader, you have to have really intently viewed the other Marvel movies to get that Magneto is the biological father of Scarlet and her speedy brother.


10. Iron Man
Robert has been saying he thinks he's getting too old to play this highly physical role. That could just be contract negotiation talk. Then again, the scenes where he's supposed to look strained and aged by current events and their burden of worry, he DOES look aged. Stark here is shown as more vulnerable, and simultaneously as painfully self-aware. I think that successfully gets across some of that, which the comic book writers of Tony Stark's character always have trouble expressing.


11. Quicksilver
One of Magneto's kids, but doesn't know it. You can hand-wave his not breaking his bones by explaining that he's not physically touching his targets, but creating a concussive shockwave thru the air with his speed that does the actual damage. Just like the Mantis Shrimp which does this in real life and can shatter the glass of it's own aquarium.



12. The debate about the missing characters

Agreed, this was the limpest cop-out for not featuring the two female characters. Should have spent a handful of minutes of screen time to place them as participating but in the far background.

13. Thanos

Is it just me or does Thanos look a LOT like James Arness?



14. The Robots
They're weak because Ultron's ego won't allow rivals, even if they're copies of his own body. Ultron is all about a wounded ego.


15. Thor’s old scientist friend from the Thor movies

This time, with PANTS! This part could have/ should have been done using or including Portman.



16. Falcon

To be fair, he got a LOT of screen time in the previous movie that established his origin


19. Stan Lee

You can tell in this cameo, Stan's health is going fast, but it's always fun to see the cameos.



20. Whoever Andy Serkis played

This character figures large in the back-story of Black Panther, the African version of Bat Man from the tiny country of Wakanda, where the only source of Vibranium on Earth is. This is foreshadowing the Panther movie that's in development.



21. Nick Fury

Should have been replaced by Agent Coulson, who inherited the Directorship from Fury, to fit the new Marvel Cinematic Universe continuity. Fury looks very old and tired here, and Samuel Jackson seems to be phoning this one in, or just deliberately playing it "smaller" than usual.



22. Agent Maria Hill

Maria Hill here is mostly used for continuity reasons from the last Captain America movie. In the comics, she's really a very powerful and capable female character, more than just fan service. They just didn't have time for her this time.



23. Any other character that might or might not be from Agents of Shield

Nothing, even incorporating characters into the movies I like, can possibly make me want to watch an hour long network TV primetime action show. Stop trying.



Actually, I think this is the wave of the future; weaving crossover characters and plots across the shows and movies so you have to see them all to get the most complete experience. This is EXACTLY what the comics have been doing with all their "team-up" and crossover issues for years now.




The accountant types and marketing folks must LOVE the "synergy" this creates. I experience this with the only comic I read regularly, Iron Man. Because he crosses over and is included in a number of other titles, if I don't subscribe to those books, sometimes references pop up in my comic that I might not fully get. Luckily, these are almost always annotated by the editors with a footnote: "*as seen in Guardians of the Galaxy issue number whatever"). I generally never bother to follow up on what Iron Man or Stark do outside the range of the Iron Man franchise itself. Can't afford to be "completist" to that level.


BTW, you dropped the item in passing, like it was nothing, but congrats on getting engaged; it WILL have an effect on your movie and TV watching, I guarantee.:-)


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Mike Cohen
Re: Ranking all the Characters in Avengers: Age of Ultron
on May 12, 2015 at 5:47:23 pm

I saw this in 3D, which was, like many 3D movies, no better or worse than seeing it in 2D. I only chose 3D because it fit my schedule (move theater is 10 min drive from home, so I pick times which let me get to the theater at the posted time, which is usually right when the previews are starting.

I'll do the Scott method too. We know the movie was a fun ride with lots of fighting and explosions, which is pretty much all you need to know.

1. Ultron - great voice work by Spader. Kind of like General Grievous but better catch phrases.

2. Ironman - with the automated suits, why is Stark even leaving the office anymore?

3. Red and gold humanoid Jude Law guy. Nice makeup effects, and of course he has a cape. What purpose does a cape serve again?

4. Ok, turns out it was not Jude Law but the guy who voiced Jeeves. I'm sure he was happy to get the gig.

5. Hawkeye. I thought he had the best arc, as we see he actually has a family and a compelling reason to not get killed. I always like seeing larger than life characters walk into an ordinary setting. Like watching Han, Leia and Chewie walk into a dining room.

6. Hulk/Banner. I really dig Ruffalo's Bruce Banner, in that he contributes science as well as muscle, he has a refined intellect, and he gets the girl for once.

7. Scarlett Johansen - I don't remember her character name. Does she have super powers or is she just immune to injury?

8. Fast guy and mind control woman - nice additions to the team and nice that for once they are not American.

9. Sam Jackson - always nice to see him having fun though this was basically a cameo.

10. Captain America - everyone seems to agree he is the best character in these films.

11. Flying city gag - clever idea, and good excuse to get the helicarrier out of mothballs. Diabolical criminals seem to like schemes like this, as they enjoy the tension and the chase (ie, Bond criminals, ie Batman villains). If they really wanted to cause mass destruction instantly they would just drop some nukes.

Now looking forward to Terminator, Tomorrowland and Mad Max.

Mike


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Stephen Smith
Re: Ranking all the Characters in Avengers: Age of Ultron
on May 12, 2015 at 6:05:30 pm

First off, congrats on getting engaged Scott. Second, what was up with the SxS card reader? I guess it looks a lot cooler then a thumb drive. Instead of my thoughts on the movie I would rather post this pic:


Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Mike Cohen
Re: Ranking all the Characters in Avengers: Age of Ultron
on May 12, 2015 at 6:11:57 pm

[Stephen Smith] "what was up with the SxS card reader?"

Ask the guy who used a Grass Valley switcher to fire the Death Star main gun.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Ranking all the Characters in Avengers: Age of Ultron
on May 12, 2015 at 6:21:35 pm

[Mike]
Ask the guy who used a Grass Valley switcher to fire the Death Star main gun.

And that is why I don't support Grass Valley, the amount of lives lost to their switcher.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Scott Roberts
Re: Ranking all the Characters in Avengers: Age of Ultron
on May 13, 2015 at 4:24:58 am

Thanks guys! I've been engaged for a little while now, but I'm hoping for the wedding to get here already, I'm sick of making payments for it! Btw, she's as movie friendly as I am, so I'm sure I'll keep watching movies frequently for a time being, until we have some kids. Then maybe you'll see a lot more cartoon reviews around here instead...!


[Mark Suszko] "20. Whoever Andy Serkis played
This character figures large in the back-story of Black Panther, the African version of Bat Man from the tiny country of Wakanda, where the only source of Vibranium on Earth is. This is foreshadowing the Panther movie that's in development."


Ohhhh. Everything's gotta be connected, I guess.. But I don't know, we probably could have enjoyed Black Panther without being forced into remembering that he was the guy from that five minute scene in Age of Ultron.


[Mark Suszko] "22. Agent Maria Hill
Maria Hill here is mostly used for continuity reasons from the last Captain America movie. In the comics, she's really a very powerful and capable female character, more than just fan service. They just didn't have time for her this time."


I looked her up on the Marvel Wiki after reading this... Yeah, the comic version seems 100x better than the movie version.


[Mike Cohen] "1. Ultron - great voice work by Spader. Kind of like General Grievous but better catch phrases."

Also, no robot cold virus!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Ranking all the Characters in Avengers: Age of Ultron
on May 13, 2015 at 12:38:27 pm

"Kind of like General Grievous but better catch phrases."

"Also, no robot cold virus!"


Um, nerd point of order:

General Grievous wasn't a robot. He was an organic being who had had most of his body replaced by droid prosthetics, a more extreme version of Vader. The General replaced everything but his heart and lungs and brain.... he didn't have a cold: in the amazingly good Tartakovsky-directed animated series that led into the movie, during a battle with I believe it was the Jedi Mace Windu, Mace used his force powers to crush part of Greivous' lungs/breathing apparatus. Thata's why he went from being tall and powerful in the animated series, to hunched over and gasping in the movie.

The animated Clone Wars series is really something great to watch - it wasn't just a kiddie show. It was much better than the movie it led into.


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Mike Cohen
Re: Ranking all the Characters in Avengers: Age of Ultron
on May 13, 2015 at 1:38:21 pm

Good clarification Mark.

Also very good in its own way is Star Wars Rebels, which, while more kid-oriented with its 13 year old protagonist, takes place 5 years before A New Hope, and is a nice look at what's left of the Jedi and the beginnings of the Rebellion. And you have Stormtroopers, Darth Vader, Star Destroyers, TIE fighters and other throwbacks from the original.

While the Clone Wars focused on Anakin and Obi_wan, there were numerous arcs of other characters, and Ashoka Tano, Anakin's Padawan, was possibly the real protagonist. We already knew that Anakin and Obi-Wan were the heroes of the Clone Wars, so seeing things from the perspective of a Padawan was interesting. Plus we got to see Mandalorians, Wookiees and lots of other species only hinted at in the movies. We even meet Admiral Ackbar when he was just a cadet on his homeworld of Aquilla.


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