Marvel Films: Ultron and Phase 3

I should probably start this post with yet another apology for my recent radio silence – the funny thing is that since finishing my exam and coursework period I probably have less time to write blog posts than I did during it! I’ve also suffered from a bit of a lack of inspiration recently (any suggestions would be welcome!) and I don’t like churning out blog posts for the sake of writing them. The final factor that’s made a difference is that I’m in the very early stages of planning and writing an actual book, so that’s been taking up the time that I might have otherwise used for blogging.

Enough of that, and on to what I actually want to write about in this post: thoughts on Age of Ultron (even though it’s been out a while now), and what I want to see from Marvel’s Phase 3. We’ll start with the Avengers, and I really, really enjoyed AoU.

–SPOILERS—I’m not trying to splurge the plot, but I don’t want to have to watch what I’m writing either!

I saw AoU twice and probably enjoyed it even more the second time around, because there’s so much in there that takes a bit of time to sink in. As a fan of the comics, I liked that there were little Easter eggs and fun things to pick up on, with little details such as the Vision carrying Scarlet Witch off Sokovia making me a very happy Marvelite. There were a couple of shots and scenes that were just incredible too, like the shot in the church in Sokovia that shows all the Avengers simultaneously battling Ultron drones…oh my, that was awesome.

The film was by no means perfect, however. Ultron was funny, but in his humour he lost a lot of his threat, and his character in the film was very different from that which was suggested in the trailers (I would definitely have preferred the trailers’ character). The other complaint that I have, on reflection, is that the film felt too much like a transition to Phase 3 as opposed to a culmination of Phase 2. The first Avengers was partly so successful because it was a grand finale to the first set of films, but this film wasn’t a finale in the same way. There were too many references to other things to come, such as the needless excursion to Wakanda to introduce Ulysses Klaw, and Thor’s visions of Ragnarok and the Infinity Gauntlet. Those things are exciting as glimpses ahead, but, in hindsight, I would rather be excited for those things in their own films, and focus more on Ultron and things like that in AoU. With all that said, I did love this film, and I am really looking forward to Phase 3!

So what have we got to look forward to? Well Ant-Man is just around the corner, and looks pretty decent. I don’t know how it’ll fit into the wider MCU, and I’m sort of hoping that it won’t be overtly linked, allowing the film to flourish on its own grounds. The trailers look hugely entertaining, and I’m looking forward to seeing if Marvel can repeat the feat of Guardians of the Galaxy in turning lesser known characters into massive successes.

For me, the immediate draw of Phase 3 can be summed up in two films: Civil War and Ragnarok, both of which I’ve said I’ve wanted to see since the first Avengers. I have higher hopes for CW than Ragnarok, as I worry that the latter will just be a prelude to Infinity War, but I desperately want it to be good in its own right! At this point, I have to say that I’m looking forward to Civil War more than any of the other films, including Infinity War.

Honourable mentions do have to go to the new characters being introduced, with Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man and Black Panther all coming into the MCU. The writers will have a tough job balancing all of these in the cross-over films, but it’s a challenge I hope they embrace and succeed with because it will be epic if it comes off!

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Phase 2, with Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy standing out as unexpected highlights, and I think there’s a lot to look forward to in Phase 3!

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