Avengers: Age of Ultron doesn't come out for two more days in the United States. However, it came out last week in other parts of the world and my friend Wilko was lucky enough to catch. Wilko is one of the first people I met through The Christian Nerd. Even though he lives in Namibia, we've actually spent time together in real life. Wilko agreed to share some of his thoughts about Age of Ultron, which you can read below.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of watching Avengers: Age of Ultron. It was a great superhero flick with all the key elements to make it enjoyable: fantastic heroes, powerful baddies, great fighting scenes with their fair share of explosions, witty conversation and a decent plot to tie it all together.
In short, it’s a movie that I hope you’ll get to catch on the big screen.
I had a chance to watch it a week early, so Scott asked me to jot down some thoughts about it. (Spoiler free thoughts that don’t exceed any info not found in the trailers, that is.)
We, Rather Than I
I really enjoy most superhero movies out there. What has made the X-Men and Avengers special to me, though, is their focus on a group of heroes, and how those groups of heroes save mankind from impending disaster. Many other movies and series focus on one character, such as the latest Daredevil series. Those individual heroes can pretty much do whatever they want without being accountable to anyone. Responsibility rests on their shoulders alone, as does any accomplishment or failure that may come along with it.
It’s the lone ranger syndrome, really.
Perhaps it’s because I grew up in Africa (and currently still live in Namibia), but community has always been precious to me. I valued community even before I became a Christian and God showed me the value of being in a church community. Sure, it’s not always easy to live in community, to be accommodating and to help the ‘weaker ones’ (I repeat, why is Black Widow on the same team as Thor again?), and yet, once you accomplish something the reward is so much greater than if you do it alone. Alone in real life, in the absence of superpowers, you probably wouldn’t have accomplished much by yourself, and, even if you did, you wouldn't have many with whom to share your joys and successes.
An old African proverb that I quite like goes as follows:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Something to think about in this very individualistic world of ours.
Actions and Their Consequences
Another theme I felt the movie emphasized quite clearly was making decisions and living with their consequences. It’s really gotta suck if you’re a superhero that the world looks up to, but then you make a bad call that could bring about the end of mankind. What’s worse, though, is if we make decisions in the real world that end up being wrong, and then bring all kinds of trouble on our loved ones and us. How do we react? Do we own up to the trouble we caused and try to make it right? Or do we hide from it, even lie about it, and hope it all goes away?
The movie reminded me about how important it is to admit our wrongdoing, and to try to correct it, even if that’s the tough option. In Christ, that’s daily repentance. In the rest of our lives there are a million different scenarios where we have the chance to do the right thing. Little good comes from the alternative, even if it may seem like the easier choice.
Many of the other themes from The Avengers are picked up again in the sequel. At first this disappointed me a little; when I step into the cinema I hope for something newer, bigger and better. When I thought about it a bit more though, I realized that if the first movie had solid themes running through it, then why shouldn’t they be reemphasized in the second? The gospel of Christ never changes and yet we go to church every Sunday, because ‘the same old’ gospel can be taught in a million different, excellent and profitable ways. Much like the gospel then, I think there’s nothing wrong with a solid idea or philosophy being brought across in a second movie. If it was good the first time, it’s worth being reminded of a second time.
Avengers: Age of Ultron was a great movie. It brought new action onto the big screen, but had many of the same elements that made The Avengers great. And in my mind at least, there’s nothing wrong with that.
I do hope you enjoy it!