#FamilyFriday | The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
I'm a guy. I automatically love this movie. End review.
Okay, fine. Marvel knows that our society is looking for heroes. Redeemers. Many of our superheroes were created by young Jewish immigrants after World War II. They knew what heroes were and the need for redemption from the horrors of Europe. They believed in national resurrection from the ashes of six million bodies and the ability to overcome the darkest of evil. Some heroes were born. Some rose from torturous circumstances. Some are humans like us. Some come from other worlds.
And some are disembodied robots that get a synthetic body. Jarvis, you tough little dog, you. One of my favorite quotes from the movie is when the Avengers ask the Vision, "Are you for us or against us?" He says, "It's more complicated than that. I am for life." One of the greatest themes in Leviticus is that God is the God of life. Death and decay must be kept away from His Presence. And He is above our political squabbling and juvenile methods of conflict resolution, our fights and our offenses. He is surely near to us in a way, but at the same time He is a transcendent paradox and we can't just say, God is on our side. It's more complicated than that.
Ultron and the Vision have two very different perspectives of mankind. Ultron sees the only path to world peace as being human extinction. Mankind is so hopelessly broken that we cannot possibly achieve greatness. It reminds me of the movie Noah. He saw our potential capacity for evil, and for a while he thought the only cure was our extinction. But that movie hinges on a scene with his wife, who points out mankind's capacity to do good. And that is what the Vision sees - our oddness, our failings, our grace, and our goodness. If Ultron is like Noah, then the Vision is like Moses. Moses knew all too well that his people could choose to do wrong, but he refused to reject them or leave them, and he tied his identity to them unto death.
Would I recommend this movie? Yes. There's a ton of spiritual undertones running through this movie, if you're looking for them. And there's a lot of stuff blowing up, too, so win-win! On to my wife's review:
Before I dive into the actual review, you need to understand that I come to sequels with a VERY high expectation of being wowed! I don't come to the movie thinking that it's just a continuation of the first movie. I come to it as if the creators are saying, "The first one was great, but we're not done blowing your freaking mind."
Now that you know my high expectations for sequels, it's safe to say that this movie did not disappoint. I'm so glad, too, because we took my dad to see it for his birthday... 6 months after his birthday. Happy half birthday, anyone? And I've been really impressed with how Marvel has been able to continuously blow our minds, since they're actually on the 28th movie of the series. ;)
So the bad first. This really almost killed the whole thing for me. In the movie, Jarvis is placed inside a body and becomes The Vision. This is actually pretty great! When he wakes up, the Avengers asked who and what he was, his reply was, "I am... I am." Now this may not seem like a big deal unless you're familiar with Exodus (the book, not the movie). In the burning bush, when Moses asks who he is supposed to say had sent him to free the Israelites, God responds with... "I am, I am." (His name). So why is this a big deal?
In Judaism, they uphold the commandment, "You shall not take the Lord your God's name in vain" so seriously that they don't speak His Name and they don't write it on anything that could at any point be erased or thrown away! If a scribe makes an error writing a scroll of the Bible that bears the Name, that scroll is sent to a special facility and permanently stored rather than discarded. That's how much they show His Name respect. I imagine that allowing a man-made, god-like creature to be given the same name would be considered very disrespectful. I'm still not sure if I'll throw the rest of the movie out because of this. I'm wrestling and working through it.
But on to the good... The graphics are, of course, the best in the world. The humor was classic Avengers, which I love - fast, smart, dry, and sarcastic. The plot was long, but they did a good job keeping it moving. The superheroes all seemed to get the same amount of screen time (yeah, Hawkeye! And his secret family!). They all had their own struggles that had to be overcome. There were plenty of surprises and twists in the storyline. I really appreciated that they showed the importance of family, and there was even a very powerful struggle with infertility. This was refreshing in a society that can't get enough of birth control and limiting their family to 2.5 kids. I really enjoyed it!
(There is a lot of underlying things in this movie, which would be amazing to talk through. For our purposes, we're going to keep it more on the surface level)
Why do you think Scarlet Witch's power over the mind was so powerful? How does fear cripple us? How should we handle fear when it creeps into our thought? Here's some verses to consider: 1 Peter 1:13, Romans 12:2, and Phil 2:2-8.
It seems as though every time the Avengers come together there's always a battle over unity. Why is it so hard for them all to get along? Work together? As for believers, how does this play a role in our community? What should the Avengers do to combat this next time? When we're trying to mend the world, how should this play a part in how we go about it? Consider: John 17:23, Phil 2:1-3, and Psalm 133:1.
We're all human. We all come from different backgrounds, with different make-ups, and different, well, everything so conflicts are bound to arise. How should we handle those conflicts? How should the Avengers have handled the conflicts that arose in their own community? Should Tony have tried to save the world all by himself? Here's somethings to ponder: Proverbs 12:18, James 1:19-20, and Lev 19:18
Have you seen Age of Ultron? What did YOU think? Let us know in the comments.